There are some oft-overlooked places in the Capital Region that are well worth the visit this summer, especially with the social distancing guidelines that have been in place for weeks now.

Here is a glimpse at a few that provide visitors a great day in the outdoors. They offer not only beautiful scenery but picnicking, scenery, education, hiking, bicycling and fishing.

A small picnic area in Clifton Park’s Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve is maintained by the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County with support from the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors. Three picnic tables are available with charcoal grills (there are ash pails to dispose of the burnt charcoal but please remove all garbage) and Adirondack chairs. The Town of Clifton Park has given a grant for the installation of a bicycle rack, and a self-service kayak “hub” is planned.

Up in Schuylerville one can cycle or walk on a new Empire State Trail section from the Schuyler House to Hudson Crossing Park. The trail passes village businesses including a brand new brewery plus area restaurants, and there are picnic tables, kids’ amusements and a kayak launch in the Park. Historic markers indicate the significance of this location, important to the American Revolution.

The paved Zim Smith Trail crosses Saratoga County from Ballston Spa to Mechanicville. It’s the only one in New York State to be designated a National Recreation Trail by the US Department of the Interior and the National Park Service. Malta’s Shenantaha Creek Park and the Village of Round Lake are especially of interest.

Ballston Lake’s 3.5 mile asphalt covered Ballston Veterans Bike Path extends from an access point along Route 146A near Carney’s Tavern along an old trolley line. The trail parallels the CP Rail tracks still in use today, before terminating along Outlet Road on the north side of Ballston Lake.

Looking for a new place to explore in Albany, Schenectady or Montgomery Counties?

Founded in 1992, the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy has protected more than 12,000 acres of land and works to ensure clean water, clean air and working landscapes for farming and forestry for current and future Capital Region residents. An easy way to get started on your adventure is to visit and choose from 18 different preserves. Want to experience a waterfall on your journey?

Choose Wolf Creek Falls Preserve in the Town of Knox. Fox Preserve in Colonie offers the perfect office escape. While there, you may even spy an eastern bluebird, the state bird of New York.

These ideas prove you can enjoy socially distanced outdoor fun within the Capital Region.

Enjoy your summer!

Taryn Farewell is Marketing Manager for the Capital Region Chamber

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