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36. John Boyd Thacher State Park to Christman Sanctuary
Features: Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy’s Wolf Creek Falls Preserve and The Nature Conservancy’s Christman Sanctuary
Distance: 9.55 miles
USGS Map Quads: Altamont, Gallupville
Trail Conference Maps: Trail Map 200 (John Boyd Thacher State Park) free download
After leaving Thacher State Park, the Long Path follows paved roads to Wolf Creek Falls Preserve, where it follows trails for about one mile. The trail then goes back to local roads until it reaches Christman Sanctuary.
From the NY Thruway North, merge onto I-87 N/I-90 E toward Albany/Montreal. Take Exit 1S toward US-20/Western Ave. Turn right onto US-20 W/Western Ave, and in about 4 miles turn left onto NY-146 W. Continue for 6 miles, and in Altamont continue on NY-156 W. In 1.3 mi turn left onto Old Stage Road. The trailhead parking is on the left.
0.00 Old Stage Road trailhead. (42.68158°, -74.05442°)
1.70 Lewis Road and NY Route 146 (limited). (unlocated)
5.10 Wolf Creek Falls Preserve parking area. (42.72155°, -74.08547°)
9.20 Christman Sanctuary parking area. (42.74317°, -74.12860°)
There is currently no camping available in this section.
0.00 From the parking area off Old Stage Road, marking the furthest extent north of park property, turn right. Descend gradually on Old Stage Road, with views across the valley of Altamont towards the hills just south of the Mohawk River.
1.00 Immediately after passing an old cemetery, turn right onto NY Route 156.
1.10 Turn left onto Lewis Road.
1.80 Reach NY Route 146 and turn left.
3.00 Turn right onto Bell Road (Albany County Route 261).
4.30 Reach Bozenkill Road (County Route 253) and turn left.
5.10 The LP reaches the boundary for the Wolf Creek Falls Preserve, which is owned by the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy. After crossing a large culvert on the road, the LP turns right and uses the preserve’s red-blazed trail. Several other unmarked paths intersect, but stay on the red trail. There are several small waterfalls in the stream on the right. The trail crosses Wolf Creek and turns left on the blue trail and crosses the stream (no bridge). On the right, there is a railroad culvert that the creek passes through. Fifty yards further on the red trail is the site of an old stone washing operation where gravel was washed and loaded on railroad cars at a siding.
36.1 Wolf Creek Falls. 2013 [MARK TRAVER]
5.40 The blue trail ascends along side Wolf Creek passing several larger waterfalls. The trail passes through a stone wall which marked the boundary between two “great lots” from the land grants of the 1700s.
5.60 Reach a 4-way intersection where the LP turns left on the white blazed trail. Bear left at a Y-intersection, staying on the white trail to reach the intersection with a green trail on the left.
5.80 Take this green trail south and cross the “musical” bridge where you can tap out a tune on the foot treads. Rejoin Bozenkill Road where the LP turns right to follow the road.
7.30 Turn right onto Colliton Road (also known as Ostrander Road) and then right onto Bozie Hollow Road. Pass the old Ostrander Cemetery on the left. There is little blazing from here to the Schoharie Turnpike.
8.40 Cross railroad tracks and the Albany/Schenectady County line where Bozie Hollow Road changes to Bozenkill Road again. The Bozenkill Falls can be heard through the fencing on the right. A gristmill was once at its base. (DO NOT LEAVE THE ROADWAY - DO NOT TRESPASS OR YOU WILL BE ARRESTED)
9.10 Reach the Schoharie Turnpike (Schenectady County Route 74) and turn left.
9.55 At the top of the hill, on the left, is the Christman Wildlife Sanctuary where a trail leads to the historic “Long Path Lean-to” at the base of a beautiful waterfall. It was built by the Mohawk Valley Hiking Club in the 1930s as a shelter for LP hikers. Mr. W.W. Christman, renowned as the “Poet of the Helderhills,” was highly enthusiastic about the Long Path and owned the land of the sanctuary. Continue on the Schoharie Turnpike.
36.2 Christman Sanctuary. 2014 [JAKOB FRANKE]