I am no doctor, but to me it makes sense that fresh air and exercise are good for you, even during a pandemic. I am also not an exercise "let's go to the gym" guy. My idea of exercise is taking the garbage can to the curb. I do however like to get outside with the family and our Chesapeake Bay Retriever "Mondo" and hike.

Let me take that back, apparently we don't hike. According to Outdoor Command it isn't a hike until you've been on the trail for at least 2 hours. That is the distance equivalent of a 20 minute ride in the car! So, this is now about my 4 favorite winter walks in the Capital Region.

  1. Huyck Preserve  - 5052 Delaware Turnpike - Rensselearville, NY - Loved this place even before we got to the trail head as the town is picturesque. One of those don't blink or you will miss it kind of towns. A short walk down the snowy path and we reached the bridge crossing the river. On the other side it was as if we had walked onto a movie set that was staged for winter. Being a water dog, Mondo didn't mind the icy cold water and fetched sticks until it was too cold for us to stay. There is much more to explore there and we will return.
  2. Christman Sanctuary - 3281 Schohaire Turnpike Delanson, NY - We did this on a bight, sunny day with no wind and a temperature around 35, making the conditions perfect. There are a total of 4 trails here. We chose the 1 mile loop leading us to the Bozenkill, with its 30-foot waterfall and numerous lesser cascades.
  3. Barberville Falls - 23 Blue Factory Road - Poestenkill, NY - You may or may not want to wait on making this 1/4 mile hike. There is a very steep descent to the bottom of the falls. The steps were covered with snow and ice. With caution and care it can be done but only at your own risk, The 92 foot waterfall is a beautiful payoff however.
  4. Thacher State Park - 830 Thacher Park Road - Voorheesville, NY - What I like so much about my top 3 is that they are a bit more off the beaten path. Thacher is much more of the place where everyone goes but you cannot deny the beauty of this destination. Spectacular views of panorama of the Hudson-Mohawk Valleys and the Adirondack and Green Mountains. What we liked most was the nearby lake with a boat launch making it easy for Mondo to swim.

As with anything during the pandemic, please check websites for updates on availability and closures.


Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic:

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