Summer Solstice Celebration comes to Rail Trail

VOORHEESVILLE — The Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail will be filled with more than just the usual individuals and families out enjoying the day next Sunday afternoon.

On June 22, from noon to 3 p.m., the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy is putting on its third annual Summer Solstice Celebration on the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail.

This year is the first that the open portion of the trail in Voorheesville will be included in the celebration in addition to the stretch of trail from Delmar to Slingerlands.

“Ultimately, we’d like the celebration to span the entire rail trail,” said Lea Montalto-Rook, development director at the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, “So it’s nine miles of celebration.”

Mohawk Hudson is leasing the rail trail from Albany County, which owns it, and has rail trail ambassadors that walk the trails and make sure they are kept up.

The trail will host over 52 different participants this year, including traditional English and Irish dance groups, musicians, artists, animal and environmental organizations, face painters, and baby animals from Indian Ladder Farms.

There will be shuttles at the Voorheesville, Slingerlands, and Bethlehem sections of the rail trail so visitors can easily travel between them if they aren’t up for walking. The Voorheesville section sits off by itself, currently, as there is a half-mile of trail between Voorheesville and Bethlehem that is not open yet.

Indian Ladder Farms will be bringing baby animals to both sections of the trail.

“It’s a wonderful community event that hopefully we’ll be able to expand,” Montalto-Rook said.

“What excites me the most,” she continued, “is being able to have an event that brings together people from the community where we can enjoy our environment.”

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