Bluebird skies and 30 degree temperatures provided ideal conditions for our 4-mile hike on snow-covered trails at this urban oasis, just minutes from hectic city life. Two new faces who recently joined ADK were part of our group.
We circumnavigated the entire Nature Preserve and then hiked a second loop inside the first one. The land was once owned and managed by Dr. Victor Reinstein, who planted over 30,000 trees and dug numerous ponds for his family to enjoy. Mature Norway spruce trees line some trails, providing beauty and a year-round habitat for animal residents. The largest living Beech Tree in NY State once resided at Reinstein, but it died after suffering extensive damage in the 2006 October snowstorm. It is still standing but is decaying naturally, and will eventually fall and fertilize soil to nurture new tree growth. The New York State Symbols trail, including the state fish (brook trout), gem (garnet), flower (wild rose, source of rose hips for Red Zinger Tea!), elicited interesting comments and conversation. Abundant animal tracks on fresh snow revealed that this nature preserve is far from inactive during the winter season. Coyote, fox, deer and rabbit tracks attested to animal activity.
It was a joy to savor this nearby gem during the busy holiday season.
— Submitted by David and Janet Kowalski