Sometimes, it's easy to take for granted the work that goes into keeping up trails. Yet so much effort goes into the tree cutting, trail clearing, boardwalk and bridge building, and trash pickup. Not to mention the advocacy and organization going into preserving land to stay wild for outdoor enjoyment.
In this article, we'll highlight a few favorite organizations helping to keep trails and preserves active in the Capital Region and other areas of upstate New York. Visit the links for each to learn more about each organization's mission, see trail listings, and find out how to volunteer.
With close to twenty preserves listed on their site, the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy has done immense work to preserve land in Albany, Montgomery, and Schenectady counties. In addition to many nature preserves with walking trails, they also oversee the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail.
Focused on Saratoga County, Saratoga PLAN has helped to keep farmland wild and develop over 200 miles of trails. Trails range from suburban paths in Saratoga Springs to more wild areas closer to the Adirondacks. This organization also works with other groups to keep the Zim Smith multi-use trail maintained.
The Adirondack Mountain Club is the primary nongovernmental organization responsible for preserving wild spaces around the Adirondacks and keeping up trails. Their ADK Lodge in Lake Placid, New York, serves as a launch point for countless trails leading into the High Peaks. The organization hosts countless outdoor activities throughout the year for both members and non-members, as well as opportunities to help volunteer.
The Catskill Mountain Club helps to promote the Catskill region, both driving awareness and keeping up trails. Members have access to many events for exploring the Catskills, as well as opportunities to volunteer.
While not strictly a local organization, The Nature Conservancy maintains several preserves throughout New York State. This organization has done quite a bit of work around the country in keeping land wild, advocating for environmental concerns, and maintaining trails.