Tuesday, February 16, 2010


trout lilly Shiffendecker Farms Preserve, Town of Bethlehem This account appeared before on Rootdrinker's blog. I thought I'd post it here with some updates. The Shiffendecker Farms Preserve is one of five located in the Town of Bethlehem, NY held by Mohawk-Hudson Land Trust. The site remains undeveloped with conditions being such that an established trail system is needed. Lots of thorns, steep hills, run-off ditches, thick brush and a small stream at the bottom of the hollow which is too big to jump, filled with soft mud and too deep to wade. There are some tree covered hills and old roads that provide easy pleasant hiking. Some planning still needs to be done before the volunteer workcrews are asked to cut brush and shovel mud but as I found out on my April 2009 visit this site has a nice wild and protected environment. An area that can be seen when driving on Route 32 (The Delmar By-Pass) is interesting at all times of the year. When driving towards the east and the connect to 9-W you can look down into an inviting small valley with stream, shaped by mounds of steep-hilled terrain. During hunting season, I'll see trucks parked off the highway and I expect the deer walk a little more wary on their paths in and out of the brush. I've often thought I'd like to venture into those hollows to perhaps find an unknown spring or wildlife inhabitation in a sanctuary area created by geology more than by man. I wasn't sure where Shiffendecker Farms Preserve was exactly but I was hoping the property was within the Normanskill watershed. Those hunters (if they were such) will have to find others fields because, yes, the land I had looked at for so many years (thinking that land should be a park or something) is actually now Shiffendecker Farm Preserve held by the Mohawk Hudson Land Trust. I went on a hike on those lands today led by Dan Driscoll of the Land trust. "Wear boots" and be ready for rugged terrain was the advise given to those who had an interest in getting out into the fresh air. photo: mushroom colors photo: hike leader Dan Driscoll photo: beaver craved totem photo: thick and hilly terrain

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