Just a few miles from the Wilson M. Powell Wildlife Sanctuary is the Old Chatham Country Store & Café, a wonderful eatery/grocery/community hub: Try their homemade chips and salsa!
639 Albany Turnpike, Old Chatham; 518.794.6227
This 1.5-mile loop trail winds through 145 scenic acres along a stream. An enjoyable walk for even the youngest members of your family, it passes through marshland, peaceful glades, and a pond teeming with flora and fauna. Don’t pass up a short stop at Dorson’s Rock, where you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the entire Hudson Valley.
Open daily, year-round, dawn to dusk.
Hunt Club Road, Old Chatham
Photo provided by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Just a quarter-mile north of the Bear Mountain Bridge is a fascinating 14-acre site containing above-ground ruins: the foundations of an intact fort that dates from the American Revolution.
A walk through here makes history come alive; plus, visitors are treated to stunning views of the Bear Mountain Bridge, Hudson River, and Highlands. You can even walk under the bridge to the Bear Mountain Trailside Museums & Zoo. Call for dates of re-enactments at the site.
Museum open mid-April through October, Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Grounds open year round, sunrise to sunset; hikers can park in 9W parking lot a quarter-mile north of the site.
690 Route 9W, Fort Montgomery; 845.446.2134
It’s hard to imagine this glorious 641-acre refuge thriving so close to Route 82. More than 80 species of birds may be seen and heard as you wend your way through six miles of nature trails. The mix of habitats — meadows, wetlands, swamp, woods, and gentle hills — embrace a soundtrack of the songbirds continually singing, while deer, beaver, and muskrats are plentiful. Children will love this outing: You can easily spend a couple of hours here.
Open year-round, daily, dawn to dusk.
6862 Route 82; 518.325.5203
Woodstock resident Joanne Michaels is the author of 10 books, including The Hudson Valley and Catskills Mountains: Only The Best Places, now in its 10th edition. Visit www.joannemichaels.com.