by Claire Nolan
ALBANY: We had three hikers join us for a chilly pre-Holiday stroll along the recently re-routed “Yellow Trail” behind the Pine Bush Discovery Center. Two more joined us for a mountain bike ride on the same trail. The two mountain bikers are students at UAlbany who came to the Pine Bush all the way from Japan.
As you may remember, the Pine Bush Commission decided to re-route the trails to eliminate the inner loops. Instead of several short connecting circuits, the Pine Bush trails will now be made up of a few large circles. The decision was made because the existing trail system adversely affects wildlife. Biologists have noted that although hikers are not as disruptive as roads and other development, birds and animals are more likely to settle in places where there is not too much human activity.
The trails behind the Discovery Center are very familiar to me. I like them because I can get into the Pine Bush for a quick walk or bike ride when I don’t have too much time to explore other areas. On the old trail, I have often hiked to a pond that was not quite inside the “official” Pine Bush boundary. Imagine my surprise and delight when the newly designed trail led our group right to the pond! The pond, by the way, had a light layer of skim ice on December 17.
The dump is much more visible from the new trail but I believe that is an advantage. We should all see where our garbage goes and strive to create less garbage to dump in our precious Pine Bush.
The trail is a bit rough in parts because it is new but it is interesting to hike in a familiar place that looks so different!
If you haven’t visited the Pine Bush recently you will find some changes. The hike or ski to be led by Andy Arthur, avid hiker and knowledgeable outdoorsman, (http://andyarthur.org) on January 21 will be a perfect time to get reacquainted with an old friend undergoing a makeover.
Published in Janury/February, 2012 Save the Pine Bush Newsletter