Snowshoeing at Thatcher Park/OSI

The Thatcher Park OSI Parcel with High Point and Hang Gliders Cliff have rapidly become one of my favorite local places to visit. It has replaced Partridge Run as a personal favorite, mainly because in addition to interesting woods to explore, it also has the Escarpment to look off.

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The day when I went out hiking I had previously gone to the doctor with a horrible sinus infection. I was feeling pretty sick, but the bright blue skies just beckoned me to go outside and get some fresh air. So I donned my beat up old cowboy hat, took some Zyrtec and my antibiotics, and off I went.

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I didn’t plan on snowshoeing too far, so I decided to park up at the old Bluestone Quarry off of Carrick Road. Carrick Road was a sheet of ice, with about 2 inches of packed snow on it. Fortunately the Quarry had an area that was well plowed and it was a perfect place for me to park and not worry about getting my pickup stuck. Even with 4×4, I am so paranoid about such things these days.

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The bright sun and the blue skies were so delightful. In winter, it seems like gray snowy weather is always the norm, and it’s rare to get a truly nice day for snowshoeing. On this particular day, there was not a cloud in the sky, and it could almost not have been much nicer.

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Here is the junction of the White Connector Trail and the Red Ski Loop which is multiplexed with the Long Path. This is only a short distance from High Point. The light and the weather was just so amazing on this afternoon.

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I hopped off the Red Ski Trail and took an old woods road to High Point. I had never been over this way before, and when I reached High Point from this angle, I almost didn’t even realize it was High Point, looking out through a clearing.

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While I go up to High Point quite a bit, it is the first time I really noticed this classic looking farm in Guilderland with the barns and the house. Obviously, you can’t tell what kind of livestock they raise from this picture, but it is a very classic old farm house and old barns, probably from back when it was a dairy operation some time ago.

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All of the sun and fresh air made me start to feel better so I snowshoed on south to Hang Gliders cliff. While I usually would take the unmarked escarpment trail all the way on over in the summer, I took for the first part the Long Path and cut over to the unmarked trail, to avoid the section that runs right along the edge. Here we are looking off Hang Gliders cliff, down into the valley.

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Settles Hill can viewed from Hang Gliders Cliff quite well. I have always loved the look Settles Hill if only for it’s rolling nature and all of beautiful small farms up on it. Most of this country is still in the Town of Guilderland, although some is in Princetown.

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Snowshoeing along Hang Gliders Road. There was some icy patches and I passed a group of young kids snowmobiling, probably from one of the neighboring farms.

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One of the things I don’t like about this time of year is the days are so short. That said, each and every day is getting a little longer, and twilight is now around 5 PM every night. In a month, the twilight will be much closer to 6 PM. Sunset was about 4:30 PM.

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There was waxing crescent moon hiking back to the truck. Quite beautiful, as the sun set in the opposite direction. It made for a beautiful hike on back to my pickup, as I headed home for the day on this wonderful day.

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The route I took is in green.