Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Nature Conservancy's: Limestone Rise.

We waited for the other members of our friends who failed once again to arrive at the Voorhees- ville Public Library until 3:00p.m.

Having surmised that we were on our own proceeded to Altamont via the Voorheesville/Altamont Road (Rte. 156) from Voorheesville. Taking route 146 west out of Altamont Village, we drove about 4.5 miles into Knox until we crossed route 252 (Knox Cave Road). A couple of hundred feet beyond route 252 on the right we came upon Nash Road. and the preserve sign:


After realizing that the supplied map on Page 126 of "Walks in Nature's Empire by Scott Edward Anderson." was slightly upside down to the way we were directed to the site along Route 146,

Map on Page 126 of
the Nature Conservancy's Guide Book.

we concluded that the reason we had missed it the last time we were seeking it out was also due to the fact that the entrance was fairly obscured. Were it not for the description of the landmarks at the entrance to the trail in the trail guidebook we could have driven past it more than the two times we had previously.

I have cropped the trail map and added numbers to a xerox copy with a ballpoint pen to indicate the locations of our photos:




On right hand side of the road was the described painted metal gate to a farm entrance:

Painted Metal Gate. (#1 on map)

On the left hand side of the road is the trail head. The Adventure-bIRD~ shows the way:

Limestone Rise trail head. (#2)

The trail head begins on a glacial ridge through second growth woodland, about 50 ft up the trail is the sign in box. (Please sign in and out on all your treks if possible. It may be the only indication that you are there to searchers if you should have have a mishap. Not all trails have up to date sign in sheets or pens/pencils to sign in with so we tend to bring our own. Volunteers are needed to keep these boxes supplied and we are thinking of making ourselves available to do so in the future.)

Adventure-bIRD~ signs us in. (#3)

The trail slowly descends to parallel a small wetland with open water and it is an easy leisurely walk. The wetland area is located along the right-hand side of route 146 and here are some of our best photos of the area. Adventure~bIRD tried his best to capture a photo of a Red Wing Blackbird but was unsuccessful in doing so. He did however get some wonderfully green saturated shots of Cat-tails:

The word green is closely related
to the Old English verb
growan, “to grow”,
this should be in the dictionary
as part of that definition. (#4)
(I am currently using this as my Desktop background.)

This was my shot. Not as good as bIRD's. (#5)

The trail now takes a slow left turn and approaches the road where you will see this sign:

Obviously this is a left turn. (#6)

The road is on a curve and cars move along at quite a good clip so be careful here:

Where the trail crosses route 146 (#7)

The only real incline on this hike is here at the entrance to the the second part of the preserve on the other side of the road. It s only a few feet up the road on your right and fairly well blended into the surrounding plant life:

The incline at the entrance to the Limestone Habitat area. (#8-a)

As you climb the path into the woods you will notice off to the left the first limestone cliff face.


Limestone cliff face. (#9)

The path works around this the cliff face to the right and then up and over another another small one. Adventure bIRD did it with no problem and I followed thereafter:

The Limestone Rise onto the plateau where the large crevices begin. (#10)

As you ascend onto the Limestone there abounds many species of fern that thrive in the lime rich soil there:

One of the crevices with ferns about the edging. (11-a)

(11-b)

(11-c)

(11-d)

The Crevices in the Limestone are very impressive. If you bring children with you watch them closely as some are quite deep. They actually do break off in W-shaped angles as shown on the map. One can almost imagine the the earth shifting in some long ago time under your feet.

Moss abounds here and seems to cover everything stone and or fallen and organic.

These are some of the dozen or so types of ferns growing abundantly about the area:

(11-e)

(11-f)

This one I know by name: The Christmas fern. (11-g)

As we moved through the habitat from #11 to #12 we came across several interesting finds:


Adventure-bIRD~ found this Pipestem under some low growing fauna.

Here is my close-up.

As I stepped over a log I noticed this bright yellow cottage-cheese like Lichen:


A yellow Lichen on a moss covered log.

From Lichen to Fungus.
Alan took this picture of a Mushroom I found for him
that had just recently popped up from underneath the leaf bed.

We soon reached the stone wall at the boundary of the preserve where I shot these pics of fossil rich limestone used to build the stone field fence:

The Limestone field wall. (12-a)

Fossil leaden limestone. (12-b)

These rocks and their fossils formed during the Devonian period some 350 million years ago. They are similar to those found on the European continent and indicate a link in the geological history's of the two continents separated by the North Atlantic Ocean. Fossils, like many resources are not renewable and should be left where you find them for other's to enjoy as well.

We were getting a little sweaty and the mosquitoes had located us as a result so we decided to rest on a log that had fallen across the path as it looped back upon itself and headed back down the rise.


The log where we rested. (#13)

After our break we bushwhacked a bit looking for anything of interest to the camera. Adventure-bIRD~ found this Newt and snapped this pic of him crawling away.


CAUTION: Slow moving Newt Crossing! (14-a)

I popped this piece of Artist Fungus off of a fallen tree with the intent to bring it home and do some drawing in my "Spare" time. (...It now sits on my shelf and has already begun to collect dust...)

Artist Fungus exposed and resting on a moss covered log. (14-b)

We had been about it for an hour or more and the sky began to darken so we made our way down off of the rise and in the direction of the road:

The Road from the cliff edge (#15)

An interesting root formation on one of the cliffs (#16)

I hung back and took this shot of the exit/entrance slop on the way down and out towards the road:

Exit/entrance to upper habitat (#8-b)

We meandered up the road a bit and I took this picture of the Limestone cliff face from the road:

Limestone Cliff from the road (#17)

I then crossed the road because Adventure-bIRD thought he had seen what may well have been a duck but went undetermined. I tried again at a wetland shot from the other side of the guard- rail:

The wetland from the road.

We backtracked along the wetland path and back over the glacial ridge and through the second growth woodland to the car. Along the path I found yet another spices of fern:

Here it is against the Artist Fungus for contrast. (#18-1)

It was very delicate and grass like so thats probably why I missed it the first time through. After we signed out like good little hikers we reached trails end and took a satisfying, conversation filled ride back to Smith's Tavern just before a major storm blew through.

A quick note here: there were no maps at the trail head some come prepared with a guidebook if you can. Water and trail mix is as always advisable. Compass required if you plan on bushwhacking of just happen to loose the trail God forbid.

Adventure-bIRD~ makes tracks for the car. (18-2)

The Limestone Rise was donated to the Nature Conservancy by Earl and Jane Bucci in 1974 and 1979 and consists of 62 acres in the town of Knox, Albany County. That means this year will mark 30 years as a public trail.

Overall Geezer Difficulty Rating:

1 Geezer for the somewhat steep incline at the beginning of the upper part of the trail.

obee-hikin-dude~


1 comment:

Scott Edward Anderson said...

Enjoyed your account of your trip to Limestone Rise -- and glad to revisit the site virtually. Thanks for your update to the map. If Countryman ever decides to do a revised edition of my book, I'll be sure they include your perspective on the map. -- Scott