Perfect for the late afternoon, give your legs a stretch with these easily attainable hikes.

There are countless trails in the Saratoga Springs area. With the southeastern Adirondacks nearby, and numerous parks between us and the state capital, there’s a lot to choose from. I’ve lived here for quite some time, and haven’t even scratched the surface of available hikes. However, there are a few I come back to time and again. Walking a trail after work does wonders for mind and body, whether you’re looking to calmly recap your day, or forget about woes with a breathtaking view. Long or short, steep or flat, here are a few of my favorites within an hour’s drive.

Spring Run Trail

This trail is short, but beautiful (and has plans to stretch farther in coming years). The best part of Spring Run is that it’s maintained year round – yes, even in the snow! It’s particularly lush in spring, of course. Located behind Excelsior Avenue, this trail is perfect for a quick afternoon run or dog-walk. When you get to the end, grab drinks to take home from EBI.

Hadley Mountain

If you’re feeling adventurous, Hadley Mountain is the one for you. It’s an hour drive to the trailhead from downtown Saratoga, but you’ll be rewarded at the top. The views are hard to beat, especially on a misty day! The trail is numbered from 1 to 10, letting you know along the way just how close you are to the top. For enthusiasts of the Adirondacks, it’s a great start to the Fire Tower Challenge.

Bog Meadow Trail

This trail is long and mostly flat, and can be quite lengthy if hiked in entirety (one end and back). If you’re looking for a shorter hike, there are two entrances and two key sites within reach. Located between here and Schuylerville, the closest entrance (off Route 29) has great views of the winding bog, which the trail is named for. Birch trees line the earthy route, and a few bridges cross the various inlets. The second entrance on Meadowbrook Road is closer to the woodsier portions of the trail, and a boardwalk. Here you can get closer to the bog and its wildlife and sit amongst the reeds on built-in benches.

County Forest off Louden Road

Forget the mall – find the nature behind it! Right off Louden Road and behind the Wilton Mall lies a small loop of a trail. It’s only slightly over a mile, but always seems to be quiet and pleasantly forgotten. Compared to nearby mountains, the trail itself is slightly unimpressive, but the peacefulness is a nice break from other popular trails. It gets great light through the trees in the late afternoon.

Spruce Mountain

Knock off another fire tower hike near Porter Corners. This trek is significantly easier than Hadley Mountain, but a bit longer. Once you reach the top, the Fire Tower contains views for miles, and the cab is open to visitors. The mountains seen in the distance are low and rolling, but on a sunny day, individual trees can be picked out at a great distance. Return here in the fall for some fantastic leaf peeping.