Enjoying Rural Schenectady County

By Gary Richards —

Our Porsche is not a daily driver; but, since I hate letting it sit in the driveway for any length of time, I sometimes take it to run errands.  Truth be told, even though I’m in a Boxster S with the top down;   there’s not much excitement driving from Exit 25 to Exit 24 on the Thruway or running down Route 5 in Colonie.  So, the question is, where to go for an enjoyable drive when I don’t have all day and just want to get out for an hour or two?  Here’s a drive I did the other day that answers that question. 

The route is about thirty miles. To reach and drive it from our house in Schenectady takes about an hour and a half.  The actual drive begins and ends at the Pilot Travel Center/Truck Stop on Route 7 in Rotterdam; about a half a mile west of Schalmont High School. For those not driving out of Schenectady on local roads, the Center can be reached via Thruway Exit 25A- Rte. 88.  Take the first exit off I-88 [Becker Road], almost immediately after exiting the toll booths.

The roads which run through rural sections of Schenectady County are lightly traveled and twisting.  Some sections have 40 mph posted speed limits, including Rte. 159 which traces the shoreline of Mariaville Lake. The drive ends with a descent of Kelley Station Road.  It’s one of the best driving roads in the entire area.  Although only a mile long, Kelley Station has more twists and turns than a good detective story.  You need to pay attention when you’re driving this road.  Kelley Station is even more fun going up; so, turn around and do it a couple of times. Although, to do this you’ll need to be a bit creative.  There’s a one lane tunnel at the bottom of the road.  Honk before entering.

If you want to get out for more than an hour or two, make it a drive and dine. The following eateries are within a mile or two of the drive’s start.  They all get pretty good reviews (Canali’s is a classic).

Wagon Train BBQ on Burdeck Street  http://wagontrainbbq.net/

Canali’s Italian on Rte. 159 [Mariaville Rd.] http://www.canalisrestaurant.com/

Armondo’s Villa Tuscan Grill https://www.armondosvtg.com/ and Tops American Grill http://www.tops5corners.com/, both just a few minutes east on Route 7 towards Schenectady.

The link below has a PDF you can download and print to use as your guide:

Rural Schenectady County



Editor’s note:  Submissions for “Great Drives” are always welcome.  If you’ve recently taken one you’d like to share, feel free to write about it and send along the details of the trip, so other club members might explore the route, too.  You can send your great drive to bryanhollenbaugh@aol.com.

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