We will be hiking or snowshoeing depending on weather conditions.
The trails we will be following are Abbt Farm Trail to Long Trail. Once on Long trail we will pass Grandfather Rock and the Rock Garden while meandering through a beautiful conifer forest. We will then take the Old Road Trail and join up again with the Long Trail where the forest will change to hardwoods. We will follow the Long Trail to the junction of Mary McFalls Trail and complete this trail. We will then walk back Dyken Pond Road to the parking area.
We will be hiking / snowshoeing approximately 3.5 miles. There is an elevation gain on the Long Trail until we get to Grandfather Rock, then there are minor elevation changes to the end.
Bring a lunch as we will be stopping at the Rock Garden for lunch. Don't forget plenty of water and snacks. Dress appropriately.
If using a GPS, please know that sometimes it will take you to the Berlin side of Dyken Pond. Use the Cropseyville side. Take Route 2 to Blue Factory Road. There are signs directing you to Dyken Pond. All roads once you leave Route 2 are either county roads or dirt town roads.
Link to their webpage: http://dykenpond.org/
Dyken Pond is the principal headwaters of the Poesten Kill, and the largest lake on the Rensselaer Plateau. Its historic dam was built in 1902 by Manning Paper Company and regulated the stream flow powering machinery along the Poesten Kill to Troy.
Manning Paper Company donated its land holdings to Rensselaer County in 1973. Since that time, Rensselaer County has owned and operated this living watershed as an ecological teaching unit as well as a low-use recreation area. As of 2011, there are a total of 594 acres of property at Dyken Pond open to public access. Of this total, Rensselaer County owns 228 acres of land and 180 acres of surface water. The remaining 226 acres of property is conservation land, allowing public use through conservation easements and is used by the Center for trails and educational programs. Of this conservation land, 86 acres is in private ownership and 140 acres is owned by the Friends of the Dyken Pond Center. Tax liability is maintained on all conservation land. Rensselaer County also owns the Dyken Pond dam. The Center coordinates with the Rensselaer County Highway Department for maintenance of the dam. Rehabilitation of the dam using environmental bond act funds was completed in 2003.
Thirty-three ecological communities are found on the property, ranging from beech-maple forests to spruce-fir swamps and vernal pools. This variety offers visitors an exciting blend of places to explore and enjoy.
If you need to contact Dyken Pond Environmental Center the phone # is 658-2055.
Minimum age is 8 (8-15 yrs must have a participating adult with them, 16-17 yrs must have a parent/guardian sign participant agreement but do not need to attend)
•please be dressed for the weather, we will go rain/snow or shine
•Dress in layers
•wear appropriate hiking/snowshoeing footwear
•please bring water, snacks and any personal medicines you may need as well as sunscreen (yes, even in the winter), rain gear, day pack.
•camera and/or binoculars if you have them
I will update you on the conditions as it gets closer.
If you have trouble finding us, my cell is[masked], feel free to call or text. There is good cell phone service in this area. Look for my red Jeep Grand Cherokee!