|Albany Pine Bush Preserve
New Karner Rd
Albany, NY 12205
A natural treasure lies hemmed in by sprawl in the middle of suburbia.
The Pine Bush Preserve is a rare pine barren ecosystem that features
sandy soils, dunes and very small trees, including pitch pine, scrub oak
and dwarf willow. It's also a haven for songbirds and home to endangered
insects, grasses and amphibians. It's a great place to stroll, watch
birds, meditate and reflect. It's also a cause celebre for
environmentalists who have been working for decades to save it from
being transformed into parking lots, trash dumps and office parks. At
any given time, Save the Pine Bush is locked in battles with developers
who could care less about erasing irreplaceable things from the face of
the earth. The Pine Bush is located in three municipalities -- Albany,
Guilderland and Colonie. The boundaries are Fuller Road on the east,
Route 5 (Central Avenue) on the North, Route 146 on the west, and Route
20 (Western Avenue) on the South. The Pine Bush originally encompassed
25,600 acres (40 square miles). Now, there are only 2,000 to 3,000 acres
remaining. It's worth a visit. And if you'd like to hook up with Save
the Pine Bush, an organization with thousands of members and monthly
dinners, check out savethepinebush.org. --Ted Bluestein Bike
This park area, an inland pine barren with sand dunes, has trails that
vary in length and difficulty. The sandy terrain does change drastically
according to weather conditions, so riders should beware. On the whole,
the relatively smooth surface and lack of obstacles make the area
friendly for recreational riders.
Pine Bush Preserve - Water Tower Loops
I-90, go to Washington Avenue Extension (west of CrossGates Mall).
Take this highway till it ends at Route 155 (New Karner Road).
Continue on straight through the traffic signal, through the 3-way
stop to the end of the road. Park here. There are maps (very
sketchy, at best) of the area trails available at a kiosk at the
area has a mix of sandy soil and clay, so on some of the trails,
it can be rather tough riding in the summer. There are about four
different "loops" in this particular zone of the
Preserve, if you connect them all, you could probably spend the
better part of an afternoon here. A good place for
beginner/intermediate riders to tool around and have some fun.
Stay off the powerline trail, as the sand is DEEP and you'll end
up walking!!!!! Nice for after-work cardio work-out, due to
central location and the fact that you could easily do all the
loops in about an hour if you keep an aggressive pace. Watch out
for horses and hikers!!!! There are several developments nearby,
so watch for people walking their dogs. WOOF!!!!! This is an
awesome place to learn to night-ride (with light-sets) and also an
excellent challenge for beginner Winter riding (ice-stud tires).
The terrain is mostly rolling singletrack, no rocks, but some
stream-crossings and alot of roots in places. Very fast ride on
the non-sandy parts, and the best place to go if it's been
raining. (It packs the sand down nicely). If you want to do a
little road riding, there are other loops on the other side of the
Thruway and Route 155, not as challenging, but you could easily
add another 8 to 10 miles on if included.
& Fire Roads