A couple of years ago I picked up a book that opened up a new world of beautiful hiking trails in the Capital Region that were easy enough to do with young children, but that came with a bonus for history buffs. This article, originally published in April, 2008 in www.TheJourneyMom.com, was written after we tackled our first hike from Russell Dunn and Barbara Delane’s Trails with Tales: History Hikes through the Capital Region, Saratoga, Berkshires, Catskills & Hudson Valley
A Trail with a Tale in Peebles Island State Park
This Spring Break there were too many factors working against a travel vacation, but every challenge is also an opportunity. In this case, Spring Break is an opportunity to relax at home with my kids, read trashy novels, and explore our neighborhood.
It’s also the perfect opportunity to start a new project: hiking the Trails with Tales: History Hikes through the Capital Region, Saratoga, Berkshires, Catskills & Hudson Valley.
Our first trail, at Peebles Island State Park, was a hit with kids.
It wasn’t because Herman Melville used to row his boat over to court the Peebles’ daughter. And it wasn’t because there were dirt humps at the entrance that were originally Revolutionary War breastworks. No, they loved that it was an island – and that the terrain held the drama of a Narnia setting.
On the protected side of the island, they were able to climb down to investigate an inlet with fallen logs and trees growing out of ponds. Then, as we circled the island, they loved looking out on – and throwing rocks into – the white-capped river; even as my heart was in my mouth seeing them so near the cliff’s edge.
We walked the perimeter trail in about an hour and half, but it wasn’t due to the length of the hike – a runner lapped us in just a few minutes. No, it wasn’t a long hike, but it was plenty of exercise for my out-of-shape dog and I.
Even better, it was an other-worldly journey in our neighborhood, and an excellent adventure on our Spring Break.
Find It!Peebles Island State Park Usually I would put in the street address, but this is an odd case. i could give you the PO Box or the latitudinal numbers, but instead I’ll direct you to plug in your address for directions here. You can also call (518) 237-8643 ext 3295 for directions or other information. Walking Trails: Year round.
Visitor’s Center: May to October. (From Memorial Day to Labor Day: Open Tues-Sun.; From Labor Day to Columbus Day: Open weekends only.) Vehicle Entrance Fee: Cars $6