A couple years ago, we hiked Christman Sanctuary with the kids. It was a fun trail that wasn’t too challenging, plus there are some beautiful waterfalls, so we decided to go back.
There is a small parking lot at the trailhead that fits about 4 cars. We ended up parking along the road, and I would say about 3 cars fit comfortably on the road before you reach a property line that is marked with “no parking” signs. This is definitely a popular trail and we saw lots of people along the trails.
There is a small trail loop where you can check out the waterfalls, and then an additional orange trail loop that goes further out.
Having had a rainy summer, I thought the trails were very well maintained. We have recently been on other trails that were quite muddy to the point of being impassable, but we had no problems at Christman Sanctuary. There were a few slightly muddy spots where we were able to just walk to the side of the trail.
It isn’t far to the main waterfall, which is probably about .5 mile in on the blue trail loop.
We went in early August, and since we have had a lot of rain this summer, the falls were still flowing a little bit. (The first title photo is from when we went in early spring).
There are “no swimming” signs, so this falls is not used as a swimming hole. However, the kids had a lot of fun flipping rocks. Last time we were here, the kids waded in, in rain boots, and it might make sense to have shoes you can get wet if you like to explore the water a little.
We explored around the falls and the streams. This is the largest falls at the outer edge of the sanctuary, and there are smaller falls as you go down the stream. There are plenty of little fish, crayfish, and salamanders.
While this trail is pretty kid-friendly because it is easy and short, there are a few parts where kids need to be careful. There were just a few stairs (where the pink tape is) where you really want to keep an eye on younger kids and make sure they hold on to the wire that runs along the rock.
I recommend bringing a trail map, taking a picture of the map at the kiosk, or using an app like AllTrails. There are two main trails – the blue loop and the orange loop – and although the trails are all well marked, you want to have an idea of where the trails go.
The orange loop goes through a nice wooded area. This property is owned by the Nature Conservancy, and their website says that much of the land was originally farm land, which was later turned into a forest plantation.
This was a nice little hike. We started off with about .5 mile to the largest waterfall, then added on the orange trail loop to burn off some energy, and logged just over 2 miles. I like that you can keep this very short for littler kids, or make it a little longer. Either way, an easy hike.
We didn’t see any trash on the trail and the trails were very well maintained – no mud, and there were sufficient stairs, bridges, planks, and trail markers.
Check out the Nature Conservancy page for more information here.
Check out my other local hikes:
Albany Pine Bush, NY
Bozenkill Preserve, Altamont, NY (review coming soon)
Christman Sanctuary, Duanesburg, NY
Hannacroix Ravine Preserve, Voorheesville, NY
Hyuck Preserve, Rensselaerville, NY
Indian Kill Preserve, Schenectady, NY
Landis Arboretum, Esperance, NY
Limestone Rise Preserve, NY
Moccasin Kill Sanctuary, Schenectady, NY
Thacher Park Indian Ladder Trail, Voorheesville, NY
Vosburgh Trails, Guilderland, NY
Wolf Creek Falls Preserve, Altamont/Knox, NY
Woodlawn Nature Preserve, Schenectady, NY