Friday, March 18, 2011

Walk - Hemlock Hollow and Upper Indian Kill

Hemlock Hollow is a small (9 acres) Town of Glenville natural area that does not appear to be very well known. I noticed it mentioned in the Natural Areas of Schenectady County book published by ECOS. It only receives a very brief mention in the description of the Indian Kill Preserve, where it's noted that it adjoins the Indian Kill on its far western end. That intrigued me enough to dig further, because there are a couple of waterfalls in that far western end that we rarely if ever reach from the normal parking area on Hetcheltown Road. So Holly and I met at the Hetcheltown Road parking area, then drove up to Birch Lane, a little further north, and went looking for the trailhead.



There are a couple of green-and-white signs on Birch Lane, just before it bends right, that mark the beginnings of the two trails into the preserve. We made our way down a ravine and crossed a brook on a rough wooden bridge, and then continued across a power line into the Indian Kill Preserve. There was still a lot of snow here, much of it with 6" of water underneath. There was a semi-firm track from earlier foot traffic, but there were also occasional postholes. We carefully made our way toward the sound of the falls labeled "Second Falls" on the Indian Kill map, the more westerly of the two shown above, which I'd never visited before.

The Indian Kill was roaring with the spring snowmelt.



We tried to head downstream to the more easterly "Third Falls", but were stymied by high water in tributaries that we were unable to cross. We'd seen that one before anyway, so headed back up the ravine to the car. A short walk around the neighborhood finished off another warm and windy spring day.

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