Looking for a nice five mile round trip hike? One that includes evidence of the ice industry on Schodack Island that once provided hundreds of jobs to area residents? Then take a hike to the ice house chimney to the last evidence of a vanished industry that thrived during the 1800s along the Hudson River.
The trail starts at the south end of the large parking lot and is a wide level dirt road that runs along the Hudson River. Look for the orange disk trail markers and mile marker stakes on the right side of the trail as you walk south. Two and a half miles from the parking lot, on your right, you will see a 70 foot tall brick ice house chimney on the banks of the river. The chimney once serviced a steam engine used to power an elevator to lift blocks of ice cut from the river into the massive barn like Miller & Whitbeck Ice House.
The natural ice industry had its best years from the 1870s to the 1920s when modern refridgeration and artifical ice became popular. There were as many as 13 ice houses on Schodack Island. To learn more about the ice industry and old ice houses check out the History of the Schodack Islands page on the Friends of Schodack Island State Park website: friendsofschodackisland.org
(Thanks to Schodack Town Historian Diane L. Hutchinson for providing the historic photo.)