New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) has announced the completion of the Fisher Trail at DEC’s Five Rivers Environmental Education Center in the town of Bethlehem, Albany County.
Most of the trail’s 0.66-mile length is constructed in compliance with DEC accessibility guidelines for people with mobility disabilities and expands access to outdoor recreation opportunities on DEC lands. The trail was officially opened to the public during a ribbon cutting at Five Rivers with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, Friends of Five Rivers, members of the DEC Accessibility Advisory Committee, and other partners.
As part of the trail project, DEC Operations crews constructed an elevated viewing platform and installed several accessible benches along the trail. The trail largely follows a route laid out by members of the Student Conservation Association AmeriCorps program. Two new parking lots, each with a map and information kiosk, are available off Fisher Boulevard and the end of Mason Lane.
The project was funded with $400,000 from NY Works and the Adventure NY initiative. DEC is making strategic investments through Adventure NY to improve access to state land and water, rehabilitate and improve campgrounds, and upgrade DEC recreational facilities. To learn more about DEC’s Adventure NY Infrastructure Improvement projects, visit DEC’s website.
Part of the new trail is on a 35-acre parcel owned by the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy. The parcel is managed as part of Five Rivers through a 2018 easement agreement with DEC.
Fisher Trail is named for the fisher, a member of the weasel family found at Five Rivers, and for Fisher Boulevard. The half-mile portion of the Fisher Trail that is accessible to people with mobility disabilities runs from Fisher Boulevard past the Mason Lane parking area to a viewing platform overlooking the Phillipinkill. From there, the trail continues down a steep slope into the ravine of the Phillipinkill and on to the Wild Turkey Trail. The Wild Turkey Trail connects with Five Rivers’ other trails and ends at the Visitor Center at Game Farm Road.
DEC’s Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, comprising more than 450 acres of fields, forests, and wetlands. To learn more, visit DEC’s website.
To learn more about MHLC, visit their website.
Photo of the Fisher Trail trailhead courtesy DEC.