Thursday, January 13, 2011

XC Skiing - Woodlawn Preserve, Schenectady

A group at Holly's church was considering a service project doing some minor trail clearing in this preserve, located near the Woodlawn section of Schenectady. Today, we went skiing there to scout it out, both for that purpose and for future skiing opportunities. It's a somewhat forgotten and forlorn part of the expanse of Pine Bush that extends from Albany to Schenectady, and contains sand dunes and a lake that was created for stormwater runoff control many years ago. The city is now trying to resurrect the area as a nature preserve, but motorized recreational access continues to be a problem.

We skied in from the end of Gifford Road and started out CCW around the lake, detouring up into the wooded area where the sand dunes are. The entire area had been heavily used by snowmobiles, though we didn't see any today. Some of the hills up in the dunes would have been pretty amazing to ski, snowmobiled or not, but not everyone in the group was interested in trying that. So we headed back down to the lake and finished the loop back to the cars.

All things considered, I think I probably will not be back here to ski again, unless the motorized access issues are resolved and enforced, which seems unlikely. The terrain could be a lot of fun if not already all torn up by snowmobiles.


  1. We have had a 99% decrease in all off-road activity in the Woodlawn Preserve. winter of 2013 saw no snowmobile activity. The City and the Preserve group have been placing jersey barriers in all ATV access points.The trails are now marked and we have maps at our kiosks. CHECK IT OUT

  2. Havent seen a Snowmoblie there in two years. trails are marked