We like getting outdoors and enjoying hikes, but it can be hard to find something the kids like. This is a short hike that we all enjoyed, and it is kid-approved!
Getting there was easy – Google Maps took us right to the parking lot. We were first to arrive in the small, gravel lot, which I would say comfortably fits 5 or 6 cars. There is also a nice trail head, with a kiosk that has maps, info, and a check-in. I recommend taking a photo of the map, or printing a paper copy ahead of time, or saving the PDF on your phone.
The hike is around 3 miles, depending on what parts of the trail you take. It is mostly flat terrain, so overall it was a leisurely hike. We have had plenty of rain lately, but the trails were well maintained (not overgrown or flooded). There were a few muddy areas, but nothing that required us to go completely off the trail.
There was a lot of poison ivy along the trail. However, I warned our two kids right off the bat, and since they are already on ‘high alert’ over ticks, they kept carefully on the trail.
The hike is very peaceful, meandering through the woods. Lots of pretty scenery and plants along the way, like this jewelweed.
There is a lot of history behind the land, which was donated to the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy.
The property was once part of the Rensselaerywyck estate. In 1864 the Van Aukens started clearing the land and put up stone walls to raise sheep, providing wool for the Huyck Felt Mill in Rensselaerville. Subsequent owners had a commercial stone quarry, raised pheasants, and raised beef cattle on the remaining open acres. (source: http://www.hilltowns.org/wolf-creek-falls-preserve.html)
The trail branches off quite a bit, so the trail map is a really good reference to have. We were determined to find the waterfall, so we had to carefully follow the map. We have had plenty of rain this summer, but weren’t sure how big the falls would be. There was a little bit of water flowing but the pool at the bottom had definitely shrank recently.
The kids had so much fun checking out the waterfall, largely in part because there were so many crayfish and tiny salamanders!
We had fun working our way around the trail loop, along the stream bed and back on the trail.
You do have to cross a road at one point along the trail, and at the end of the trail we had to walk down the road for about a minute to get to the parking lot. I was worried about taking the kids over a road where people could potentially drive fast, but it seems like a quiet road.
Check out the Mohawk Hudson page for more info on this preserve,
including maps, history, and directions:
And check out our other local hikes:
Christman Sanctuary, Duanesburg, NY
Hannacroix Ravine Preserve, Voorheesville, NY
Landis Arboretum, Esperance, NY
Overlook Mountain, Catskills, NY (day trip)
Sanders Preserve, Town of Glenville, NY
Saratoga Spa State Park
Thacher Park Indian Ladder Trail, Voorheesville, NY