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Great Places to Hike or Bike In & Around Albany

Looking to get out and explore the greener areas of Albany and the Capital Region? Check out these 12 trails in and near Albany that can get you outside and active in a matter of minutes. Get your fitness in and take a ride on designated bike paths or wander through the woods to waterfalls to find your zen. All trails are under an hour from the state's capital- so pack your bag and get adventuring!

biking on bike path along a canal

Bike Paths

Albany County Rail Trail

A safe, fun and relatively easy ride! Connecting the Port of Albany to Voorheesville, the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail is a 9-mile stretch of accessible bike path. From Albany to Slingerlands you can enjoy a wide, paved path. From Slingerlands to Voorheesville there is an unpaved path, with plans to be paved in the future. Previously the old Delaware and Hudson Railroad, the City of Albany transformed the route into a perfect outdoor activity for the community to enjoy.

Access: 720 South Pearl Street, Hudson Avenue, Kenwood Municipal Lot, Voorheesville Avenue

Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail

Witness history while biking the Mohawk-Hudson Trail! Hugging the old Erie Canal, this trail offers 36.8 miles of paved trails from Rotterdam to Albany. Travel under the Mohawk Bridge, on abandoned rail lines and by 1800s canal systems. Enjoy a pit-stop picnic as you cycle the day away along the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers!

Access: Multiple locations from Rotterdam to Albany

Grafton Lakes Park Trail

Just 40 minutes from Albany you can ride 25 miles of meandering trails throughout Grafton Lakes State Park. Tucked in between the Taconic and Hudson Valleys is this magnificent park with 6 ponds and 2,500 acres of nature! Biking on a hot day? Enjoy a refreshing dip in popular Long Pond after your ride.

Access: 100 Grafton Lakes State Park Way, Cropseyville

Ditch The Wheels- Hit These Hiking Trails

Poestenkill Falls/Mount Ida Falls

Welcome to Troy's best-kept secret! Located within Poestenkill Gorge Park you can find a 175-foot towering waterfall. Take a short hike to the bottom of the falls and peer up as the water pounds down- it's incredible! Be cautious during wet conditions and make sure to wear proper hiking shoes.

Access: Linden Avenue, Troy

Kaaterskill Falls

bottom waterfall of kaaterskill fallsLooking for a quick hike with a huge reward? Head south to Kaaterskill Falls! This quick, but steep 1.3-mile hike brings you to the tallest two-tier waterfall in New York State. Only 1-hour south of Albany you can witness the babbling brooks and fabulous falls while you hike up towards the large pool that hosts the massive two-tier waterfall. Hikers should be prepared to walk along the shoulder of a main road to reach the trailhead after parking.

Access: NY-23A, Tannersville

Plotter Kill Preserve

The rugged terrain of this hike is well worth the view. Plotter Kill, a tributary of the Mohawk River, hosts three magnificent waterfalls visible for all hikers. After safety concerns, New York State funded a grant to improve the hiking trail conditions, as reported by the Times Union. Hikers are advised to wear proper hiking shoes in all conditions. Take your family for a perfect 4-mile loop and witness 600 species of plants and incredible water falls. Views are said to be best during spring high waters and winter ice.

Access: Parking lot off of Mariaville Road, Rotterdam

John Boyd Thacher State Park

Only thirty minutes from Albany feast your eyes on the most magnificent panoramic views of the Hudson-Mohawk valleys, Adirondacks, and Green Mountains of Vermont. Hike the day away on 25 miles of trails! Crawl your way into caves to discover some of the richest fossil bearing formations in the world. Tip: start with the Indian Ladder Trail to witness the most breathtaking views and a waterfall or two.

Access: 1 Hailes Cave Road, Voorheesville

panoramic view of the valley from thacher park

Christman Sanctuary

Check out this easy hike right next to Albany in Schenectady County! Christman Sanctuary hosts a 2.2-mile loop featuring creeks, a towering 30-foot waterfall and a variety of trees planted by devoted farmer Will Christman. Hikers have two main trails to choose from that bypass the Bozenkill (waterfall) and Christman's plantations. You don't need a full day for this stroll, check out this National Historic Landmark today!

Access: Schoharie Turnpike, Duanesburg

Peebles Island

Catch a glimpse of rivers and rapids as you stroll on Peebles Island. This state park is situated in between the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers- perfect for fishermen. Don't forget your picnic basket for after your walk. Picnickers can gather along the river or at one spot near the waterfall. Enjoy a day with family or friends on this Capital Region island.

Access: 1 Deleware Avenue, Waterford

water rushing by at peebles island park

Albany Pine Bush Preserve

Discover, play and conserve at Albany Pine Bush Preserve! On top of offering 18 miles of trails through the pine-scrub oak barrens ecosystem, Albany Pine Bush Preserve has a discovery center with interactive exhibits and is home to 45 recovering endangered species. You can do a lot more than just hike at this destination. The best part is, you can break out your snowshoes once the flakes fall and hike away!

Access: 195 New Karner Road, Albany

Hannacroix Creek Preserve

Venture 25 minutes south of Albany to discover this natural wonder. With 4 different trails to choose from your exploration could last all day! Hike along the Hannacroix creek and eventually you'll end up at the Hudson River. The marked trails will take you to waterfalls, scenic vistas, and the foundation of a paper mill. Grab your family and get moving!

Access: NY-144, New Baltimore

cleaning hands off in the river

High Falls Conservation Area

Looking for something short and sweet? This hike is for you! Within 20 minutes of walking you'll reach 2 waterfalls and a picnic area with a beautiful view. Only 45 minutes from Albany you'll find High Falls Conservation Area in Philmont, NY. This is a perfect hike for families or those who prefer less strenuous hikes.

Access: 504 Roxbury Road, Hudson

Hunter Mountain Fire Tower

In August of 2017 the DEC announced the completion of the $48,000 reconstruction of Hunter Mountain Fire Tower. Fire towers represent the rich history of our local forest preserves and are a fun addition to any hike. The fire tower is 4,040 tall, making it the highest elevation fire tower in the entire state. Hunter Mountain is located just a little over an hour from Albany.

Access: Route 214, Hunter

Which hike or bike will you be conquering today?

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Times Union: $600K safety upgrade for Plotter Kill Preserve