36. John Boyd Thacher State Park to Christman Sanctuary

Section 36: John Boyd Thacher State Park to Christman Sanctuary


  • In Wolf Creek Falls Preserve, a bridge is out as of summer 2023. A high-water alternate route has been established, and it is described below.

Quick Facts

Distance: 9.55 miles
Parks: Wolf Creek Falls Preserve, Christman Sanctuary
Maps: Interactive Map, Wolf Creek Falls Preserve Map
Print-Friendly Version: Link

General Description

After leaving Thacher State Park, the Long Path follows paved roads to Wolf Creek Falls Preserve, where it follows several trails past attractive waterfalls. The trail then follows local roads until it reaches Christman Sanctuary.


From the NY Thruway North, merge onto I-87 N/I-90 E toward Albany/Montreal. Take Exit 1S toward US-20/Western Ave. Turn right onto US-20 W/Western Ave, and in about 4 miles turn left onto NY-146 W. Continue for 6 miles, and in Altamont continue on NY-156 W. In 1.3 mi turn left onto Old Stage Road. The trailhead parking is on the left.


0.00  Old Stage Road trailhead. (42.68158°, -74.05442°)
1.70  Lewis Road and NY Route 146 (limited). (unlocated)
5.10  Wolf Creek Falls Preserve parking area. (42.72155°, -74.08547°)
9.20  Christman Sanctuary parking area. (42.74317°, -74.12860°)


There is currently no camping available in this section.

Trail Description

0.00  From the parking area off Old Stage Road, marking the furthest extent north of park property, turn right. Descend gradually on Old Stage Road, with views across the valley of Altamont towards the hills just south of the Mohawk River.

1.00  Immediately after passing an old cemetery, turn right onto NY Route 156.

1.10  Turn left onto Lewis Road.

1.80  Reach NY Route 146 and turn left.

3.00  Turn right onto Bell Road (Albany County Route 261).

4.30  Reach Bozenkill Road (County Route 253) and turn left.

5.10  Reach the boundary of Wolf Creek Falls Preserve, which is owned by the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy. The Long Path is coaligned with multiple trails through this preserve. As of summer 2023, there are low-water (standard) and high-water (alternate) route options for the Long Path through this preserve until a new bridge can be built. After significant rainfall, the first crossing of Wolf Creek on stepping stones may be difficult.


Wolf Creek Falls. 2013 [MARK TRAVER]

Low-Water (Standard) Route

5.10  Turn right off Bozenkill Road onto the Red trail. Proceed through the woods and reach Wolf Creek on stepping stones.

5.35  Soon after the creek crossing, turn left onto the White Trail and continue along the creek to progressively larger waterfalls. The largest waterfall is approximately 25 feet tall and 50 feet wide.

5.50  Reach an intersection with the Blue and White trails and turn left onto the Blue Trail. Proceed past a private bridge, then bear left at an intersection with the Green Trail to continue on the Blue Trail.

5.60  Reach an intersection with the Blue and Yellow trails and turn left onto the Yellow Trail. Descend to cross Wolf Creek on the Musical Bridge; if you strike the ends of the treads with the attached mallet, the treads play different tones of a musical scale. Continue uphill toward the road.

5.70  Reach Bozenkill Road and turn right (west) to follow the road.

*High-Water (Alternate) Route

*5.10  After significant rainfall, continue following Bozenkill Road west for about 100 feet and turn left to enter the woods on the south side of the road at a sign for Wolf Creek Mini Falls. Follow the Red Trail south along a tributary of Wolf Creek and pass several small waterfalls, then turn left onto the White Trail.

*5.45  Reach an intersection with the White and Yellow/Gold trails and turn right onto the Yellow/Gold trail. Follow this trail downhill toward the road.

*5.60  Reach Bozenkill Road and turn left (west) to follow the road.  Continue with the description below, but add 0.1 mile to the mileage numbers.


7.30  Turn right onto Colliton Road (also known as Ostrander Road) and then right onto Bozie Hollow Road. Pass the old Ostrander Cemetery on the left. There is little blazing from here to the Schoharie Turnpike.

8.40  Cross railroad tracks and the Albany/Schenectady County line, where the name of the road changes to Bozen Kill Road. The Bozenkill Falls can be heard through the fencing on the right.  A gristmill was once at its base. (DO NOT LEAVE THE ROADWAY  -  DO NOT TRESPASS OR YOU WILL BE ARRESTED)  The rail line was built by the Delaware & Hudson Railroad in 1863 and is now operated by SMS Rail Lines.

9.10  Reach the Schoharie Turnpike (Schenectady County Route 74) and turn left.

9.55  At the top of the hill, on the left, is the Christman Wildlife Sanctuary where a trail leads to the historic “Long Path Lean-to” at the base of a beautiful waterfall. It was built by the Mohawk Valley Hiking Club in the 1930s as a shelter for LP hikers. Mr. W.W. Christman, renowned as the “Poet of the Helderhills,” was highly  enthusiastic about the Long Path and owned the land which now comprises the sanctuary. Continue on the Schoharie Turnpike.


Christman Sanctuary. 2014 [JAKOB FRANKE]


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