Conserving Land • Protecting Resources
Since 1987

As of January 1, 2024, the Rensselaer Land Trust has merged with the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance. For all questions regarding donations, events, land, or other matters, please visit or call 518-712-9211. For questions about the merger, use extension 101 to speak with Jim Bonesteel. You can expect a new name and logo for our merged organization by Spring / Summer 2024 and a new website by the end of the year!

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Taconic Crest Project

A project that began with a "For Sale" sign at an abandoned ski area along the Petersburg Pass, in ten years became a multi-state effort to preserve the Taconic Ridge between New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont. Some 10,000 acres and a major section of the long-distance Taconic Crest (foot) Trail have been preserved through conservation easements or purchase by state agencies.

Both New York and Massachusetts in 1993 recognized the Taconics, a nearly unbroken wilderness, as a significant biological, scenic, and timber resource. The environmental agencies of each state, in partnership with local conservation non-profits, worked to identify critical parcels for protection and funding sources for the initiative. Groups such as the Taconic Hiking Club, the Trust for Public Land, the National Park Service, Williams College, the Rensselaer-Taconic Land Conservancy (now the Rensselaer Land Trust) and the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation formed a citizens council and joined with the state agencies to address issues of management and use, such as trail marking, maintenance, and mapping.

Partner Trails Taconic Crest Hike 2015This project is a prime example of how public and private partnerships can work to promote landscape scale protection across political boundaries. Preservation of the resources provided by the Taconics continues to be a primary goal of all agencies involved. The Rensselaer Land Trust continues to provide support for this effort and to assist with trail work.

The 37-mile Taconic Crest Trail brings you to breathtaking views and through three states. You can enjoy this wilderness experience, only 45 minutes from Albany, in all four seasons. See for information on the hiking map for this trail.