Coldbrook Preserve, Saratoga Hike

Are you a turtle lover? Who can resist the allure of these magical creatures, ancient and dinosaur like? Who doesn’t want a shell to hide in every once in a while? They’re so lovable, so relatable. Everyone seems to have a great turtle story. One of my friends used to find them and keep them in the bathtub for a while as a kid, until his parents made him bring them back to the woods. Another states that the turtle is her spirit animal. One even got chased by a huge snapping turtle. My old college roomie brought two of the little guys to stay with us for the winter and released them into the Washington Park lake in spring.

A few years ago I was driving on SUNY Albany campus near Indian Lake and a turtle was in the middle of the road. I got out of the car to put her on the grass, but before I got there she peed all over me! A biology professor happened to be right behind me, who got out of his car to tell me that she was pregnant and that was her defense mechanism! Worth it to help out the majestic being, just lucky I had some extra shorts in my car. PS, if you plan on moving a turtle out of the road – make sure you move it to the side of the road the turtle was facing! Road crossing is one of the biggest threats that turtles face.

My favorite munchkin that I babysit for dragged me to her pond just a few days ago and showed me the baby turtles she discovered this spring!

turtleThe turtles are out, and they are amazing. Do you have a turtle story? My friends and I aren’t alone. Our whole society seems to love these endearing reptiles. Think back to all of the childhood turtles you can remember…Ninja Turtles, the tortoise and the hare, Squirt from finding Nemo, Squirtle from Pokemon, and Franklin from…Franklin! If you don’t have your own turtle story, or you want a new one, you may consider visiting Coldbrook Preserve [Homestead Road, Northumberland, New York]. Just a few minutes outside of Saratoga Springs you’ll find a little preserve entrance with, you guessed it! A turtle on it.

coldbrook_preserve_saratoga_planThe preserve has just under two miles of hiking trails and is home to the threatened Blanding’s Turtle. I visited during winter when the turtles were slumbering beneath the water, but the trails were beautiful regardless. It is a lollipop hike. Begin walking a narrow path between two pieces of private property, then loop through the woods, and return the way you came.

coldbrook_preserve_northumberlandFollow the well marked trails over bridges and beside brooks.


In the woods even on a dreary day you’ll hear birds chirping and see some lovely details.

coldbrook_preserve_saratogaRight now it is turtle mating season, so keep your eyes peeled and report back if you’ve made any sightings! Maybe I’ll see you there in search of the turtle.

Take a walk with a turtle. And behold the world in pause. -Bruce Feiler

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