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Trailing off into summer

Solstice celebration grows with Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail

As the days grow longer and the season grows warmer, more people are getting outside to enjoy the beauty of Albany County.

To mark the occasion, the Mohawk-Hudson Land Conservancy is celebrating with its third annual Summer Solstice event along the Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail. The summer celebration has typically been held along the trail only in the Town of Bethlehem. This year, musical acts, food and activities will also be extended into the Village of Voorheesville, which opened its portion of the rail trail last year.

“The event started out as a celebration to help promote the rail trail as not only a local treasure, but a regional destination,” said MHLC Developmental Director Lea Montalto-Rook.

As awareness of the rail trail grew, so did the popularity of the summer solstice event. Last year’s theme was Fairytales and Fireflies, since the trail walk was held in the evening to coincide with the actual solstice. The date and time was changed this year so more people would be able to attend.

Kathy McCarthy, a volunteer with the MHLC, said a lot more people wanted to attend in past years, but it was hard with the solstice being on a weeknight. Others typically would have to leave early.

To fix the problem, this year’s celebration will be held on Sunday, June 22, from noon to 3 p.m. There will be three access points: the intersection of Adams Street and Hudson Avenue in Delmar, Fireman’s Park in Slingerlands and the newly opened western terminus of the trail at Voorheesville Avenue in Voorheesville. In order to ensure all visitors can participate in all the events, a shuttle will be available to bring people to each access point.

“We found the one-mile stretch could be too long for children, so we decided to include the shuttle so people could enjoy all the festivities,” said McCarthy.

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