Albany Pine Bush Preserve

Albany Pine Bush Preserve: Hours, Address, Albany Pine Bush Preserve Reviews: 4.5/5

Albany Pine Bush Preserve
4.5
Nature & Wildlife Areas
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
One of the most endangered regions in the Northeastern United Sates contains almost 6,000 acres of scenic and dramatic landscape rooted in glacial history.
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4.5
89 reviews
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nomaadic_tiffany
Brooklyn, NY83 contributions
Family friendly trails
Oct 2020
great outdoor trails to walk with family or friends on a nice day. I was surprised how big the trails actually were. Be sure to pay attention to the trails you're walking on as it easy to accidentally begin walking a new trail and extending your walk
Written December 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kristen T
Altamont, NY30 contributions
Wonderful trails!
May 2020
The Pine Bush has great trails through all the preserves. Scenery is great! Perfect for a social distancing hike!
Written May 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

AndreaZNy
Watervliet189 contributions
A nice walk through the preserve
Jul 2019
Easy paths, a few routes, and a nice opportunity to get out in the woods close to the City. And postings with information for those interested in what they’re seeing , both fauna and flora.
Written December 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Arvind R
Niskayuna, NY1 contribution
Fun little hike
Dec 2019 • Family
Went to the discovery center to learn about pine bush preserve and then went for a hike around the trial. Interesting terrain in the middle of Albany. Fun day with kids
Written December 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Maurene_K
Dover, NH9,184 contributions
VERY RARE HABITAT FOR THE VERY RARE KARNER BLUE BUTTERFLY
Sep 2019
My visit to the Albany Pine Bush Preserve started at the Visitor Center soon after its 9:00 AM opening.

A plaque near the entrance shows that the Albany Pine Bush Preserve was declared a National Natural Landmark in 2014 by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Park Service.

Inside, there is a cancellation station for those who participate in the Passport to Your National Parks program. There are two stamps to attach in the Passport. The first is the conventional page stamp for site. The second is a local sticker for the preserve with a drawings of blue lupine and the Karner Blue Butterfly. The cancellation stamp reads:
Hudson River Valley NHA – the day’s date – Albany Pine Bush Preserve
The NHA stands for National Heritage Area. The Hudson River Valley NHA extends from Saratoga Springs down to the New York City area.

The Visitor Center had a lot of exhibits. I walked around to all the exhibits. They included facts about the rarity of an inland pine barren and topics of protection of habitat, human history, restoration, geology, and ecology. Many were interactive. I noticed that youngsters in other parties really enjoyed those.

I enjoyed the excellent, informative video titled “By Prescription” that explained how they maintain the habitat there. I learned what a controlled burn was, how they set up for one, and how they conducted one. And, with all that preparation needed, conditions would be right for such a burn only a few days a year.

I learned that the preserve encompassed over 3,300 acres and is one of the largest of the 20 inland pine barrens in the world. It was formed about 10,500 years ago when Glacial Lake Albany drained.

The preserve is home to the amazing amount of 1,500 species of plants and animals, including the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly whose life cycle depends on the wild blue lupine. I learned where the name came from. The butterfly was first identified and described by novelist Vladimir Nabokov. It was enlightening to learn that he was also an entomologist, a scientist who studies insects. Karner is a hamlet within the Town of Colonie and located half-way between Albany and Schenectady. It was there that Nabokov first spotted the butterfly.

The Karner Classroom, down the hall from the main exhibits in the atrium, had a number of hands-on exhibits and activities to turn visitors into scientists. There were samples of soils, seeds, snake skin, and more. There was a microscope for an up-close look at things. There was activity booklets to test one’s knowledge of what one learned and a machine to help one check the answers given. I participated almost every activity there. I enjoyed learning about the different types of soil there, the bark on trees, and what a snake skin looked like when magnified.

The gift shop, although relatively small, had a lot of things for sale that included T-shirts, sports caps, postcards, pins, coffee mugs, prints, refrigerator magnets, puzzles, small toys, some jewelry, crafts by regional artisans, and lots of books on nature-related subjects. Prices were reasonable.

Just as I finished buying a few things in the gift shop, the very strong T-storms in the day’s forecast arrived and turned the lovely mostly-sunny day into its direct opposite. The sky opened up with a couple of very heavy deluges over a half-hour period. Several other visitors and I were trapped for awhile. The rain altered my plans to trek at least one of the trails that day. I returned for a brief trek the next day after a full daytrip to Schoharie attractions.

In short, the exhibits and activities there are topnotch, and the preserve is one of the earth’s rarest habitats.

I rate the Albany Pine Bush Preserve at 5.0 and highly recommend a visit for some easy trekking and to learn a few things.

I also recommend setting aside about 3 hours for this attraction, splitting time between the Visitor Center and the trails.

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Written September 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Liz F
Granby, MA29 contributions
Great hike for little ones
May 2019 • Family
The visitors center was amazing. You can rent a backpack with a laminated map and scavenger hunt pictures. There is also a set of binoculars and a magnifying glass to get the true experience. There are many trail options for shorter or longer hikes. My kids had many questions that were answered by the interactive visitor center. It was really a wonderful stop.
Written May 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MW03070
100 contributions
Great Hiking, Fun for Kids
Apr 2019 • Family
Easy hiking some sloping hills but overall pleasant and easy hike, fun for kids lots of placards and a small museum. Sandy soil so no mud. Definitely use DEET because there are ticks unfortunately, which is basically the only down side. Highly reccomend
Written April 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Northern_Ibis
Mechanicsburg, PA269 contributions
A highly recommended nature stop
Jul 2018 • Couples
We had some time to kill Sunday morning in Albany, and were very pleased to find this special nature center not far from town. The center is based on a significant and noteworthy ecological site--the Albany pine barrens. The trails are lovely and there is very good signage on the trails, include natural history /environmental information and a story for children (kind of good, I thought). There is also a well-equipped and thoughtfully laid out nature center (building) with exhibits and a gift shop. The parking lot is big enough to handle a fairly large turnout of visitors. The site is fairly unique ecologically, since it shares some features with other pine barrens (e.g., in New Jersey and Cape Cod) but also has some features that are special and different. It's just so odd to find it in Albany of all places. The staff were friendly and helpful. The center is surrounded by some very nice wildflower gardens that have fairly good signage. The admission is free, thanks to the State of New York. We hope no one decides to defund it: they have large goals for ecological restoration that are only partly realized.
Written July 23, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

APinkLady
Leicester, UK363 contributions
Beautiful on a very hot day!
Jul 2018 • Couples
We came across this preserve whilst driving between towns on our road trip. It was a very hot day so we didn't do any of the hikes, just inside the visitor centre and the surrounding area. It's very interesting and lots of wildlife to see. Well worth a visit.
Written July 16, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

chairessr
Albany, NY6 contributions
Visit with Shaker High Special Ed Students
Aug 2017 • Family
The activities were wonderful for the students. A learning experience which was fun. Great for motor skills, listening exercise
Written July 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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