The Crooked Canes Journal


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Thacher Park hike ~ Nov 9, 2013

Journal entry by Fran Herve



Some of us had not visited Thacher Park in many years and to avoid rush hour traffic on the Northway we decided to take the trip on a Saturday. Although we had maps we were looking for a guide and luckily, Katie who had led trips there for other groups agreed to take us. The traffic was light and we arrived at the Hop Field picnic area quicker than expected. Eight of us met and we quickly made our car spotting plans. We started by walking on the red trail (also known as the Fred Schroeder trail in memory of Fred Schroeder who made a very generous donation towards the park nature center). We continued on the Long Path trail followed by the Hang Glider trail. We only explored a small part of this 1800 acre park but we walked through open fields, shrubby areas, a mixed hardwood forest, rock strewn trails and slopes and along limestone cliffs. As we discovered stone walls we imagined farming in this area and looked for foundations but did not notice any. Just in time for lunch we found a very convenient picnic area with picnic tables. However the temperature was chilly so we did not linger. We continued on the Escarpment Trail were we identified Albany landmarks and admired the panorama of the Hudson-Mohawk valleys and the Adirondacks and Green Mountains. We were delighted to discover that the Indian Ladder trail was still open (it closes on November 16th), stepped down to the Indian Ladder Platform, proceeded carefully to the majestic waterfalls and continued past caves. We learned along the way that native American trails from the Mohawk and Hudson valleys traversed the escarpment leading to settlements in the Schoharie Valley while the secluded caves under the precipitous cliffs provided refuge for loyalists during the revolution. This hike was also a delight for the botanists. Along the Escarpment Trail hickory nuts were so abundant that after cracking a few and sampling them some of us could not resist stealing from the wildlife. Thanks to the botanists in the group we were able to identify the hop hornbeam and the seed pods. After taking many photos we rejoined the Escarpment Trail and soon found ourselves at the final lookout. We had traveled about 5 miles and Linda said that Thacher Park was definitely on her list of favorite hikes (nothing too steep or dangerous). We all decided that we will come back. There are many trails that would be ideal for snowshoeing and X-C skiing and spring flowers are plentiful. Another plus is that some of the restrooms are open all year around and heated! Thank you Katie for making this such an excellent outing and thank you Peter, Linda, Lynn, Denis, Shelly and her friend Larry for joining me.

11/13/13 - Wanderer . added 19 photos.

19 photos



Leftover Pieces from Stonehenge - added by Wanderer



Off We Go - added by Wanderer



Wasp Nest - added by Wanderer



One of Many Stone Walls - added by Wanderer



Lunch On the Edge - added by Wanderer



Lunchspot View (Escarpment Trail) - added by Wanderer



Behind Our Picnic table - Don't Lean Back! - added by Wanderer



Stopping For a View - added by Wanderer



and Not a Bad View At That! - added by Wanderer



Fence Along the Trail - added by Wanderer



Overhanging Rock - added by Wanderer



Along the Indian Ladder Trail - added by Wanderer



Last Bloom - added by Wanderer



Holding On - added by Wanderer



Above the Trail - added by Wanderer



Checkin Out the Shelter - added by Wanderer



Protected Mini-Ecosystem - added by Wanderer



Looking Back 1 - added by Wanderer



Looking Back 2 - added by Wanderer



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