Albany Pine Bush has a 20-mile hiking challenge that is perfect for the city-dwelling hiker, older adults, people with tight schedules, or young families alike. In fact, just about anyone who enjoys nature should like this fun and easy hiking challenge!
The Albany Pine Bush Preserve, a remnant from the Wisconsin glacier, between the Catskills and Adirondacks; nestled amidst Albany and Schenectady in New York is a precious 3500-acre ecosystem that supports inland sand dunes and pitch-pine – scrub oak barrens and the many animals that make this place their home.
The urban protected forest has 20-miles of trails some of which are multiple-use. The trails range between 0.2-miles to 3.7-miles in length. Many trails can be combined to create longer outings. The multi-use trails can be used for hiking, trail running, nature study, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, horseback riding, mountain biking, and hunting.
Summer in the Pine Bush
This urban pine bush can challenge the hiker with weather that is different from its surrounding areas. The sand dunes and open forest plus flat terrain lend themselves to extremes in temperatures of 100-degree in the summer to sub-zero windchills in winter.
Trails can be icy in the winter, some form of traction such as microspikes or snowshoes are recommended.
Winter in the Pine Bush
The 20-mile Challenge
The 20-mile challenge is simple. Hike all the 20-miles of trails in the preserve, complete the hiking record, and bring it to the visitors center, get a gift from the Friends of the Pine Bush Community and the Albany Pine Bush Preserve! The preserve is divided into 12 areas with varying distances in each area between 0.5-miles in the Six Mile Water Works to 4.5-miles total in the Great Dune for example. All the trails are easy with flat terrain with some gentle ups and downs.
Beware of ticks!
Like many outdoor places, tick risk is on the rise. Not all tick bites will make you sick, but some will. Please dress to prevent tick bites.
According to the CDC:
Know where to expect ticks. Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas, or even on animals. Spending time outside walking your dog, camping, gardening, or hunting could bring you in close contact with ticks. Many people get ticks in their own yard or neighborhood.
Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through several washings. Alternatively, you can buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellentsexternal icon containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. EPA’s helpful search toolexternal icon can help you find the product that best suits your needs. Always follow product instructions. Do not use products containing OLE or PMD on children under 3 years old.
Avoid Contact with TicksAvoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
Walk in the center of trails.
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Albany Pine Bush Preserve Map
Click the map or here for an interactive version of the map.
Albany Pine Bush Preserve Contact
195 New Karner Road
Albany, NY 12205
Backwoods wanderer with a passion for backpacking, hiking, and exploring the wilds of the Catskills and Adirondacks in New York. A Catskill 3500 Club Member and Adirondack Forty-Sixer. Climbed Mount Rainier. Professionally an Exercise Physiologist.