March 12, 2016

The Berm Trail, Three Rivers

I asked Erin to pick the meeting spot for this hike, again suggesting we do something on her side of town to make it easier to fit the hike in between Alden's two naps.  I remember well how sacred the nap was in those days, so long gone for me and my big boy.  She suggested the Berm Trail at Three Rivers, to which I readily agreed because I hadn't hiked that trail in years.  I should clarify that the "Berm Trail" is not an official name; there are no marked or named trails at Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area.  However, it is a big place with a lot of woods roads and parking areas, and we went there frequently growing up.  As a result, we've developed quite a few "in-names" we use amongst the family to refer to specific destinations.

Three Rivers is a pretty soggy place in general, flat and poorly drained.  The NYSDEC has implemented various management activities over the years to enhance habitat for game species, so there are large areas maintained as open fields and lots of impoundments for waterfowl.  The Berm Trail (drumroll...) follows a berm along the banks of some sort of man-made waterway.  It looks like a miniature canal, but is probably just a drainage ditch of some sort.  The trail is actually a single track for much of the length (rather than a two-track or woods road) which dramatically increases its charm.  The water features add visual interest, as well, especially in early spring before leaf out.  There are signs of beaver activity in the area, but we didn't see any today.  I did spy a muskrat, though.

It is a short loop, approximately 1.5 miles from the parking area on Potter Road around the impoundment and back.  After we got back, we had some time to hang out on the pavement just past the barrier (the only car-free spot dry enough to sit down) to snack the boys and let Alden out of the carrier.  The little guy is utterly obsessed with walking, so after he ate, he got in a little hike of his own.  Go, Alden, go!  I was disappointed about the lack of snow this winter, but I'm certainly not complaining about this beautiful spring weather. 

setting out down the closed part of Potter Road
looking north along the drainage ditch
heading south along the Berm Trail

there was very little green on this hike, so this moss really stood out

grabbing at twigs

The water was surprising deep in this channel - above Frankie's head. 

snack time

we parked at the barrier at the end of Potter Road and did a clockwise loop


  1. Great to join you on this walk and see all the fun pix! I don;t feel QUITE so much like I am missing ALL the fun! :(

  2. Scary-looking crossing, great to see Alden joining the hiking! :D