Search This Blog

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Valentino Community Forest(Town of Grafton, Rensselaer County)

My second stop of the day was the brand new 416 acre Valentino Preserve, located off of Stuffle  Street in the town of Grafton.  The Rensselaer Plateau Alliance has done a spectacular job here, from the trail work all the way down to the parking lot and restroom/ map at the trailhead.  From the parking area, I followed the white blazes of Josh's Jaunt, which drop down through the woods and then closely follow a small, rocky stream.  

The white blazes are replaced by yellow as the trail crosses the stream on a well built footbridge.

Along the way, I spotted numerous old, rusted remnants from previous generations.

Breaking away from the yellow trail, I picked up the red blazes of Sophie's Knoll Trail which climbs south up through fern glades and passes by an old sugar shack along the way.

Sophie's Knoll Trail runs just over a mile, before eventually dropping back down to the yellow blazes of Sam's Shore Trail.  Sam's Shore Trail provides up close views of Beaver Dam Pond, which was sitting under a thick haze of smoke from Canadian wildfires.
Gorgeous wildflowers dotted the shorelines.

A newly constructed Lean To sits along the yellow trail, back a little ways from Beaver Dam Pond.

From the yellow trail, I continued east/ northeast to the white blazes of Josh's Jaunt again.  I followed this around another beaver pond, making a large loop around to the north side, where I stumbled upon some old 19th century foundations in the woods.

The second beaver pond, a bit further east, has much less water and was engulfed in more of that thick smoke from the wildfires.

Much of these trails follow old, handsome woods roads.

More rusted tools just off trail.

Looped back west onto the yellow and white trails all the way back to the car, completing about 3.7 miles of easy, but pleasant hiking at this brand new gem.


Barberville Falls Preserve(Town of Poestenkill, Rensselaer County)

Got out for the first time in what seemed like ages this morning and visited a couple of Rensselaer Plateau Alliance properties. My first stop was Barberville Falls Preserve, which I've visited many times previously, and was shocked to have the woods to myself.  The 92 foot falls dazzled as usual, even with a low water volume flowing down.

Can't recall seeing the Poesten Kill this low too many times before. 
Wandered the various trails at the preserve, enjoying the solitude of the woods.  The peace and quiet was interrupted briefly when a coyote wandered quite close to me(about 20 yards away).  This was a first for me, as I had never seen one while out hiking.  What a rush!
Covered about 1.8 miles total at this beautiful preserve.