Sure enough, I soon caught sight of the Hudson through the trees. Unfortunately, though, the river was way, way down beneath steep bluffs, and there was no easy way to get down to the water. But a passing hiker assured me that if I just continued on, the trail would eventually descend to the water's edge.
And so it did. Maybe a half mile and one steep hill further on. This is what carbon-fiber canoes are made for. Twelve pounds of boat on my shoulder cost me hardly any more effort than simply hiking without a boat.
The Hudson here is broad and beautiful, with mountains rising behind the Queensbury water-treatment plant. The Sherman Island Dam is just around the bend upstream.
A short paddle downstream brought me to the area I'd been hoping to explore, where the river runs back behind several islands and into a quiet marsh.
Winterberry shrubs on the shore of one island were bright with fat red berries.
The shallow waters held many kinds of interesting plants. I could see the underwater structures of some kind of bladderwort swirling around the shiny curlicue stems of Wild Celery.
Although the yellow flowers were long gone, I could still recognize this emergent stalk with its trailing mass of hair-fine underwater leaves as Water Marigold. Listed as a threatened species in New York, this plant has found a happy niche along this stretch of the Hudson.
Here's another rare plant, Small Floating Bladderwort, that thrives in this stretch of the Hudson above and below the Feeder Dam at Glens Falls. Almost every patch of Water Lily leaves had captured a specimen or two of this cheerful little flower, which floats along freely on little inflated pontoons.
A feature of the Hudson Pointe Nature Preserve is this wooden bridge, which allows hikers access to wooded wetlands, as well as providing a platform for observing the many species of waterfowl and other wildlife that inhabit this area.
I beached my canoe at this site to get out and stretch my legs, and I was pleased to find this bright pretty stalk of Cardinal Flower still blooming along the boardwalk.
The trail here led into a wetland woods far greener than the parched piney woods I first encountered when I entered the preserve.
Abundant along this trail were the rayless flowers of Beggar Ticks, whose tiny yellow disc flowers will later produce the hooked seeds that stick to every passing pant leg or scampering dog.
Well, I know of several species of Beggar Ticks, but I've never seen any with such puffy green centers as these. I wonder if it's a new species for me, or just an aberrant form of one of the common ones.
The disc flowers were full of exuberantly curly yellow pistils, worth a closer look.
There were little islands scattered about the open water, this one providing a resting spot for a congregation of bright white gulls.
Ah, little children, enjoy your last days of summer freedom, splashing and playing in the river's clean cool waters.
How lucky for me, retired as I am, that my playtime can just go on and on, whatever the season. And how especially lucky I am, to have such a beautiful river to play in, with so many fascinating shores to explore.