Earlier this week I nearly completed all my stuff to become officially a volunteer for the Albany Pine Bush. With that came the memory of the goal to explore all of the (marked) trails. I was eager to log some volunteering time, so I decided to head out an walk the new purple trail. I had run on a portion of this back in early spring but had yet to return or to walk its complete length. Marcy and I headed over to Madison Ave Ext, parked and started walking a bit after 3.
This past year they did a prescribed burn in the area so while its definitely regrowing, it still doesn't look "right" to me, despite being unable to remember what it looked like before.
The purple trail heads west and is a wide path. Almost immediately I came upon two folks mountain biking. Which reminded me of my bucketlist to try mountain biking. The Pine Bush requires dogs to be leashed which both Marcy and I dislike, but obeyed. Since we weren't on any time table I stopped for her to sniff things and she stopped for me while I foraged for blackberries and raspberries.
After passing the utility lines, the trail narrows and becomes almost a single track. It also gets a lot steeper as it descends to a stream and then back up. There is a nice bridge that I stopped at, broke the rules and let Marcy of leash for a few minutes so she could splash around the water. After she had her fill, we linked back up and started the steep climb back up. The third mountain biker for the day came whizzing down the bridge and seemed very startled to find us there, thankfully we were completely out of his way. Last time I was here, this was about as far as I had run. So continuing on was all new territory. We met up with a couple that seemed to be doing the reverse hike, said quick hellos and continued on. I had read the trail head map, which made it seem that to get to DiCaprio park it would be about a 2 mile walk from the car. At the second road crossing I became a bit confused since the trailhead 7 map didn't extend that far. I was still on the purple trail and was committed to walking it to the other end, so we walked on.
After what I thought would have been .44 to the park ended up being a full mile, we arrived at DiCaprio park. I've never heard of this park nor would I have any clue how to get there by car, but it was a nicely mowed large field that is clearly used for soccer and lacrosse. We walked to the official trail head, signed in and then began to make our way back across the field. I don't know the parks rules and regulations but with no one around it seemed cruel to keep Marcy on the leash, so I let her off for a bit to run around. I sat and relaxed and wished I had packed a snack since it ended up being such a nice area. After a solid rest, Marcy and I were tethered once more and we started the 2.5(ish) mile walk back to the car.
As always the walk back seemed to go much quicker. Before we reached the first road crossing I ran into the couple again and stopped to talk trails. They had done this one before which they obviously enjoy. The entire time Marcy was tortured by the active chipmunks, shes strong, but isn't able to drag me along as quickly as she wishes. Not without trying though. Just as we were about to make the big descent back to the creek I could hear voices, I decided to step off the trail for a moment to figure out which direction they were coming and it was two men powering up the hill. I wouldn't be able to maintain enough momentum to go forward without falling so I was impressed.Down at the water Marcy had another chance to play, she'll do anything to splash in water that I finally decided today was the day I'd buy her a kiddie pool. Soon enough we were back on the wide trail were we side stepped another pair of mountain bikers and continued along. I did see two trail runners on the trail and in the parking lot a running group was about to take off. These trails definitely get a lot of action!
While I was thinking of it, we stopped at Walmart so that I could finally shell out the 4.84 for the kiddie pool. While not related to the rest of this post at all, she loved it. If you'd like to see the video you can find it here.
This trail is long and has some steep parts but is very enjoyable. The only thing I would do differently is pack a picnic and maybe use some bug spray.