Saratoga Monument and Victory Woods

One of the most memorable hikes I took this summer was a simple stroll through Victory Woods behind the Saratoga Monument [Intersection of Broad Street and Burgoyne Road, Schuylerville – head west on Burgoyne and park in the lot, you can’t miss the monument].

saratoga monumentStarting at the monument, which if you visit at the right time you can climb to the top of, head through the open field alongside the cemetery. After a few minutes you will reach an entrance to the woods. Well maintained boardwalks and compacted gravel paths will bring you to a 1.5 out and back trail.

saratoga monument 2Along the way you will see informational panels about the battle which took place on the now peaceful land you are treading.

saratoga monument 3During my visit wildlife was abundant, I saw many interesting bugs and beautiful flowers.

saratoga monument 9saratoga monument 8saratoga monument 7Upon reaching a swampy area I heard the familiar jungle-like call of the wonky and wondrous pileated woodpecker.

saratoga monument 10I was shocked and awed to find four of the huge birds feeding and making tons of noise! After viewing their routine for quite some time, I turned to walk away and continue on with my hike. Barely a moment later I peered back at where I once stood because I heard the slightest noise, I thought maybe it was a deer stepping on a leaf and then BOOM! A tree smacked and crashed into the boardwalk planks whipping wires along with it, right where I was standing.

saratoga monument 6It was an eerie sight of destruction, and a very close call on my end. And if a tree falls in the forest, it really doesn’t make a sound until it hits the ground. Mildly shaken I continued on my walk enjoying the once more peaceful woods, pristine, quiet, and beautiful. Reaching the turn around point and returning back out to the field to head to the parking lot, there was a big bush which had blackberries. I foraged a few all of the sudden a brazen red fox appeared to watch me, as I watched it.

saratoga monument 12What a truly majestic creature with a perfect shiny coat and the cutest inquisitive face, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Just a little walk in the woods revealed a world of wild sights!

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