After my planned Pine Bush hike got rained out in May, it looked as if Mother Nature, combined with the “Hughie” curse, was going to throw me another bone for my June Hike. However, as it turned out, the rain held off just long enough to allow we five hikers to complete our 3.5 mile hike of the Red (Sand Dune Trail, as well as part of the White and Yellow Trails at the Madison Highlands.
Most the Pine Bush hikes start at the Discovery Center. I think it was a nice change to commence the walk at a different location. When I first came to the Capital Region 23 years someone told me about the Pine Bush and I became a regular at this starting point, especially after fresh fallen snow. The Madison Highland Trails had been shut down for awhile, as a lot of the Black Locust trees were removed. It took some time to get use to this change as the area used to be heavily wooded. However, now it has definitely developed a specific character of the “original” Pine Bush as it has become lush with lots of green fauna.
On our hike, we heard several bird cals, including a Prairie Warbler, Mourning doves. Robins and more. We observed the result of the last controlled burn back in early May on portions of the Red Trail. Lingering Lupine was scattered in some of the open fields, although the first bloom had clearly peaked about two weeks before. Pictures were taken by all of us, many posted on the “Save the Pine Bush” Facebook page. Unfortunately, we saw no Karner Blue butterflies but a few other ones and a white moth.
I had to hurry up the hike at the end as radar indicated a large swath of rain was heading our way. The rains started as we reached back on the Yellow Trail for the last quarter of a mile. We got somewhat wet but did not melt. Instead we headed to Yonder Farms for a tasty lunch and really great deserts. I originally was going to bike to the trailhead but so glad I did not as it was pouring when we came out of the restaurant.
Published in August-September 2018 Save the Pine Bush Newsletter