Schenectady Park

There is not a lot to be said for Schenectady, a town that hit its peak many years ago. At present they cannot even manage to time their stoplights. But at least they have a park with a mountain bike course in it, so for a rider that is a bit of consolation. The course is maintained by an organization with the acronym HRRT; there web site is at http://www.hrrtonline.com/. HRRT also has a facebook page, well actually everybody has one of those. Although there is not a lot of area for the trails, the organizers have managed to pack almost 5 miles of trails into the park. This is done by putting trails close together with much weaving and turning. Although there are many turns, they are not as tight as what is seen at other areas, particularly 909.

The soil in Schenectady Park is just a thin layer of dirt with sand underneath. It was probably once near the edge of glacial Lake Albany with the sand bought down by the Mohawk River. Underneath the sand should be clay, although the clay is probably many feet below. A similar area to Schenectady Park is the Pine Bush in Albany. There is no rock. The result is the trails erode easy, and on uphill sections where power has to be applied the trail quickly cuts through to sand, at which point further erosion proceeds even faster. On level ground there are a lot of roots exposed by the erosion. There is not a lot of topographic relief, just a couple bumps about 20 ft high that may be wind blown dunes like seen in the Pine Bush. Because the terrain is so level there are some marshy areas. All of these problems make the park trails high maintenance and HRRT has spent a lot of time maintaining them. In the wet areas they have used boardwalk. I hate boardwalk, since I always fall off the side, but it is effective. Big flat rocks are needed, unfortunately there are none!

Schenectady Park trail map


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