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Following the route of the former Delaware & Hudson (D&H) Railway, the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail serves as a scenic oasis and community connector for residents living southwest of Albany. In 2018 the final section of the trail was paved; now, 9 miles of flat, asphalt-surfaced pathway is available through several of the state capital’s suburbs. Although largely traversing residential areas, the pathway offers views of picturesque bridges, creeks, and woodlands throughout. Watch for deer, turkeys, bald eagles, and other wildlife along the way.
Starting just south of Albany—where there’s a trail-specific parking lot—the trail heads west, quickly crossing under the I-87/New York State Thruway. This eastern end of the trail is not far from the Hudson River, and the trail’s grade gently climbs as it moves away from the river. A mile from the start, you’ll cross an old railroad bridge over Normans Kill (kill being a Dutch term for “creek”).
From the bridge, it’s 2.2 miles to Bethlehem Veterans Memorial Park, which includes several benches to rest and enjoy the peaceful setting. From Bethlehem west, you’ll also find three trailside workout stations. As you continue, the trail passes within blocks of the center of the pleasant hamlet of Delmar, which provides a variety of services, such as restaurants and shopping.
Artwork is being added to the trail, and as you pedal through Delmar, you’ll see a whimsical mural of bright flowers and trees painted by a local artist near the intersection of Adams Street and Hudson Avenue. A mile farther down the trail, as you travel under Cherry Avenue, you’ll also see the pillars of the overpass painted with floral motifs.
After continuing through Slingerlands, where there is a parking lot on Kenwood Avenue behind the Slingerlands Fire District, you have 3.7 miles more to go before reaching Voorheesville. At the end of the trail in Voorheesville, travelers will find a pavilion that harks back to the railway station that once occupied the space.
To reach the Albany trailhead from I-787 S, take Exit 2 for S. Pearl St. Merge onto Green St., and go 0.1 mile. Turn left onto S. Pearl St., and go 0.7 mile. A parking lot for the trail is just south of the intersection with Old S. Pearl St. and Kenwood Road. From I-787 N, take Exit 2, and turn left onto Vine St. Immediately turn left onto Green St., go 0.4 mile, and follow the directions above.
To reach the trailhead in Voorheesville from I-90, take Exit 1S and merge onto Adirondack Northway, heading south. In 0.8 mile turn right onto US 20 W/Western Ave. Go 0.2 mile, crossing over I-87/New York State Thwy., and make the next left onto Church Road. Stay on Church Road 1.5 miles, then turn left onto Johnston Road/County Road 203. Johnston Road becomes Normanskill Road and then Voorheesville Road/CR 306. Stay on these for a total of 3.5 miles. Turn right onto Grove St., and drive 0.2 mile, almost to the end of Grove, near the train tracks. The parking lot and rail-trail pavilion will appear on the right.
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