The Huyck Preserve

huyck preserve rensselaerville falls

The Rensselaerville Falls at the Huyck Preserve.

Looking to stretch our legs and get some fresh air this weekend, we headed out for the Huyck Preserve in the far southwest corner of Albany County.

We had a great time. Have a look...

huyck entrance

The Edmund Niles Huyck Preserve and Biological Research Station (a mouthful, we'll just call it the Huyck) is 2000 acres of private preserve in Rensselaerville (map). How do you get there?

1. Get on Route 85.

2. Go to the end of Route 85.

3. You're there.

It's about a 45-minute drive.

The preserve includes a lake, a pond and 200-year-old stands of trees. But the most beautiful spot is probably the Rensselaerville Falls.

huyck falls bridge

If you're not up for a hike at the Huyck (sorry, couldn't resist), you can still check out the falls. They're an easy five minute walk (if that) from the parking area.

The Huyck's trails are well-maintained and marked. They're mostly flat, but there are a few steep sections near the beginning.

huyck trail

huyck trail marker

The primary loop trail goes around Lake Myosotis. The map indicates it's 60-90 minute walk. It's probably more toward 90 minutes if you're taking your time.

huyck lake myosotis

The lake dates to the 1800s when the Ten Mile Creek was dammed to provide power for mills. There's a trail that leads up onto the dam.

huyck from dam

Northwest of the lake, there's Lincoln Pond and a research station. There's also a loop trail around the pond, though we didn't take it (we're looking forward to it next time). The two loop trails would make for probably about 2.5 hours of casual hiking.

huyck lincoln pond dam

huyck research station

One of nice things about the Huyck is that there's some variety to the landscape. You might walk through a few hundred yards of tall evergreen trees, and then into a thinner area of deciduous trees and then onto a shoreline of the lake.

huyck trees

huyck creek

huyck lake peek

Rensselaerville is in a beautiful setting.

falls in rensselaerville

The Huyck Preserve is open to the public from dawn to dusk 365 days a year. It's free. And beautiful. Definitely worth a day trip.

Dogs are allowed (on leashes). Otto and his friend Daisy seemed to really enjoy the hike. They came back awfully tired.

otto daisy tired

Find It

The Huyck Preserve

Rensselaerville, NY 12147


One of my favorite shots came from here. A friend talked me into heading out there one cold January morning and I got some shots of the falls covered in snow. One of the shots goes in most of my galleries.

I love this place! I like playing in the falls and looking for aquatic invertebrates under the rocks there. Its such a great little day trip from Albany.

I grew up right near Rensselaerville and love it there. If the Palmer House Cafe on Main Street is open, be sure to stop there. I think the dinner schedule these days is Thursday-Sunday. There's also a nice little farmers' market on Saturday mornings on Main Street, which is also home to some cute little galleries and a lovely old library.

The Huyck Preserve is free to the public thanks to the hundreds of members who support the Preserve. It's easy to join the membership right from the website:

Also, you're welcome to dip your feet in, but climbing the falls and swimming in the lake is prohibited.

Come out this fall and "Hike the Huyck!"

Chad Jemison
Executive Director
Huyck Preserve

The Huyck preserve is great. A note on the pond, though: The bridge is still out so you can't hike around the whole thing. It's a minor annoyance to have to re-trace your steps after walking halfway around (less than a mile?) so I just thought I'd mention it.

Gosh darn it, AOA!!!!


I hate it when you do this!! Don't tell everyone about my secret spots! They'll be overrun!!


Wow, how neat! Love postings like these -- never even knew this place existed.

You can get a swimming pass if you pay to become a member and then buy a swimming pass. It's a bit pricey, but it funds the research center so I can't begrudge them for it. In any case, it's a beautiful place with or without the swimming.

The trails beyond the Lincoln Pond are also very nice, especially if you want more of a woods/meadow feel. You can park at the Lincoln Pond parking lot and take a right on Pond Hill Road up the hill and turn left at the "Wheeler-Watson" trail marker, which will take you to the race track. If's its cotton wood puff season you may be lucky to see a blanket of them softly on the ground! This trail ends at the 'race track', which is a 1/2 mile loop. Turn left and at the kiosk make another left and you have access to three interconnected trails. Much to see, but my favorite is the outer most Loop three, which in part runs along a wonderful little stream which flows gently into 10 mile creek. You can also see the headwaters of ten mile creek on Wood road - a really great spot, with parking if you don't mind being on a shoulder on a narrow dirt road!

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