Free Saturday Nature Bus Service Returns to the Capital Region

May 28, 2022

Service to Run Every Saturday, May 28 through September 24

ALBANY, NY (May 12, 2022) The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy (MHLC), the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA), and local project partners have come together again to offer free Saturday CDTA bus service to connect City of Albany residents to eight natural spaces in and around Albany. The service will start Saturday, May 28 and run through Saturday, September 24.

New locations—including the Albany Pine Bush and City of Albany Water Departments’ Six Mile Water Works and MHLC’s David’s Trail at the Bender Melon Farm Preserve—give folks new places to explore and connect with nature. Service will alternate to different locations on a two-week rotating schedule and be geared towards programming offered at all locations. Location partners will offer free programming most Saturdays including guided trail walks, educational programs for families, and self-guided scavenger hunts. All partner locations have easy-to-navigate maps and well-marked trails to make the user experience fun and easy. All locations are free and open to the public from dawn to dusk. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult when visiting Five Rivers.

Nature Bus will make four stops at the following locations on a bi-weekly rotating basis:

Starting May 28th and every other Saturday through September 17th
Albany Pine Bush and City of Albany Water Department Six Mile Water Works
Tivoli Lake Preserve and Farm
MHLC’s Normans Kill West Preserve
Albany County Rail Trail Veterans Memorial Park
DEC’s Five Rivers Environmental Education Center

Starting June 4th and every other Saturday through September 24th
MHLC’s Normans Kill West Preserve
Albany County Rail Trail Veterans Memorial Park
Albany County Rail Trail Slingerlands Trailhead
Hilton Park, MHLC’s David’s Trail, and Albany County Rail Trail
Thacher Park Visitor Center

MHLC Associate Director, Sarah Walsh said, “We are thrilled to be able to offer Nature Bus again. This year has even more to offer, from fishing at Six Mile Water Works to hiking the Indian Ladder Trail at Thacher Park. We look forward to seeing folks take advantage of this free service to get outside.”

“We are excited to see the return of the Nature Bus. The overwhelming support and enthusiasm for the service is great to see.” said, CDTA CEO Carm Basile. “Providing accessibility and opportunity to our local communities continues to be a top priority. We are committed to providing ways to enhance transportation services and the Nature Bus is an innovative program that will provide services to communities who may not have access to these beautiful, nature sites.”

State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “DEC is once again pleased to help support the Nature Bus, which will allow City of Albany residents the opportunity to enjoy Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, a place to explore, appreciate, and learn about nature. The Nature Bus demonstrates that barriers to accessing public lands can be overcome with creative thinking, collaboration, and willing partners. We look forward to continuing to work with communities to find out how to better ensure New York’s public lands are open and accessible to all.”

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid, said, “Nature Bus continues to deliver on our goal of connecting historically underserved communities to parks and preserves across the region. John Boyd Thacher State Park offers patrons a world class nature education facility, trails for every experience level, and dozens of recreational amenities. This year, we’re excited to offer Nature Bus Riders a warm welcome with informational guides, educational programming, and a library for basic equipment like guides and binoculars. Thacher State Park is proud to join the Friends of Thacher and Natural Heritage Trust to make this program possible and we are enduringly grateful for our partners at MHLC and CDTA.”

Betsey Miller, Treasurer of the Friends of Thacher, said, “The Friends of Thacher have a long-standing commitment to expanding access to nature. We were excited to participate in the first year of the Nature bus service and to welcome visitors to Thacher Park. We believe the changes in the program for the second year will encourage more riders and therefore we are pleased to help this program continue for a second year.”

Executive Director of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, Christopher Hawver said, “We’re so excited to join with our local partners this season as a new destination of Nature Bus. Providing free, reliable transportation to Rensselaer Lake/Six Mile Waterworks will allow many of our urban neighbors with opportunities to explore this eastern-most edge of the 3,400-acre Pine Bush Preserve.”

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy, said “We’re thrilled to welcome the Nature Bus back to multiple locations along Albany County’s Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail and to so many other great open spaces the county has to offer. The beauty of parks is that they are for everyone and they play an important role in both our physical and mental health. However, not everyone has easy access to them. This free bus service provided by Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy and the CDTA is a tremendous resource that ensures more Albany residents have the opportunity to spend some time in nature this summer and enjoy the parks both inside and outside of the city.”

Funding for this project was provided from the NYS Environmental Protection Fund through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Office of Environmental Justice. Nature Bus 2022 would not be possible without the generous support from Friends of Thacher State Park, Natural Heritage Trust, Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, and private donors.

To learn more about the Nature Bus route, including pick-up locations and drop off times, visit the CDTA website at

To learn more about programming at Nature Bus stops, visit MHLC’s Nature Bus web page:

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