If you’re looking for a longer drive, here’s one that will take the good part of a day, especially if you take in some of the sights along the route. Should be great in leaf season. It starts across from Crossgates Mall in Guilderland; however, the focus of the drive is rural Albany and Schoharie counties, starting on Rte. 85 in New Salem. Use the accompanying directions to get to New Salem or choose your own route if you don’t want to start at Crossgates.
Suggestions for customizing this route to match your interests are found in the directions which are included as a PDF file to allow you to print them and take them with you on the drive. Depending on the route you choose, highlights of the drive include:
The Huyck Preserve: Located in Rensselaerville, NY., the preserve offers twelve miles of hiking trails and easy access to the beautiful Rensselaerville Falls. A hike up the trail along the falls ends at Lake Myosotis and a nice setting for a picnic. To swim in the lake it is necessary to be a member of the Huyck Preserve. http://www.huyckpreserve.org/
The town’s early history can be viewed in the Gristmill Museum, operated by the Rensselaerville Historical Society. The museum is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the summer season and by appointment at other times.
The Palmer house in Rensselaerville has a long standing reputation as a fine restaurant. It was a favorite of Andy Rooney.
Vrooman’s Nose: A spectacular outcropping of rock that sits 600 above the Schoharie Valley. The Nose is reached via a relatively easy 1.5 mile trail. The views down the Schoharie Valley from the Nose are spectacular. http://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/new-york/vromans-nose-trail
Barber and Shaul Farms on Rte. 30 West. Incredible produce grown from the rich soil of the valley. The Barber Farm operates the 1857 Distillery which makes small batch vodka.
The Christman Sanctuary. Located off the Schoharie Turnpike in Duanesburg, the sanctuary is a wooded nature preserve straddling the Bozenkill. A 2.2 mile trail, described as suitable for a variety of skill levels, ends at a 30’ waterfall. http://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/new-york/christman-sanctuary
Middleburgh and Schoharie are quaint villages with a variety of places to eat. History buffs can visit the Old Stone Fort. http://theoldstonefort.org/ . The Carrot Barn in Schoharie is also worth checking out.
N.B. I’ve driven or ridden my bike on virtually all of these roads; however, I have not done the entire drive, from start to finish as it is described. I have not driven on Cotton Hill Road or Rickhard Hill Roads. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been on Westfall. Feedback on the suitability of these roads will be greatly appreciated as will any other suggestions for improving the drive- the editor.
Here’s the route: rural-albany-county