DELMAR — The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy is inviting the public to a Summer Hike-a-thon on Saturday, July 20. This day-long celebration allows each participant to design their own ideal summer day with free activities throughout the morning and into the afternoon with an emphasis on hiking and outdoor fun.
The Summer Hike-a-thon provides unique, guided opportunities to learn more about the preserved lands of our region: frequent users of these trails will get insider information about their favorite spots from MHLC staff and volunteers, and those visiting the preserves for the first time will discover new hiking spots across the Capital Region.
“Our annual Summer Hike-a-thon is an open invitation to our community to get outside and enjoy the beautiful land that surrounds us. The eight locations which we have chosen represent a sampling of our 18 public preserves covering 2,500 acres that are located across the Capital Region,” said MHLC Executive Director, Mark King in a press release. “Last year, these preserves hosted over 15,000 visitors, with many people returning again and again for a rewarding nature experience. We are particularly excited this year to offer two special tours—Wolf Hollow/Hoffman’s Fault in West Glenville and the Heldeberg Workshop in New Scotland—as these private lands are not normally open to the public. Whether you choose a full day of activities, or one outdoor adventure, we hope to see you at the Summer Hike-a-thon.”
Beginning at 10 a.m., MHLC offers a menu of free family-friendly outdoor adventures across the Capital Region. These offerings celebrate the unique features and beautiful landscapes which characterize our region and include a menu from which to choose, inviting all ages and abilities to engage in hiking, biking, guided tours, workshops, educational sessions, and more. Free activities include a plein air painting workshop, mountain biking, a Fun Ride on the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail, geology, botany, and history hikes, and more.
All Summer Hike-a-thon outings are free although donations are welcome; however, spaces are limited. To learn more and to register for an outdoor adventure, visit www.mohawkhudson.org.
Online registrations have been extended through Thursday, July 18, but there will also be a registration table at the MHLC office at 425 Kenwood Ave. in Delmar at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 20 for the public.
Summer Hike-a-thon: Free Nature Outings
The Summer Hike-a-thon offerings available this year range from easy to moderate. Design your own day of outdoor adventure from this menu of family-friendly and free guided outings:
- Wolf Hollow | Geology, Flora, and History Hike | West Glenville
One of the most significant spots in the Capital Region for geology, flora, and history, Wolf Hollow at Hoffman’s Fault has been closed to the public for nearly a decade, except by special permission of the county. Join MHLC and partner, ECOS, for a walk through the hollow and along the Chaughtanooda Kill, with specialists to explain the dramatic landscape and contrasting ecosystems, describe the hollow’s place in Native American history, and provide an update on efforts to open the hollow to the public year round.
- Heldeberg Workshop | Botany and Amphibians | New Scotland
Enjoy a family-friendly guided hike at the Heldeberg Workshop in the Town of New Scotland. This exclusive hike on private property will explore the beauty of the Conservancy’s Helderberg Conservation Corridor. Enjoy unique, scenic views of the Helderberg Escarpment from below and there may be sightings of red efts or other amphibians. Waterproof hiking boots, galoshes or knee boots are recommended if you want to actively participate in search for salamanders and frogs, but are not necessary.
- Bozen Kill Preserve | What plant is that? How to identify our local flora | Altamont
Ever want to know how to identify our local flowers and trees? Come on a Botany hike at the Bozenkill Preserve to learn about plant identification resources (books and online) and how to use them. Have your own identification guide? Bring it along and we can discuss how to use it. Or you may borrow one of our identification guides. We will identify, step by step, plants we find along the hike.
- 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 2,000 acres of forest, field, and wetlands, and past the Rensselaerville Falls, which cascade over 120 feet. The hike will conclude with a visit with some of the preserve’s educational animals. 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.
- Keleher Preserve | Mountain Biking | Voorheesville
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 a.m. until 11 a.m. advanced bikers can enjoy the loop at a faster pace. Casual bikers will be welcomed at 11 a.m.
- Indian Ladder Farms | History Walk | Altamont
Explore the origins of Indian Ladder Farms. Founded in 1916 by Peter G. Ten Eyck, the grandfather of the current owner, Indian Ladder Farms began with the purchase of the Andrew Smith farm; this original farm house is located at the far end of the current parking lot. The original Smith barns across the street from Indian Ladder Farms have since been converted to a house. Over the years, as the farm began to grow, additional adjoining farms were purchased and the land was united to create Indian Ladder Farms. This tour will educate participants on the fascinating history of the farm while exploring its buildings and nature trails.
- 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.
- Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail | Fun Ride (accessible) | Delmar
The Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail is 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).
For more information, visit www.mohawkhudson.org.