Always looking for a new place to explore, my radius has increased tenfold. It isn’t so often I discover a new space right in my backyard. Mohawk River State Park [The end of Whitmyer Rd, Niskayuna NY] is secreted away on a quiet back road in a residential area. I drove down to the end of the block to see a wastewater treatment plant with a locked gate in front of me, with my stubborn tunnel vision I almost missed the trailhead. It sits just to the right of the plant, and there is a gravel parking lot just to the left.
The trailhead looks like it was decorated by some forest nymphs. The flowers don’t stop there, in early fall the place was coated with them! Purple aster, goldenrod, spotted touch me nots galore.
Make sure to look at the map carefully. There are many different routes and loops. If you’re looking for a longer path, follow the orange arrows on a 7.5 mile loop.
The loop starts and finishes at any trailhead, there are multiple access points in this park. One is near Lock 7, another is from the nearby bike path. The environment is constantly changing, uphill to a forested zone, downhill to a stream, through grassy knolls, it keeps things interesting.
Some of the trees are even labeled in an arboretum fashion.
You never know what treasure you will uncover in this maze of pathways.
Some places seem to be a bit overgrown, but others are perfectly maintained. It’s certainly a hidden gem, a bit rugged, and a whole lot of fun if you have a sense of adventure.