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Albany Pine Bush Preserve, Albany
(4.4/5 based on 65+ reviews on the web)
The Albany Pine Bush, referred to locally as the Pine Bush, is one of the largest of the 20 inland pine barrens in the world. It is centrally located in New York's Capital District within Albany and Schenectady counties, between the cities of Albany and Schenectady. The Albany Pine Bush was formed thousands of years ago, following the drainage of Glacial Lake Albany.The Albany Pine Bush is the sole remaining undeveloped portion of a pine barrens that once covered over 40sqmi, and is "one of the best remaining examples of an inland pine barrens ecosystem in the world." By 2008 it included all parcels of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve (a state nature preserve spanning 3200acres), the properties that connect these protected parcels, and some of the surrounding areas that abut the preserve. The 135acre Woodlawn Preserve and surrounding areas in Schenectady County are the western sections of the Pine Bush; they are separated geographically by other properties from the Albany Pine Bush Preserve in Albany County.The Pine Bush has been a historical, cultural, and environmental asset to the Capital District and Hudson Valley regions of New York. Pioneers moving west passed through the pine barrens, which later was crossed by the first passenger railroad in the United States. The Pine Bush is home to the Karner Blue butterfly, an endangered species first identified by author Vladimir Nabokov in 1944 using a type specimen from the Pine Bush.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Mostly flat, There are several access points to the various trails. Some trails off Route 155 are sandy, some further west and east off Fuller Rd are packed dirt. Not much shade in many spots. Nice to...  more »
  • An interesting nature preserve of sand that is host to the endangered species of butterfly known as the Karner Blue butterfly. The preserve, itself, is one of the largest inland pine barrens in the wo...  more »
  • I visited in early September. Incredibly vast areas are beautifully kept. Enjoy various natural grassland, ponds, forests, such as their favorite place to find, you can relax. I think to walk all days is required. Want to visit again.
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Google
  • Nice range of trails. Indoor area is interesting and new looking but some displays are pointless/not working. Have interesting animal programs
  • Fairly easy trails for all ages, on foot or bike (lots of sand, ... Mountain bike recommended) they also have events, accept help from volunteers, and actively do research. Trails are open year round aside from sections being actively worked on.
  • A truly unique and amazing preserve, right here in Albany! There are less than two dozen pine barrens ecosystems like this left in the world, and we're lucky to have the best example, just a couple miles from our homes. The entire area is like nothing you've seen before. With rolling sand dunes, incredibly rare species like the Karner Butterflies and Blue Lupine Flowers, you'll witness breathtaking views that will make you think you're in another world. Check out the fun and educational Discovery Center, it's great for kids. If you want to help out, you can also become a volunteer, just stop by the Discovery Center and ask for more information. Help to preserve one of Earth's most precious gems, right here in your back yard.
  • Great place to spend a day to hike and then visit the discovery center, staff is excellent and very helpful.
  • Fun and simple for a leisurely day of hiking. Don't forget to bring water.