I had heard of the Henry Gerber Reist Bird Sanctuary a long time ago, but never had the chance to visit it. It is located conveniently in Niskayuna, not from from Mohawk Commons shopping center. This is an 111-acre Sanctuary, and we found it to be very peaceful.
We tried taking Google Maps to the preserve, but it put us in the wrong location. We must have missed the trailhead on Brendan Lane, and Google Maps put us to a cul-de-sac on Cindi Lane.
We we went online and it listed the following trailheads:
- End of Morgan Ave.
- Oakmont St. (Wheelchair access)
- End of Thackerey Ct.
- Brendan Lane
- The Kelly Adirondack Center (897 St. David’s Lane)
Driving to and parking at the Kelly Adirondack Center was ideal. There is a nice big sign by the road, so we spotted it right away.
I definitely recommend this as your starting point (at 897 St. David’s Lane):
There was plenty of parking, and we were the only ones there on a Sunday afternoon in the summer.
There is a trailhead kiosk at the beginning of the trail here, but we did also see other large signs where you would come in from other trailheads.
There is a trail map at the trailhead, as well as on brochures at the trailhead, and online. You can find this map HERE.
We stuck to the blue and yellow trails, with a goal of doing a larger, outer loop. I think the loop we did was just over 1.5 miles.
The trails are well-marked here, and we had no problems navigating the preserve.
In addition to different color tree markers, there are signs throughout the sanctuary.
The trails here are mostly flat, meandering through the woods.
This has been a particularly rainy summer, and there were a few muddy spots, but nothing we couldn’t navigate through.
There were boardwalks through the sanctuary as well.
During our hike in late July, we did not see a lot of wildflowers, but there were a variety of trees, mosses, mushrooms, and other plants.
I did read online that other hikers found this trail to be buggy, and our hike in July was very buggy! So definitely be prepared with some bug spray. I found the bugs to be quite annoying as they were in my face most of the hike, and ascended on me if I stopped to take a photo.
Because of the bugs, we did not stop to look for birds. The sanctuary was wonderfully quiet and peaceful, and we heard lots of birds during our walk.
Most of the trail is fairly flat, so I would consider this to be an easy trail, plus you can make it a little shorter or longer depending on what trails you go on.
You can visit the preserve website at https://hmbc.net/Reist-Sanctuary
Check out our other Capital Region Hikes HERE.