Town of Colonie
Just over one mile of trails through fields, forests, and along Shaker Creek
The Fox Preserve is 70 acres of protected land in Colonie. This 70-acre property was donated to the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy by Dr. Patricia Fox in 2015. Dr. Fox owned the property for over 30 years, and it is one of the last remaining areas of open space in this area of the Town of Colonie. Through her generous donation, this Preserve is being opened to the public on October 21st, 2017. The public is invited to join MHLC for the free grand opening celebration, and guests can RSVP online.
Learn more about the October 21st Grand Opening of Fox Preserve on the MHLC blog.
From Albany, take I-87 N to exit 6. Take NY-7 W toward Schenectady. Continue on NY-7 W for 1.9 miles. Turn right onto Buhrmaster Road. Continue for .5 miles, and turn right onto River Road. The parking lot will be on the right after .5 miles.
Habitats and Trails
The Fox Preserve’s trail system winds through diverse habitats. The trail passes Shaker Creek, where oxygen-rich waters create hatching grounds for dragonflies and damselflies). Old oak trees provide habitat for migratory birds like the Baltimore oriole, and open fields create ideal nesting areas for eastern bluebirds, the state bird of New York.
The Preserve is a wonderful stop for visitors from the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail to walk the trails, enjoy river views, and perhaps catch a glimpse of the bald eagles who frequent the Mohawk River to hunt.
It was the Mohawk people who first farmed this land, planting crops along the fertile flood plains and naming the area “Canastagione”, which roughly translates to “where corn is grown”. Over time, this word was mispronounced by European settlers and became “Niskayuna”.
The Shakers, a religious group fleeing persecution in England, came to the open flats of the Mohawk River in the 1700s. Over the next century, the Shakers began to plant broomcorn (Sorgum vulgare) along the banks of the Mohawk. Broomcorn, a coarse, annual grass known for its straight, smooth, and pliable fibers, was harvested and stitched into Shaker brooms, an important trade good. This is how Shaker Creek, which flows along the western edge of the Preserve, earned its name.
This valuable piece of land continued to be farmed under multiple landowners until it was purchased in 1983 by Dr. Fox.