Current Trail Conditions and Notable Finds on Your Favorite MHLC Preserves
Before you set out on the trails, check this page for the latest news regarding the conditions at MHLC preserves, as well as trail highlights, hiking tips, and local wildlife notes and sightings! If you’re a regular visitor, we recommend bookmarking this page.
If you have a trail update to report, or would like to volunteer to help make these improvements happen, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Trail Condition: Week of February 3, 2020
Hello Trail Conditions readers and receivers! I hope all is treating you well. The days are already getting longer, and the MHLC staff has been gearing up with plans for another year! Be on the lookout on our Events and Volunteer Calendars for upcoming excitement. For both those looking for warmer pastures and those hoping for snow on the horizon, there’s plenty to do out in the Capital Region now and in this coming year.
Similar to the January trail condition update, be sure to watch your step (and watch the weather) out on the trails as conditions can be variable. Although neighborhoods and roads may be clear and dry, trails can still have snow, ice, and muddy conditions! From mud and slush to frozen stuff, be prepared with appropriate clothing, boots, and other equipment when venturing outside. Contact me at email@example.com with any blowdowns, trail conditions, or other updates!
We’ve had a few folks asking for recommendations on preserves to do winter sports like skiing and snowshoeing. If you didn’t see it already, I would point you to Bob Frederick’s recent and excellent blog post on winter activity on the MHLC Preserves. It is a clear and informative read on skiing out on our lands. Thanks, Bob!!
Lastly, be on the lookout for one of my favorite trees, the Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) while you are out! They are truly New York’s tree and a huge part of the character of the state’s forests. If you are interested in helping the fight against the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, the invasive species threating the Eastern Hemlock and our woodlands, brush up on some biology and the New York State programs to help monitor its spread here: https://mohawkhudson.org/invasive-hwa/. If you have any sightings of HWA on MHLC lands or other questions on invasives, monitoring, and citizen science initiatives, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Current Trail Condition: Week of January 6, 2020
Happy New Year MHLC constituents, trail users, and Current Trail Conditions readers! Many of us have resolutions, fresh starts, and plenty of goals on our minds – we hope that you will consider the use of our trails, the work towards local conservation, and generally being excellent to one another as a part of your life as we start this decade! There are some fair temperatures and excellent rewards for those choosing to step outside. Be sure to watch out for animal sightings and tracks as well as expansive views, and we’ll keep you posted on upcoming MHLC winter events!
Preserve conditions are variable and dependent on the weather. Staff and volunteers out at the preserves have noted snow and ice remains on some trails (such as Winn, Wolf Creek, and Keleher) despite others being clear just a few miles nearby (Bethlehem area preserves such as Van Dyke, Swift, and Schiffendecker)!
Be aware of snow and icy conditions as they persist, and without snow, many trails will still have mud! Please be prepared for slippery, wet, and other challenging conditions – watch steps and walk carefully along bridges, bog boards, and inclines! Be prepared for heading outdoors this winter by wearing warm, moisture-wicking layers and good waterproof boots, using hiking poles and gentle crampons (such as yaktraks or other over-the-shoe traction equipment), and staying hydrated. With large fluctuations in the weather, conditions can change significantly from day to day, check the current trail conditions before heading out. When you arrive at the preserve, be sure to check-in at kiosks and utilize maps– don’t forget to download the MHLC Map App!
If you see any issues on the trails from these dynamic days (downed trees, and especially plowing of parking lots when it snows), please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Current Trail Condition: Week of December 9, 2019
The Capital Region has been thoroughly welcomed into winter with record snowfalls nearing two feet in just two days! Whether you are out enjoying the snow or inside staying warm and dry, we hope you all are safe and happy.
Everyone is busy shoveling and plowing, but access to our Preserves is currently limited. We are hopeful in the next few days to get the parking lots cleared for weekend access. Preserves that are currently accessible include Ashford Glen, Fox, Holt (Winter Entrance), Normans Kill East and West, Wolf Creek Falls, and Phillipin Kill Preserves. Strawberry Fields Nature Preserve’s parking lot and driveway are clear, and the trails are scheduled to be groomed in the coming days.
Winter is an excellent time to venture out on the snow, taking in great views of the Capital Region and beautiful still scenes in field and forest while staying active! Be sure to familiarize yourself with the preserve and safe practices before venturing out. Check out Keleher Preserve Steward Bob Frederick’s blog post on cross-country skiing the Preserves.
Hardy skiers and snowshoers are welcome to come break trail! We will share updates on our site to give everyone access to winter sports. As we get a handle on snow conditions at each of our 18 Preserves, please email Kent (email@example.com) with any information on plowed parking areas or trail conditions.
Current Trail Condition: Week of November 4, 2019
Autumn foliage has burned bright and fallen, and the spooky winds of Halloween have swept the leaves on the trail. Now is arguably one of the best times to enjoy our preserves – with leaves off the trees revealing great views and cool weather conditions for recreating.
While you are out enjoying the preserves, please be wary as leaves on the trail can hide stumps, divots, and other trip-hazards, and can be incredibly slippery when wet. Additionally, it is always a good idea to let people know when you are going out, check trail markers, and recreate out in daylight hours to avoid getting lost or encountering potential hunters.
Just as a reminder from last month’s trail update, most MHLC Preserves do not allow hunting, though some preserves have existing hunting rights from previous ownership; MHLC has provided orange vests at the kiosks of these preserves for visitors. We recommend hikers in any natural areas to wear blaze orange or pink as a precaution through the month of December. Should you have any concerns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, ticks are currently finishing their fall feeding! Ticks are most active roughly twice a year, and this time of year they are trying to get in one last meal before the big freeze. Be sure to regularly check yourself for ticks. Trails are in fair condition with minimal wet and muddy areas, so stay on the trail to avoid brushy, shaded areas that ticks favor.