Top 7 places to hike in Albany Ny

Live in Albany and tired of the city life?  The Capital Region of New York is home to some beautiful places to hike.  There is no need to drive to Massachusetts or Vermont to enjoy the great outdoors.  

Albany Pine Bush

The Albany Pine Bush is an easy loop hike, located near Washington Ave.  It has a mostly flat trail, and easy to traverse hills.  It takes about 2 hours to complete, with a 4.5 mile round trip hike.  There are multiple trails to take that are clearly outlined with colored disks, and maps are available at the trail-head.  It is best known as the habitat for the endangered Karner blue butterfly.  

Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail

The Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail is a 39 mile long trail that goes through Albany, with accesses off of Broadway near Quay Street and at the Corning Riverfront Preserve.  It is maintained by the non-profit, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.  Dogs on leash, as well as bicycles, are welcome on the trail.  The trail goes through multiple towns along former railroad lines.  The settings vary from wooded to waterfront along the Erie Canal, and suburban to city along its path.  The area near Fort Hunter sustained damage during Hurricane Irene, but the remainder of the trail remains open.  

Peebles Island State Park (Waterford)

The Peebles Island State Park is located at juncture of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers.  It has numerous hiking and cross-country skiing trails within its 191 acres.  It is on the National Register of Historic Places due to the Revolutionary War era and Native American artifacts viewable in the park.  Hikers can view wildlife in nature, waterways, historical artifacts, and urbanization across the riverbanks from the trails.  Snow-shoes and cross-country skis are welcome when there is snow cover.

Five Rivers Environmental Center North Loop Trail

The North Loop Trail at the Five Rivers Environmental Center is a 2.1 mile loop, with an easy grade.  It is open from April until October.  Maps are available at the visitors centers.  The trail is well maintained.  It goes through wooded areas, meadows, and wetlands, giving an awesome opportunity to see wildlife in the city.  

Grafton Lakes State Park’s Long Pond Trail

The Long Pond Trail at Grafton Lakes is a 2.6 mile loop, with a moderate grade.  It takes about 1 to 2 hours to hike.  Trail access is available form April through October.  Along the trail are woods, fields, and the Grafton Lakes.  It is best known for its fishing spots, but is a beautiful trail for the hiker, too.  It is a little more demanding than most of the other trails available in the region, and has sections with large rocks and boulders that must be maneuvered over or around.  

John Boyd Thacher State Park’s Indian Ladder Trail

The Indian Ladder Trail is one of the more breath taking trails available in Albany, and located off of State Route 157.  It is a 1.6 mile loop, and has an easy terrain to traverse.  The trail provides access to limestone formations, waterfalls, and beautiful flora and fauna.  

Wilkinson Recreation Trail (Saratoga)

The Wilkinson Hiking Trail is part of the Saratoga National Historic Park service.  It’s a 4.8 mile loop that traces the path the British marched through during the Revolutionary War.  There are historical markers and interpretive boards to allow the hiker to experience the history of the site in addition to the stunning wooded areas and fields the trail crosses through.  The hike is considered a little more challenging due to the moderate elevation gain of 150 feet and it’s length.  The trail can be accessed from April through November.

Strap on your hiking boots, and take a look around Albany’s backyard.  Visit one these seven locations for a great afternoon communing with nature along the hiking trail in Albany.