Hike-a-Thon 2017

Choose your own outdoor adventure

at our 3rd annual Summer Hike-a-thon!

Register below for this free, one-of-a-kind experience.

Find the special hike (or hikes) that best fits you and your family, and participate in a regional movement to get outside and explore the landscapes of the Capital Region.

WHAT: This is the largest event of our 25th anniversary year, and we are celebrating with a special focus on accessible and family-friendly hikes. This capstone event offers residents a menu of outdoor activities from which to choose, inviting all ages and abilities to engage in hiking, biking, guided tours, workshops, craft sessions, and more. All hikes are led by naturalists and experts who are well-versed in the history, flora, and fauna of each trail. Free T-shirts and other giveaways will be given to hikers while supplies last!

WHERE: Across the Capital Region! We’ll kick off the event on the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail at 10 AM, but there will be concurrent hikes and satellite events at preserves across Albany, Montgomery, and Schenectady Counties.

WHEN: Saturday, July 22nd. Guided hikes will be offered between 10 AM and 4 PM.

WHO: The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy (MHLC) is your local land trust. We work every day to improve the quality of life for all residents of the Capital Region by preserving natural spaces in Albany, Montgomery, and Schenectady Counties. We have protected 5,000 acres of land, including over 2,000 acres open to the public in our preserves.

This event is free and open to the public. We invite you to design your own Hike-a-Thon experience, and to choose from the many hikes available below.



July 22 Hike-a-Thon Offerings:

1. Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail | Botany and History Accessible Hike | Delmar

This flat, easy course is on the railroad bed of the original Delaware and Hudson line that brought travelers into Albany. It will be a wheelchair accessible out and back trip and will explore the botany and history of the trail guided by science teacher and Friends of the Rail Trail volunteer, Miles Garfinkel. Easy walk/ride.

Starting time: 10:00 am

Starting point: Adams Street and Hudson Avenue, Delmar, heading westbound.

Distance: 0.25 miles round trip

Difficulty: Easy, Wheelchair Accessible


2. Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail | Fun Ride | Delmar

The Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail has become a popular venue for walking, jogging, bicycling, and more. Bring your favorite set of wheels and helmet and join your community for a family fun ride where you set your own distance and pace.  The fun ride will start at 11 am and includes coupons for the whole family for free ice cream cones at Stewart’s Shops (while supplies last).

Starting time:  11:00 am

Starting point: Adams Street and Hudson Avenue, Delmar, heading eastbound.

Distance: You decide

Difficulty: Easy, Wheelchair Accessible


3. Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail | Bike-Hike | Albany/Delmar/Slingerlands/Voorheesville

Our guided Bike-Hike will encompass the entire length of the Rail Trail – officially stopping at the end of the pavement, and providing the opportunity for participants (with appropriate bikes and tires) to continue all the way to the Voorheesville Pavilion. At this time the pavement ends at the Slingerlands parking lot (a five-mile ride), and the Pavilion is at nine miles. As the paving process continues, the actual length of the official ride will be somewhere between the two distances. There will be numerous stops to learn about the history and structure of the Rail Trail, and riders are invited to explore the many sites along the trail as they return to South Pearl Street.  This Bike-Hike is appropriate for ages 16+.

Starting time: 9:30 am

Starting point:  downtown Albany trail head (722 S. Pearl Street, Albany, NY)

Distance: 10+ miles round trip

Difficulty: Moderate


4. Bennett Hill Preserve | History | Clarksville

One of the most popular preserves of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, this hike is a moderately challenging one with mostly steep hills. A guide will speak about the history of this trail that offers views of the Helderbergs from its summit and beautiful wildflowers along the trail.  Trekking poles and hiking boots recommended.

Starting time:  2 pm

Starting point: Bennett Hill Road, Clarksville.

Distance: 2.77 miles round trip

Difficulty: Moderate


5. Bozen Kill Preserve | Treasure Hunt Hike | Altamont

This self-guided hike is great for kids of all ages!  Pick up your Bozen Kill Treasure Map at the kiosk and head off to explore the Conservancy’s Bozen Kill Preserve at your own pace. From 10 am to 12 pm interact with Preserve Docents who will impart preserve “treasures” to you while you complete the activities listed on your treasure map.  Complete the map and return to the kiosk to receive your prize.

Starting time: 10 am

Starting point: Westfall Road, Altamont

Distance: 1.5 miles

Difficulty: Easy


6. Huyck Preserve | Wildlife Hike | Rensselaerville

This MHLC Partner is located in the scenic hamlet of Rensselaerville, NY and has been connecting people to nature for more than 80 years.  Enjoy a guided wildlife hike on a portion of the 12 miles of trails which ramble through 2000 acres of forest, field, and wetlands, and past the Rensselaerville Falls, which cascade over 120 feet. After your hike, stay for the afternoon and enjoy Lake Myosotis which is open to the public for kayaking and canoeing as well as fishing.

Starting time: 10 am

Starting point: 5052 Delaware Turnpike, Rensselaerville

Distance: 2 miles

Difficulty: Easy


7. Keleher Preserve | Mountain Biking | Voorheesville

NEW!  Join mountain bikers from across the Capital Region to explore the Conservancy’s first preserve to open to mountain biking. The varied terrain, perfect for all riders, offers something for everyone.  From 10 am until 11 am advanced bikers can enjoy the loop at a faster pace.  Casual bikers will be welcomed at 11 am.

Starting time: Advanced bikers at 10 am; Casual bikers at 11 am

Starting point: Gulf Hill Road, Voorheesville

Distance: 4 miles of trails

Difficulty: Moderate


8. Normans Kill West Preserve | Family Wilderness Crafts | Delmar

In our modern world we often forget the abundance nature provides. Join Dave Muska of Ondatra Adventures for a family friendly workshop in Wilderness Crafts at the Normanskill West Preserve in Delmar, NY.  In this class you will make a small melon basket from local and wild-harvested vines, learn the art of making cordage from natural fibers, and how to make stone necklaces.  Be prepared to hear some stories, learn natural history, and have fun with your family outdoors!

Starting time: 10 am– 1 pm

Starting point: Normanskill Boulevard, Delmar

Distance: 1 mile round trip

Difficulty: Easy


9. Strawberry Fields Nature Preserve | Yoga | Amsterdam

Yoga lovers can find inner peace in the great outdoors with this free yoga class at our new Strawberry Fields Nature Preserve.  Prepare yourself for breathing deeply in a beautiful natural space with this class led by Schenectady’s Studio 4 Hot Yoga & Pilates.  After your class, enjoy a guided walk through the trails and explore the sinkhole and its disappearing brook, the sugar bush, and the north side of the preserve while learning about geology, storm water, erosion, and maple syrup production. Pack a mat, grab the sunscreen, and we’ll see you on the grass!

Starting time: 10 am yoga class, 11 am guided walk

Starting point: 240 Cranes Hollow Rd., Amsterdam, NY

Distance: Approx. 1.5 miles round trip

Difficulty: Easy


10. Swift Preserve | Amphibians Hike | Delmar

This hike is great for children and is a wetland, so waterproof footwear is suggested. The guide will talk about the indigenous animals that make this site their home. 

Starting time: 1:30 pm

Starting point: The end of Evelyn Drive, Delmar

Distance: 1 mile round trip

Difficulty: Easy


11. Van Dyke Preserve | Plein Air Painting Workshop | Delmar

This Watercolor Plein Air Painting Workshop with art educator Kevin Kuhne takes place along the Phillipin Kill stream. This session will include a short hike, demonstration, and individual sketching and watercolor with individual instruction and critique.  Any level of experience is welcome, but some basic, previous use of watercolor is needed.  The workshop will focus on design and composition in a woodland interior, making a value plan in your sketchbook, basic watercolor techniques, and executing one or two small watercolor sketches. This four-hour workshop will include a 30 minute break for lunch.  Participants will be required to supply and carry their own folding chair or stool, backpack, portable easel, painting supplies, and a bag lunch.  A more formal supply list will be emailed upon registration.  Limited to 10 participants.

Starting time: 10 am– 2 pm

Starting point:  Van Dyke Road, Delmar

Distance: 1 mile round trip

Difficulty: Easy



Thank you to our 2017 Hike-a-Thon Sponsors:




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