This easy 1-mile hike located between the two Paint Mine Picnic Areas offers a pleasant loop journey. Less-traveled paths veer off several times after crossing the small footbridge. For a very short distance, this trail also overlaps with the Long Trail. Signs mark the route. The Nature Trail has several climbs and descents, but nothing significant. The walk is very pleasant in the spring and early summer when the purple violets, rare pink lady slipper and the sturdy mayflower dot the forest floor. Near the base of the trail, descend right to reenter the beginning of the path.
Directions: From Junction of US 20 and SR 158, NY, Take SR 158 south about 1.5 miles until it dead ends at SR 146. Turn left (west) and take SR 146 west for several miles. The road intersects with SR 156. Continue straight which is SR 156. Travel 3.2 miles to SR 157, then head south for 1.7 miles. Turn left (east) on Albany Country Road 256. Travel approximately 2.5 miles then get back on SR 157 which takes you into the park. After entering the park grounds, take your second left. This road leads to the Paint Mine Picnic Area. The trailhead is located about midway between the two parking lots on the east side of the road.
Elevation Gain: 100 feet
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John Boyd Thacher State Park, New York
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