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: None

General Description

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.

Trail Description

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 of 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 onto the preserve’s red 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 on a log bridge, with a rustic handrail. As you cross the stream, you will see, on the right, a culvert over which a railroad crosses. In another 250 feet, the red trail ends at a junction with the white trail. The LP turns left onto the white trail.  An interesting detour is to take the white trail to the right 150 feet to an old stone washing station where gravel was washed and loaded onto railroad cars on a siding.


36.1 Wolf Creek Falls. 2013 [MARK TRAVER]

5.40 The white trail ascends along Wolf Creek, passing several large waterfalls. The trail passes through a stone wall that marked the boundary between two “great lots” from the land grants of the 1700s.

5.60 Reach a four-way intersection. Here, the LP turns left onto the blue trail. Bear left at a Y-intersection, staying on the blue trail. 

5.80 Reach an intersection with the yellow trail. Turn left and follow the yellow trail south, crossing a “musical” bridge where you can tap out a tune on the foot treads. In 500 feet, reach Bozenkill Road and turn 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 the name of the road changes to Bozen Kill Road. 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)  The rail line was built by the Delaware & Hudson Railroad in 1863 and is now operated by SMS Rail Lines.

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 which now comprises the sanctuary. Continue on the Schoharie Turnpike.


36.2 Christman Sanctuary. 2014 [JAKOB FRANKE]