The Amazing Preserves of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy.

I love to hike. Love to explore new places. When I find a place in my own backyard- it’s even better.

In my neck of the woods, Upstate New York, there is this great organization who has protected more than 12,500 acres land and maintains 22 preserves throughout the Capital Region.

The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy

In addition, they are also involved with the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail (ACHHRT). This is a fantastic, paved, multi use trail that spans 9 miles of what was once the D&H railroad between the port of Albany and Voorheesvile.

Admittedly, I was relatively unaware of this group until recently. I did notice the preserve signs here and there throughout my travels, but I did not realize the extent of their work, or the wonderful preserves they manage. I must say it is quite impressive.

Trailhead Kiosks are full of information about the particular preserve you are visiting.

MHLC Leadership

MHLC is led by a board of 17 people with a staff of 8 and of course, volunteers. All of these folks seem to do a fantastic job, at least based on the preserves I have visited. The trailhead kiosks are well constructed and provide interesting information about the preserve you are visiting. Trails are generally well marked, well maintained and in many cases…

…Well used.

But that is exactly the point. The MHLC has set these lands aside for the use and enjoyment of the public.

Connecting Communities

MHLC connects communities to the benefits of nature by offering a calendar of free outdoor events and free year-round access to 22 public preserves for hiking, cross-country skiing, and other educational and recreational opportunities.” – (MHLC Mission Page)

In researching for this post, I was pleased to see their “Indigenous Acknowledgement” as in my opinion it is very important to honor those who cared for the land before us.

MHLC Indigenous Acknowledgement

A small example of some of the Geological views at Hollyhock Preserve

Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy’s intention is to preserve and act as stewards of the traditional lands of the Mohican people, now known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community located in Wisconsin, and the traditional lands of the Mohawk people. The nature of the Tenonanatche (Mohawk River) meaning a river flowing through a mountain and the Mahicannituck (Hudson River), meaning the river that flows both ways, and the resources they provide were important then, are important now and will always be important.

MHLC’s commitment to preserving these natural resources honors the legacy of the Mohican and Mohawk peoples as the stewards who nurtured this land since time immemorial. We honor and respect their historic and continuing dedication to taking care of the natural world and commit our efforts to making these lands a more inclusive and equitable environment for all.

To learn more about these communities, their history, and how to support them, please visit https://www.mohican.com and http://www.mohawkcommunity.com/home.ht
ml.(MHLC Indigenous Acknowledgement)

Events.

If you have children, MHLC preserves have loads of opportunities for exploration.

MHLC also has a pretty active calendar of events for Spring of 2022. They are hosting, Birding, Earth day activities, introductions to Fly Fishing as well as other activities. One of the events I will take part in is the “20 Preserve Challenge” where I visit and document a trip to each preserve. (It’s actually 22 preserves now) I have been to several of these preserves already, but I wasn’t aware of the challenge. That’s ok by me though. They were so enjoyable the first time, that I am sure I will enjoy them again. Plus- ye git a sticker. (That makes it worthwhile right there.)

If you are in the Capital Region of New York, and you want to get out and stretch your legs, I would highly recommend a visit to some of these- no ALL of these areas the MHLC has preserved. I promise you will thank me for the recommendation.

The Onesquethaw flowing through Hollyhock Preserve

Also, if you are able, perhaps donate to this group or maybe volunteer some time for trail maintenance. You would be helping to build and maintain a legacy that generations to come will thank you for.

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