Current Trail Conditions

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 volunteer@mohawkhudson.org.

Current Trail Conditions: April 2019

Swift Preserve

In our area, mud season occurs from mid-March until mid-May. As the ground thaws from the top down, snow and ice melt on the surface while the layers below are still frozen and impermeable – thus mud, and lot of it. In order to protect the fragile soil tread of our trails, it is always our goal to have hikers minimize their impact during mud season. If you are hiking this spring, it is incredibly important that you walk through mud instead of around it to prevent trail erosion and the expansion of muddy areas. Muddy boots are a symbol of pride! We at MHLC encourage you to wear them proudly.

Preserves with clay soils and steep slopes like Bennett Hill, Van Dyke, Bozen Kill, and Normans Kill West will be slicker, muddier, and more challenging during this season. Shadier preserves like Keleher, Ashford Glen, and Holt, or trails with harder surfaces like the Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail are a great alternative. 

Recent high winds have created widow makers (hanging, detached tree limbs) and blowdown, please use caution, look up and around, and report blowdown to volunteer@mohawkhudson.org

Current Trail Conditions: March 2019

Winter hiking at Wolf Creek Falls Preserve

At MHLC preserves in lower elevations, bare ground and patchy snow will be present, while ice and snow still remains in the hills. If you are traveling to preserves in the Helderbergs (Winn, Wolf Creek Falls, or Keleher) or Hoffmans Fault (Strawberry Fields Nature Preserve), dress for colder temperatures, more ice, and possible challenging snow pack. Bring snowshoes and hiking boots, then determine on-site which is more appropriate. If there are cross country ski trails already broken, please do not walk on them, but create a walking or snow shoeing path off to the side.

Volunteers, town highway departments, and generous businesses assist with snow removal at preserve parking areas. Please be patient after storms as these individuals donate their time to keep our lots open and delays in plowing may occur as a result. To see a complete list of plowed and accessible parking areas this winter, please scroll down and read the January 2019 Current Trail Conditions, which is still up-to-date. Don’t forget to drive via our winter entrance routes.

Recent high winds have created widow makers (hanging, detached tree limbs) and blowdown, please use caution, look up and around, and report blowdown to volunteer@mohawkhudson.org

Always sign in at a preserve and carry a map if you are not well-versed in the trails. Trail maps can be found in the registration box at each preserve.

 

Current Trail Conditions: January 2019

Don’t forget to sign in when you visit our preserves!

Winter is here early in the Capital Region! While many of our preserves in lower elevations have returned to fall conditions, preserves in the hilltowns are still blanketed under snow.

This winter, as many MHLC preserve parking areas will be plowed as possible. However, plowers are often volunteers or local companies willing to donate their services, and may not be able to get out to preserves immediately after a storm.

The following preserves will have regularly-plowed winter access. More preserves will be added to this list as our plowing efforts continue to expand, so keep checking back throughout the season!

Ashford Glen Preserve: Parking is available along Ashford Lane.

Bennett Hill Preserve: The parking area on Bennett Hill Road will be plowed.

Bozen Kill Preserve: The parking area on Westfall Road will be plowed.

Fox Preserve: The parking area on 4220 River Road will be plowed.

Holt Preserve: Use the winter entrance route: Use the parking area at the end of Lower Copeland Hill Road, off Copeland Hill Road to access the entire Holt Preserve by walking the trails or the old road section to the Upper Hold area.

Keleher Preserve: Use the winter entrance route by following these directions: From Albany, take Delaware Avenue (Rt. 443) west through Clarksville. Make a left onto Cass Hill Road. Continue approximately 2.7 miles to Gulf Hill Road. Turn right on Gulf Hill road. This is a dirt road. (While it says seasonal use, it is open up to the Preserve.) At the fork (about a mile) keep left. Preserve parking area will be on the right after approximately 1/2 mile. A truck or four-wheel drive is recommended.

Normans Kill East and West Preserves: Several spaces in the Novus Engineering parking area and Normans Kill Boulevard parking area are available.

Phillipin Kill Preserve: Two spaces are available in the Mansions parking area closest to the preserve entrance.

Restifo Preserve: Parking is available along Maple Avenue Extension.

Strawberry Fields Nature Preserve: The drive up to the preserve from Cranes Hollow Road will be plowed after snowfall, in addition to the parking area above when necessary. The drive is steep and four wheel drive and snow tires are recommended. Parking is also available at the bottom of the drive so long as the road access is kept open. 

Swift Wetland: Parking is available at the end of Evelyn Drive.

Winn Preserve: The parking lot on Street Road is being plowed by the Town of Knox.

Wolf Creek Falls Preserve: The parking lot on Bozenkill Road is being plowed by the Town of Knox.

 

Current Trail Conditions: October 2018

Try an autumn hike at Keleher Preserve!

Bozen Kill Preserve: This year’s portion of the field restoration is almost complete. The bare ground where hedges have been removed was seeded with native wildflower mix. Please stay out of this section and walk only on the trail in order to these seeds to overwinter and germinate come spring.  

Keleher Preserve: Hikers, mountain bikers, and horses all share this mixed-use trail system.

Here’s what REI has to say about trail etiquette: “Since mountain bikes are considered more maneuverable than hikers’ legs, bikers are generally expected to yield to hikers on the trail. However, because those mountain bikes are often moving considerably faster than said legs, it’s usually easier for hikers to yield the right of way—especially if a mountain biker is huffing and puffing up a tough incline.”

As for hikers and horses: “If you’re sharing the trail with equestrians, give them as wide a berth as possible and make sure not to make abrupt movements as they pass and talk calmly when approaching to avoid startling the animal.”

As for hikers, those going uphill have the right-of way.

Please remember, mountain biking and horses are not permitted at any other Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy Preserve. The Keleher Preserve is MHLC’s largest preserve and provides a great opportunity for a different kind of outdoor experience.

Mosher Marsh: The bog bridges after the long boardwalk stretch are slippery and may be submerged due to beaver activity and recent rainfall. Wear your muck boots if continuing on after this point.

 

Current Trail Conditions: August 2018

Buckthorn removal at the Bozen Kill

Bozen Kill Preserve: Restoration efforts are in progress at the Bozen Kill field. The hedgerow’s invasive buckthorn has been cut and piled in the field. Come late fall, this pile will be burned. Native seed has been spread in the bare patches left behind: please avoid walking through this section to allow seeds to germinate. On September 28th, volunteers will spread local meadow seed to continue restoring this landscape. Be advised that poison ivy is present throughout this field. 

Wolf Creek Falls Preserve: The trail markings at Wolf Creek Falls have been updated to incorporate plastic discs to better facilitate navigation in this preserve. Please consult the new trail map before heading out on your hike.

Strawberry Fields Nature Preserve: Cardinal flowers are still blooming around the bridge along the disappearing brook. In the fields, wet places have lots of Joe-Pye weed and boneset. The goldenrods are starting to bloom; there are eight different varieties on the preserve, all visible from the trail. In a month we will see fringed gentian! And lots of asters (also eight different kinds).

Normans Kill West: Trail steps and railing replacements took place this month. The old trail steps that were replaced have been moved to one side of the trail. These will be carted out on sleds during the winter months for easier transport. 

Schoharie Creek Preserve: A wasp nest was found on the southern portion of the blue trail. Please be aware when hiking this trail as we work to remove it.

Mosher Marsh: The bog bridges after the long boardwalk stretch are slippery and may be submerged due to beaver activity and recent rainfall. Wear your muck boots if continuing on after this point.

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