Hey Albany mefites! Outdoor adventures in the area??
October 4, 2013 3:45 PM   Subscribe

I'm in Albany, NY for two months and I would love some outdoor adventure ideas for this weekend (there are so many destinations to choose from - HELP!)

I'm in Albany for the next two months for work and it's possible that this may be my only work-free weekend (about a 50/50 chance). I want to make the most of tomorrow and Sunday while this weather remains gorgeous. I'm leaning towards a short-ish scenic drive (no more than 2 hours) in any direction where the road leads to a really awesome hiking spot. I'd prefer hiking on the moderate and up level, preferably that leads up to a wonderful vista/overlook/cliff kind of place.

Do you know of any?? There is an abundance of scenery here and I figured I'd reach out to locals.

Also, if you have any other must-see places or ideas, feel free to pass them on as well! For instance, I would also love to make it horseback riding, scenic drive with foliage, and maybe visit the Mohonk Mountain House (looks like there may be trails around the property).

(As a side note, maybe a meet-up with mefites here in Albany..?).

Thanks much for any ideas!
posted by foxhat10 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I went to college in Williamstown, MA which is about an hour from Albany. There are tons of hiking trails in the area- there's a section of the Appalachian Trail, or you can hike to the top of Mt. Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts. The college has an outing club, a member of which (or the director or assistant director) could probably set you up with more personalized advice and trail maps. There's also a small outdoor clothing store on Spring Street in town. You'll find more of the same but higher mountains if you go into Vermont, but I can't offer any specific suggestions for up there.

If it matters to you, Williamstown itself is a cute little New England village with some nice museums and restaurants and just about all the autumnal New England charm you could ever want.
posted by MadamM at 4:22 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Thacher State Park is a 30–40 minute drive from Albany with pretty well-established trails and services, and good views of the area (for instance).
posted by letourneau at 5:41 PM on October 4, 2013

Best answer: 2 hours will get you to Newcomb, NY in the Adirondacks, where you can hike 5 miles in to Camp Santanoni through the Santanoni Preserve. Highly recommended!
posted by stefnet at 6:14 PM on October 4, 2013

Best answer: 2nding Thacher State Park!

Also, for non-outdoors purposes, the New York State Museum is nifty.
posted by XMLicious at 6:20 PM on October 4, 2013

Best answer: There are a lot of places to hike/do weekend things around the Albany area. A bunch that could get you started:

+ The Adirondacks are about 2 hours away, and of course there's a ton of hiking. The Adirondack Mountain Club has a lot of information about possible hikes. The Adirondacks have 46 "High Peaks" and some of those are day hike-able if you're an experienced hiker.

+ There are also a lot place outside the Adirondacks. Here are three day hikes that are usually good during the autumn. And here are some waterfall walks that are easy and close. Letourneau and XMLicious mentioned Thacher Park -- while you're out that way you might also like the Huyck Preserve.

+ Worth a weekend visit: Columbia County, just the southeast of the Capital Region core. It's full of orchards and cute town centers (such as Chatham). Stop at Golden Harvest in Valatie for cider donuts and apple jack, then head to Samascott in Kinderhook for apple picking.

Some outdoor stuff in Columbia County: Bash Bish is an easy hike with a beautiful stream and waterfall (and if you hike to the top on the Massachusetts side there's a really nice view). Also outside, but in a different way: Art Omi, which includes a large outdoor sculpture field.

The big city in Columbia County (so to speak) is Hudson, and in recent year's it seen an influx of people from downstate, with new shops/boutiques/antique stores and some interesting restaurants (two WD-50 alumni opened the Crimson Sparrow last year, and Zak Pelaccio just opened Fish & Game). On the weekends Warren Street almost kind of feels like Brooklyn.

+ To the east: Vermont (Bennington, beautiful this time of year) and Western Mass/Berkshires (MASS MoCA in North Adams is definitely worth a stop if you're into art museums).

+ Just to the south are the Catskills and a bunch of stuff down there (you already mentioned Mohonk Mountain House).

+ The western side of the region has a different feel with all sorts of its own stuff, including spots such as Cooperstown (with the Baseball Hall of Fame and great Belgian-style brewery), Canajoharie (check out the Arkell Museum) and Sharon Springs (where the Beekman Boys live), and Vroman's Nose.

And that doesn't even start on stuff in the immediate Albany area. But you only have two months, so maybe next time.
posted by gd at 6:35 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you're up for the more strenuous side of moderate, I'd head for the Adirondaks. Giant Mt. in Keene or Snowy Mt. near Indian Lake are gorgeous day hikes within 2 hrs of Albany. You'd want hiking boots for those hikes, and plan on taking all day (I think Giant is around 11 miles round trip and Snowy Mt is around 8).

There are some nice, easier, closer hikes by Lake George, too. Sleeping Beauty or Buck Mt. are pretty nice. I think Buck is the shorter hike, less than 7 miles round trip.
posted by Kriesa at 6:41 PM on October 4, 2013

Response by poster: Sweet! Thank you all so much for some direction.
posted by foxhat10 at 7:01 PM on October 4, 2013

Response by poster: As an update: I ended up going to Cat Mountain in the Adirondacks. It was exactly what I was looking for so thank you, the foliage has begun and it's incredible from the summit of Cat Mt. If anyone plans on going, some info: I took the Blue trail going up and it was quite challenging and a workout. Coming down, I took the Yellow trail, which was basically a wide, rocky path and it was a LOT easier and welcomed after the Blue trail heading up! Thanks again for all the advice. Hopefully I'll get a chance to check out many of the other destinations.
posted by foxhat10 at 4:54 PM on October 5, 2013

Response by poster: Another update: Was able to also check out Thacher State Park. There I went on the popular and very short trail at Indian Ladder (I believe). It's very short, but really cool. A lot of kids/dogs/families, so not a real workout, but was gorgeous for views. And today, I went to North-South Lake Escarpment Trail - wow! Incredible views if you take the Blue route. And you can make it a short loop or, I believe, up to 22 miles. Definitely wear your boots on the Blue route there since so much of trail is large rocks. Great hike though and only strenuous in a couple of spots.
posted by foxhat10 at 1:34 PM on October 27, 2013

« Older ID this pepper   |   Hacks for bathing with a broken water softener Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.