We like going hiking as a family, and have recently been exploring some of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy preserves. The Bennett Hill Preserve is one of their more popular preserves, located in Feura Bush, NY.
The hill towers over Clarksville and stands only a short distance from the base of the Helderberg Escarpment. Although the top of the hill is only 400 feet above the surrounding land, it offers striking views of the Helderbergs to the north and west, and Albany to the east.
It is easy to get there, and we had no problem locating the preserve using Google Maps.
There is a decent size parking lot here, but if it is full, there is a sign advising you to try another trail. The lot was actually overflowing on our last attempt, so we went to Keleher Preserve instead, which was a wonderful hike only a few miles away.
There is also a trailhead with information. However, when we went, there was no trail map. I always save a trail map on my phone before we leave, so that I have it on me at all times.
You can check out the full trail map online here. There are a couple loops you can take, which add up to about three miles. We took the green trail, staying to the right, doing the outer trails, and finished at 2.9 miles.
The trail starts on the green trail, which hugs the side of the preserve, with views of farmland and cows.
The trails are clearly marked here, with lots of trail markers.
There were lots of logs placed along paths where the trail was prone to mud.
There is some ascent to this hike, mostly along the green trail as we approached the yellow trail.
We saw the bathtub spring that we had heard about before the hike. The water was a bit low this time of year.
I think my favorite thing about this preserve is that there are a variety of different landscapes here. Starting off on the green trail, it is flat and travels alongside farm fields, then there is an ascent from deciduous forest to a plateau of pine trees with a mossy forest floor.
At one point there was a neat grove of birch trees as well.
We saw a neat Jack in the Pulpit on our walk.
We had a lovely time at the preserve, exploring the different trails and scenery. We haven’t been doing strenuous hikes lately, and it was nice to have a little bit of an ascent on this trail. While there were some steep sections, I still consider this a kid-friendly hike.
Check out the Bennett Hill Preserve on the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy page:
Check out our other local hikes: