Recently people have been joining me on my Sunday Walks in Downtown Albany. Typically, I walk in Albany when I'm scheduled as a tour guide on the USS Slater (DE Docent). A slide show and a map are detailed at this blog entry. The USS Slater is now open. I plan on walking in Albany on Monday, Memorial Day, May 27. You can contact me at:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2910-11-30 Monthly Log

Total Miles logged 113 for November

Walks Included:

  • Local Neighborhood Loop (1.7 - 3.0 miles), 32 times
  • Oakwood Cemetery Loop (3.2 - 6.3 miles), 5 times
  • Downtown Albany (~ 3.2 miles), 4 times
  • Albany Rural Cemetery, Menands (2.5 - 3.3 miles), 2 times
  • The Crossings, Colonie (1.7 miles), 1 time

2010-10-20, Schuyler Flats Cultural Park to USS Slater

This is roughly a six mile walk along the Hudson River. During the fall fo 2010 I was working on a Scouting Outreach Program for the USS Slater. One requirement for a Second Class Scout is to take a five mile hike. I wanted to explore the idea of taking a five mile hike to the USS Slater. I used to lay out a walk along the Hudson-Mohawk Bike Path.

I arranged to have a friend pick me up at the USS Slater and take me to Schuyler Flats Cultural Park in Menands, NY. From the park it's a short walk north to the Hudson-Mohawk Bike Path Parking Lot (4th and Broadway). At a reasonable pace the walk takes a little over two hours. The day I walked the National Guard was conducting a run along the trail. The walk passes the old site of the Al-tro Amusement Park. Near Albany there were plenty of lunch time walkers.

Please note that the USS Slater is moored on the Albany side of the Hudson River from April until November. It's also possible to take a bus from downtown Albany, to a point near Schuyler Flats (I believe it's route 22). Next year I'll probably test this option.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

2010-10-31 Monthly Log

Total Miles logged 135 for October

Walks Included:

  • Local Neighborhood Loop (1.7 - 3.0 miles), 27 times
  • Oakwood Cemetery Loop (3.2 - 6.3 miles), 7 times
  • Downtown Albany (~ 3.2 miles), 4 times
  • Sleeping Beauty Mountain, Lake George (7 miles), 1 time
  • Pebbles Island, Waterford, Cohoes (4.4 miles), 1 time
  • Schyler Meadows, Hudson River, Albany (~ 6 Miles), 1 time
  • Zim Smith - Ballston Spa (~ 4 Miles), 1 time
  • Zim Smith - Round Lake (5.1 Miles), 1 time

2010-10-09 Zim Smith Trail, Round Lake and Back

The Zim Smith is a beautiful trail for casual walks or biking. One of our favorite walks is a 5 mile round trip on the trail, starting at Shenantaha Creek Park to the Village of Round Lake. We combine this trip with a afternoon lunch at the Lake Ridge Restaurant in Round Lake. A 2-1/2 mile trip in builds a great appetite for a fine lunch. The trip back helps justify the dessert.

The slide show details a short loop around Shenantaha Creek Park and the Zim Smith Trail extension to Coons Crossing. After Round lake, the Zim Smith Trail crosses Route 9 and continues to Coons Crossing (another 2 miles). This segment is not paved.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

2010-10-30 Zim Smith Trail, Ballston Spa

Recently the Zim Smith Trail Extension North to Ballston Spa opened.

My wife and I decided to park a car in Ballston Spa, then drive our 2nd one to Shenantaha Creek Park and walk to Ballston Spa (approximately 4 mile walk). We decided against a round trip of eight miles. The trip is fine, until High Street. This is a fairly heavy traveled street, with some portions without a sidewalk.

Ballston Spa is a pretty interesting place. It's the birthplace of Abner Doubleday, and the Paper Bag. A hundred and eight years ago it rivaled Saratoga Springs as a resort. It is also the home to two museums.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

2010-09-30 Monthly Log

Total Miles logged 105 for September

Walks Included:

  • Local Neighborhood Loop (1.7 - 3.0 miles), 19 times
  • Oakwood Cemetery Loop (3.2 - 6.3 miles), 4 times
  • Downtown Albany (~ 3.2 miles), 1 time
  • Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve (3.3 - 4.5 miles), 1 time
  • Voorheesville (~ 4 miles), 1 time
  • Thacher Park (~ 5 Miles), 1 time
  • Olana (~ 2.5 Miles), 1 time
  • Short Walks in Myrtle Beach (1-2 Miles), 9 times
  • Myrtle Beach - Walks along the Beach (3-10 Miles), 4 times
  • Charleston, SC (2 Miles), 1 time
  • Brook Green Gardens (~3.5 miles), 2 times

Thursday, September 16, 2010

2010-09-14 Brook Green Gardens (Murrells Inlet, SC)

In September NY Walkman was on vacation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. When my wife picked up a brochure on Brook green Gardens I expected to find a "South of the Border" Style Sculpture Museum. WOW - was I wrong!

Instead I found a beautiful gardens and with an excellent collection of sculpture. That was only part of the 6,000 acre estate. There was also a wildlife exhibit, a butterfly exhibit and several nature walks and historic tours. My wife and I spent two days there, and there was still a lot to see. Each day we packed a picnic lunch. There was an great picnic area, which could easily accommodate several hundred visitors. In the picnic area, on one day we were alone, and on the second there was one other couple.

Each day we visited, our pedometers register over 4 miles. The map below shows a course less than three miles, but as you wind your way through the gardens the distance will expand. On one day we went to the Low Country Center and took the bus to the (self Guided) Oaks Plantation History and Nature Trail. They have an well mapped trail, that I would guess is between one-two miles long.

It's understandable that the Gardens has a restrictive photo policy, so I limited the number of images of sculpture from the slide show.

Brookgreen is at the nexus of a quite a few extremely interesting characters and events from American History: the Huntingtons; Aaron Burr and his daughter Theodosia; Joseph Alston; Theodosia's mysterious disappearance; and George Washington's visit.

Map My Walk - Brook Green Garden LoopView Interactive Map on

2010-09-16 Myrtle Beach Walk

Whenever we vacation at a beach I try to wake up early and go for a long walk on the beach. While beach walks are pleasant, there is little variation (Ocean, Waves, Sand, Birds). I usually try to walk until I get somewhere interesting - an inlet or a pier. In this case it was a five mile one way trip along Futch Beach. The destination of was Hog Inlet. On the other side of the Inlet was Waites Island (the Anne Tilghman Boyce Coastal Reserve). On the way I passed two fishing piers (the Cherry Grove Pier and a private pier).

Map My Walk Map - Myrtle Beach WalkView Interactive Map on

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

2010-08-31 Monthly Log

Total Miles logged 129 for August

Walks Included:

  • Local Neighborhood Loop (1.7 - 3.0 miles), 24 times
  • Oakwood Cemetery Loop (3.2 - 6.3 miles), 10 times
  • Zim Smith Trail (2.0 - 7.0 miles), 3 times
  • Downtown Albany (~ 3.2 miles), 6 times
  • Saratoga Springs (~ 3.0 miles), 2 times
  • Altamont Fair(~ 3.0 miles), 1 time
  • Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve (3.3 - 4.5 miles), 1 time
  • Lake George (~ 4 miles), 1 time

Sunday, August 1, 2010

2010-08-01 - Saratoga 5K Loop (Broadway-Lincoln-Union)

Since Saratoga Springs is the August Place to be I decided to post this in August. Actually, Saratoga Springs is a great place to walk year round.

On the way to Saratoga for a walk you can drive into the Saratoga Springs State Park and visit the Joe Bruno Pavilion to re-fill your water bottles. There's often a line of people filling multiple gallon (plus) jugs, but they usually allow someone to jump in to fill a single water bottle.

There are quite a few interesting route variations in Saratoga. This walk starts at one of the downtown lots (or the garage) just past Congress St. Park. There is a two hour limit on many of these lots. The walk goes north on Putman Street, over to Broadway, then to Lincoln Avenue. On Lincoln you pass the entrance to Green Ridge Cemetery. Continuing north on Lincoln you come to 5 points, and eventually to Siro's. Lincoln Avenue and Union Ave basically form the apex of a triangle (but you have a short walk on Nelson Ave to get to Union Ave).

On Union Ave, 1st walk east to the National Museum of Racing. At this point I retrace my steps and walk west on Union Ave, looping back to Congress Park. Earlier this year I detailed a 1 mile walk around Congress Park.

Wikipedia Links:

Parking Info:
Other Links:

View Interactive Map on

Saturday, July 31, 2010

2010-07-31 Monthly Log

Total Miles logged 124 for July

Walks Included:

  • Local Neighborhood Loop (1.7 - 2.2 miles), 16 times
  • Oakwood Cemetery Loop (3.2 - 6.3 miles), 8 times
  • Zim Smith Trail (3.2 miles), 1 time
  • Downtown Albany (~ 3.2 miles), 5 times
  • Schenectady Volkssport (6.3 miles), 1 time
  • Saratoga Springs State Park (3.2 miles), 2 times
  • Saratoga Springs Track Loop (3.23 miles), 1 time
  • Altamont (3.3 miles), 1 time
  • Ballston Spa (~ 2.5 miles), 2 times
  • Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve (3.3 - 4.5 miles), 3 times
  • Lake George (~ 4 miles), 1 time

Saturday, June 19, 2010

2010-06-19 - Walking to Lake George

Today my wife and I decided to walk to Lake George (from the Lake George Outlet Center). The distance is approximately 4 mikes.

We parked in front of the Log Jam Restaurant. Then we walked a few hundred yards along Route 149 and we came to the Warren County Bike Path. The trip is a pleasant walk through the woods on a paved bike path. The path is built on road bed of the the Hudson Valley Railroad, so the grades are very minor. If you start at the outlets, the entire trip is down hill (approx. 280').

Shortly after starting, there is a short side trip to the Ephraim Williams Jr. monument. Williams was killed during the Battle of Lake George. The path passes all the engagement sites of the Battle of Lake George. The Battle occurred in 1755, two years before the more infamous siege of Fort William Henry. The survivors of the siege were harried by Indian allies of the French along the bike path route. This event forms the context for James Fenimore Cooper's novel The Last of the Mohicans.

The path passes close to the current "Bloody Pond" site (on Route 9). However, it also runs parallel with a small stream (and it crosses it at several points). There is some debate whether the current site of Bloody Pond (on Route 9) is correct. An alternate theory was presented that the actual pond was created on the stream near the bike path.

For a short period the path veers toward Route 9. While the noise is a distraction, there is a nice bench and a Pepsi Machine that provides a nice respite. To get a good view of the Bloody Pond you have to take a short walk south on Route 9.

Continuing North on the path you will pass several motels, King Phillip Campsite, the Wild West Ranch and Magic Forest before it diverges away from Route 9. After a short distance the path merges on the Old Military Road. During the revolution, Henry Knox used this road to haul cannon from Fort Ticonderoga to General Washington. After a short distance on the Old Military Road, the bike path branches back into the forest. After a few minutes of brisk walking you get a glimpse of Lake George.

The path ends at the Road into the Lake George Battle Field State Park. You can take an interesting side trip into the park. There are quite a few interesting monuments, picnic table and restrooms.

After a short walk along Million $ Beach, you come to the pier of the Lake George Steamship Company. Here, for a dollar, you can board a Trolley and ride back to the parking area where you started.

Links (Attractions):
Links (Historical & Information)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

2010-06-12 - NY walkman walks in NJ

A few weeks ago (the week before Memorial Day) I was on vacation in Brigantine Beach. While there I managed to walk nearly every day. It was great for beach walks, especial to the north to the North Brigantine Wildlife Area. This wildlife area is part of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. To the south, across an Absecon Inlet, is Atlantic City. I understand that Brigantine Beach is a bedroom community for many people who work in the Atlantic City Casinos. There is 24 hour bus service to Atlantic City. The fare was approx. $2.50.

The starting point for the walk is the Brigantine Inn. The Inn is a historic resort that was built in 1927. According to local lore the Inn was frequented by Al Jolson and Al Capone. I couldn't confirm this (using a casual internet search). However, there was a famous meeting of Mob Bosses in nearby Atlantic City in 1929 (2 years after the Inn was open). The Brigantine Inn has some historic memorabilia in their lobby. The hotel was build by the Brigantine Island Development Company in 1927. I included a photo of the Grand Opening program and an aerial view of the Inn (from 1929) in my slide show. The Grand Opening was presided by Ashbrook D. Snelbaker (who also owned a Monument Company in Woodstown, NJ). The program also mentions the Woodstown Fellowship Club. The great depression had a serious impact on the Brigantine Island Development Company. By 1940 ownership of the Brigantine Inn transferred to Father Devine, a somewhat flamboyant and controversial figure. Eventually ownership passed to a famous black business women, Sara Spenser Washington. Today the Brigantine Inn is a timeshare resort run by Celebrity Resorts.

The slide show was snapped one morning. The walk started at 7AM. I would guess that I walked for a half an hour before I ran across a couple of people walking south on the beach. For the next two hours I ran across a couple of dozen people at most. A few surfers, but mostly surf fisherman. At the Brigantine Inlet I looped back, until the sea wall. Then I returned by Brigantine Ave. On the way there is a small restaurant, Pirates Cove, that's great for breakfast (or lunch and dinner).

The walk outlined is over seven miles long. I also walked a shorter loop around a Lookout Platform in the Nature Preserve (3 1/2 miles). The slide show includes photos of both walks.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2010-06-06 - DE 5k walk washout

On the 6th of June I had planned a 5K walk in downtown Albany. I arranged discounted USS Slater tour coupons for everyone who participated. Unfortunately the 6th of June was a washout, and the DE Docent had to walk alone (which I did).

Albany is a great place to walk. I outlined two 5K walks with the USS Slater as a starting point. The 1st is a walk was along the the Corning Preserve. (about 1-1/2 miles). It includes a quick loop to the State Capital. The 2nd walk goes along Broadway, toward the visitor center and the AquaDuck Tour (also finishing with a loop around the capital).

Monday, May 31, 2010

2010-05-31 DE Docent 5k Walk (2)

This is a variation of an earlier published 5K walk with the USS Slater as the starting / end point. Instead of looping through the Corning Preserve it uses the Broadway Underpass (under 787). It then follows Broadway to Quackenbush Square and then goes uphill to the State Capital. It returns to the USS Slater by the Hudson River Pedestrian Bridge.

USS Slater Fees & Schedule

Map My Walk - USS Slater - Quackenbush Square Visitor Center Loop

span style="font-weight: bold;" >A few DE Docent 5K related links that may be of interest:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

2010-05-05 - Congress Park

Congress Park and Canfield Casino lies in the heart of Saratoga Springs. The Casino was built in 1870 by John Morrissey, a very famous boxer and congressman (check the link for an interesting story). In 1894 it was bought by Richard Canfield (like Morrissey, Canfield was also famous). He bought up much of the property around the Casino to construct Congress park. Anti-gambling pressure forced him to close the doors in 1907. A few years later the property was sold to the city of Saratoga Springs. He died in 1914 (here's a link to his obit). Some people credit the invention of the Club Sandwich to the Canfield Casino.

The Carousel in the park was carved by a noted carver - Marcus Charles Illions. The park contains a statute (Spirit of Life) by Daniel Chester French. There is also a Civil War Memorial, for the locally organized 77th NY Regiment (Bemis Heights Regiment). This regiment left Saratoga Springs in November, 1861 and fought in many of the major battles of the war (Antietam, Gettysburg and Appomattox).

The walk that I outlined here is approximately one mile long. It covers all the major sites in the park. This short walk is a great prelude or post script to a longer walk around Saratoga Springs. There are plenty of great eating establishments in very close proximity. There is limited on the street parking within the park, but ample spaces on the north boundary of the park (across Spring Street). Across Broadway, from the park entrance is the Saratoga Springs visitor center. | Congress Park - Saratoga Springs, New York

Related Links:

Saturday, May 1, 2010

2010-05-01 DE Docent 5K Walk (1)

This is a 5K walk with the USS Slater as the starting / end point. This walk goes north into the Corning Preserve, then crosses the pedestrian bridge to Albany. It then goes up hill and loops around the NY State Capital and returns to the USS Slater. It's a great walk. Idea for scout groups to finish off a shipboard camping experience aboard the USS Slater. | USS Slater - NY Capital in Albany, New York

A few DE Docent 5K related links that may be of interest:

Friday, April 30, 2010

2010-04-29 - Vischer Ferry, Dam #3 - Amity Reformed Church

This walk starts at the 3 Mile Dam Parking Lot and ends at the Amity Reformed Church in Vischer's Ferry. The 3 Mile Dam crosses the Mohawk River at Goat Island. It's a relatively easy nature walk except for a slight hill at the 3 Mile Dam.

When you get to Vischer's Ferry there are a few sites of historic interest, including Amity Church. I volunteered as a committee member of Boy Scout Troop 30 that was hosted at the Amity Church. On occasion I run into Pastor Dave DeVries (of Amity Church) on this walk. The Amity Church dates from 1802. The current building was dedicated on January 18, 1872. There's a great description of the church in Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester's 1878 work, A History of Saratoga County, New York:

"...Previous to the beginning of the present century there was no society of this denomination on the north side of the river, and the early settlers worshiped with the church at Niskayuna, then under the ministry of Rev. Mr. Demarest. In 1802, by regular legal and ecclesiastical proceedings, the "Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Amity" was organized. The first elders were Jacobus Van Vranken and John Miller. The first deacons, Daniel F. Fort and Evert Van Vranken. In 1803 the first house of worship was built, and was, for the times, a most respectable building.

In the same year a call to Rev. Mr. Hardenburg was declined. In 1805 the church of Amity and Niskayuna united in the choice of Rev. Thomas Romeyn as pastor, and he was installed in the spring of 1806. The same year a joint parsonage was built at Amity by the two societies.

The records of a consistory-meeting in October, 1806, show that there were present Elders Nicholas Vandenburg, Nicholas Fort; Deacons Eldert Vischer and Daniel Fort, and Rev. Thomas Romeyn presiding. Candidates then admitted to membership: John Pearse, John B. Miller, Tunis Cragier, Margaret Pearse, and Schouten. The delegate to the classis of Albany, in 1807, was Nicholas Fort. Mr. Romeyn's ministry was a prosperous one, extending to twenty-one years. The following list of male members before 1827 may not be complete, but it furnishes a fair statement of the solid Christian citizens of the olden time, who laid the enduring foundations of civil and social order: James Weldon, Mr. Vandecar, John Schouten, Benjamin Mix, John Shears, Samuel Queemans, Abram Whitaker, "Tom, a negro slave of James Weldon," Wm. Bell, Philip Dutcher, Tunis Quackenbush, Garret A. Van Vranken, Cornelius Hegeman, Francis Vischer, Mr. Heeder, John Fort, Hendrick Dunsback, George Melius, Abram Best, John Melius, Henry Sherwood, G.M. Volwider. To this long and devoted pastorate of Mr. Romeyn the church has been largely indebted in all subsequent years.

The successive pastors since have been McKelvy, four years; Van Wagoner, three years; A. B. Chittenden, five years; Brownson, two years; Hathaway, six years; Williamson, till his death by the explosion of the steamboat "Reindeer"; Raymond, three years; Schoomaker, five years; and W.S.E. See, seven years, to 1868. The present incumbent, Rev. W. W. Letson, commenced his labors soon after. It may be said that through all this long period the church has had a steady, healthy growth. During the ministry of Mr. Van Wagoner the two churches dissolved their connection, and he continued pastor of the Amity church. Special mention may be properly made of the extensive revivals during the ministry of Mr. Hathaway from 1843 to 1849, and there was also great activity in missionary and temperance work.

In 1871 the present new, commodious, and beautiful house of worship was erected, and the dedication services were held Jan. 18, 1872. The church, now more than three-quarters of a century old, is vigorous and flourishing, one hundred members having been added since 1871. It stands a worthy representative of that ancient faith, transmitted by the sturdy old burghers who successfully defended religious liberty centuries ago upon the "lowlands of Holland." ...."

Interesting Links:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

2010-04-28 - Oakwood Walk

One of the companies I work for is Ross Valve Manufacturing, Located in Troy, NY. Every day that I'm there I try to do the Oakwood Loop. Oakwood Cemetery is Nationally recognized. Briefly, this walk has a climb over 300', passes four ponds, two water falls, and has a 50 mile panoramic view of the Capital District of NY. | Oakwood Walk in Troy, New York

2010-04-29 Introduction

Two years ago I weighed over 80 lbs more than I do today. I was also facing some serious surgery. After these events I adopted a more healthy life style, including a short daily walk. Since then I've expanded that daily walk into a hobby. I started carrying a camera, and doing a little research about my daily walks. Today I try to walk a 5K every day.

Walker Links: