Rensselaerville’s Huyck Preserve

The Huyck Perserve is actually pronounced just like the word ‘hike.’ And hike you will at this beautiful biological research station in the quaint village of Rensselaerville, NY. Its full name is the Edmund Niles Huyck Preserve and for nearly 80 years it has been the source of connecting people with nature.

I went for a slow stroll across bridges and up steep trails lulled by the constant rush of the beautiful tiered Rensselaerville waterfall in the distance.

The trail begins at the Visitors Station where a friendly, albeit law abiding, staff member will offer to escort you along the 10 Mile Creek trail to the top of the falls. My guide provided a wealth of interesting facts about the freshwater wetlands, forests and scrub swamps of the area. A wide variety of bird and animal life live among giant ostrich ferns and large hemlocks.

There are dozens of trails for all abilities with overlooks of Lake Myosotis, Lincoln Pond, the Eldridge Research Center, the Bullfrog Camp Complex and a perfectly-located retreat called the Carey Conference Center.

Sadly though, swimming in the gentle stream is strictly forbidden and even wetting your toes will get you a stern warning. And Lake Myosotis only allows pass-bearing locals to swim the beach.

Still, history is a tactile experience here. Near the base of the lower falls you’ll find the ruins of the Huyck Felt Mill and old stone walls once used for farming boundaries.