Volunteer for Water Chestnut Pulling!

We’ll be working hard to remove invasive water chestnut from the Alan Devoe Bird Club and Hand Hollow Conservation Area during the hot summer months. It’s a great way to get out on the water and do good at the same time! Water chestnut poses a big problem for wildlife and boaters, as it forms dense mats of vegetation and has incredibly unpleasant spiky fruits.

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation:

“Prevention is the most effective method for dealing with invasive species. If they are never introduced, they never become established.

  • Clean, drain, and dry your watercraft, trailer, and equipment before and after each use. Regulation 6 NYCRR Part 576 requires everyone who uses watercraft on public waters to, when possible, use the following methods to fully decontaminate your equipment:
    • Clean the outside of the watercraft and trailer with high pressure (2500 psi) hot water (140°F) for 10 seconds.
    • Flush the inside of the motor and all compartments (bilge, live well, bait buckets, ballast, etc.) with hot water (140°F) for two minutes.
    • Soak fishing gear and equipment in hot water (140°F) for two minutes.
  • Dump bait bucket water where it came from or on land.
  • View more information on how to clean your boat.

Early detection of infestations helps to reduce removal costs and ecological impacts

  • If you think you’ve found water chestnut please take several photos and submit a report to iMapInvasives.
  • Become a Chestnut Chaser! We know that water chestnut is underreported in New York State. Each summer we encourage folks to survey their favorite swimming holes, lakes, ponds, and nearby waterbodies for water chestnut and submit reports to iMapInvasives.
  • Share the water chestnut fact sheet (PDF, 300 KB) with others.”

Please bring your own boat if you have one, as CLC has a limited number of kayaks and canoes.

Email John Horton to join the volunteer list-serve and get more details on when and where these water chestnut pulls will be taking place!

Celebrate Summer on a Columbia County Hike

So, you’ve visited CLC’s Public Conservation Areas and are wondering where else you can hike in Columbia County? You’ve come to the right place! On the blog this week we’re rounding up the best hikes/walks in the area, so you can hit the trail for the first official day of Summer.

Taconic State Park/Copake Falls Area (Copake Falls)

After grabbing goodies from the Copake-Hillsdale Farmer’s Market, make the short drive to Copake Falls where you will find a well-developed area to park and set off for the day. From the parking lot you have the choice to stroll down the Harlem Valley Rail Trail, a picturesque paved trail with interpretive signs, hike to Bash Bish Falls via the NY Trailhead, or hop on the South Taconic Trail if you’re in the mood for a more challenging hike.

Lake Taghkanic State Park (Ancram)

With around 10.5 miles of trails extending throughout the Park, you’re sure to stay busy between the swimming, boating, and fishing that’s also available in the summer months. If you’re looking for a short, gentle loop trail hit the Fitness Trail (FT) which takes about 30 minutes and will give you a great view of the lake and the Catskills off to the west. If you’re looking for a longer hike featuring a large variety of flora and fauna check out the Lake View Trail (LT), which loops around the entire lake and takes approximately 2.5 hours.

Beebe Hill & Harvey Mountain State Forests (Austerlitz and Canaan)

Combined, these two State Forests boast over 30 miles of multi-use trails. Hike up Beebe Hill—1.7 miles out and back—and then climb the fire tower and you will be rewarded with expansive views of the surrounding Castkill and Taconic mountain ranges. While Harvey Mountain is the highest peak in Columbia County, the trek up is moderate and family-friendly. Climb the 1.5 miles to the top in late July and you may find the field covered in delicious wild blueberries.

Farmers’ Markets in Full Swing!

A Guide to Columbia County’s Farmers’ Markets

It’s not hard to find fresh, beautiful produce here in the Hudson Valley—there are a countless number of farms in Columbia County alone! So, next time you need to stock up, skip the grocery store and head outside to your nearest farmers’ market to support your local farmers.

Here’s a list of farmers’ markets in Columbia County that are worth a visit:

Copake Hillsdale Farmers’ Market

Saturdays 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. May 26 – October 27, 2018

From baked goods to fresh flowers and live music, this market won’t disappoint. It’s situated right next to the Roeliff Jansen Park so bring along your dog and take a hike after you buy some goodies.

Hudson Farmers’ Market

Saturdays 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  April 28 to November 17, 2018

Start by hitting up the Destino tent for some delicious breakfast tacos before visiting the different vendors at Columbia County’s largest farmers market.

Chatham Farmers’ Market

Fridays 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. June – October

Before heading home after work, make a quick detour to the Chatham Farmers’ Market located near the gazebo in the center of town and pick up some fresh ingredients for a delicious Friday night dinner!

Kinderhook Farmers’ Market

Saturdays 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. May – October

Join local farmers and food producers at the Village Green in Kinderhook for a wonderful market featuring different specialty vendors—from coffee roasters to creameries—every week.

Valatie Farmers’ Market

Sundays 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. May – September

End your weekend in Valatie picking out handmade soaps and fresh herbs at the market located just outside the Valatie Medical Arts Building. Make sure to stick around for the live music and occasional raffle drawings!