Helderberg Escarpment

The Helderberg Escarpment, also known as the Helderberg Mountains, is an escarpment and mountain range in eastern New York, United States, roughly 11 miles (18 km) west of the city of Albany.[2][3] The escarpment rises steeply from the Hudson Valley below, with an elevation difference of approximately 700 feet (from 400 to 1,100 feet) over a horizontal distance of approximately 2,000 feet. Much of the escarpment is within John Boyd Thacher State Park, and has views of the Hudson Valley and the Albany area.

Helderberg Escarpment
Helderberg Escarpment is located in New York Adirondack Park
Helderberg Escarpment
Helderberg Escarpment
Location of the Helderberg Escarpment within New York
Helderberg Escarpment is located in the United States
Helderberg Escarpment
Helderberg Escarpment
Helderberg Escarpment (the United States)
Highest point
Elevation1,197 feet (365 m)
Coordinates42°34′41″N 74°00′07″W / 42.5780153°N 74.0019710°WCoordinates: 42°34′41″N 74°00′07″W / 42.5780153°N 74.0019710°W, 42°33′24″N 73°58′59″W / 42.5566851°N 73.9830251°W,42°38′16″N 73°59′30″W / 42.6377105°N 73.9916288°W,42°29′55″N 73°58′11″W / 42.4986037°N 73.9696691°W,42°38′16″N 74°00′41″W / 42.6377943°N 74.0114526°W[1]
Geography
LocationSSE of Altamont, New York, U.S.
Topo mapUSGS Westerlo, Clarksville, Voorheesville, Alcove, Altamont

Geology

Cross-section of the Helderberg Ridge, NY
Cross-section of the Helderberg Ridge.

The escarpment is geologically related to three other escarpments, the Niagara Escarpment, the Black River Escarpment, and the Onondaga Escarpment.[4] The rocks exposed in the escarpment date back to the Middle Ordovician to Early Devonian.

In 1934 the Schenectady Gazette described how the Tory cave, one of the limestone caves to be found in the escarpment, routinely had stalagmites of ice in the springtime.[5]

Transmission towers

Most of the Capital District's television stations installed their transmission towers at the escarpment to take advantage of its high ground.[6] In 2003 a 499-foot (152 m) tower was built on the highest point of the escarpment, for transmitting digital television signals.[7]

History

Dutch settlers first homesteaded the plateau above the escarpment in the 17th century.[8][9] Helderberg is a Dutch name meaning "clear mountain".[10]

The Open Space Institute and the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy are working to keep escarpment lands from being developed for housing or industrial uses.[11] Farmers farming land near the escarpment can apply to sell their development rights, to help make sure that land is not developed. In 2003 the Ten Eyck family, owners of the Indian Ladder Farm just below the escarpment, sold the development rights to their farm for $848,000. Two real estate assessment were done, one on the value of the property as a working farm, the other on its value as a potential site for urban development. The Ten Eycks were paid the difference in return for agreeing to keep the property as a working farm. They were the first property owners to sell their development rights in Albany County.

An edge of the Helderberg Escarpment, visible to the right
An edge of the Helderberg Escarpment, visible to the right
The Helderberg Escarpment, as seen from below
The Helderberg Escarpment, as seen from below

References

  1. ^ "Helderberg Mountains". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  2. ^ "Significant Habitats and Habit Complexes of the New York Bight Watershed: Helderberg Escarpment". United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
  3. ^ "Helderberg Escarpment List of Species of Special Emphasis". United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
  4. ^ "North Estonian Klint and some of its analogues". 2008. Archived from the original on 2013-08-01. Helderberg Escarpment in Albany County, New York State, is up to 300 m high and traceable over more than 100 km. The escarpment exposes rock complexes from a nearly 70-million-year time period (Middle Ordovician to Early Devonian), representing a moderate-grade slope in which harder Coeymans (Devonian) and Onondaga (Silurian) limestones are distinguishable as escarpments a few dozen metres in height.
  5. ^ "Icy Stalagmites in Tory Cave". Schenectady Gazette. 1934-03-30. Retrieved 2013-08-01 – via Google News Archive.
  6. ^ FCC Registered Broadcast Land Mobile Towers in New Scotland, NY, http://www.city-data.com/towers/lmobile-New-Scotland-New-York.html
  7. ^ Philip Schwartz (2005-02-20). "Area stations share a Helderberg tower". Daily Gazette (Schenectady). Retrieved 2013-08-01. In late 2003, a single, 499-foot transmission tower went up on the Helderberg escarpment in the Town of New Scotland, just outside Albany at the highest point in the immediate area.
  8. ^ John K. Elberfeld, Jane B. McLean (2012). Helderberg Hilltowns. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9780738592688.
  9. ^ O. D. von Engeln (1988). "The Finger Lakes Region: Its Origin and Nature". Cornell University Press. ISBN 9780801495014. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
  10. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 154.
  11. ^ Jill Bryce (2003-05-16). "New Scotland Orchard protected from development". Daily Gazette (Schenectady). pp. 1, 4. Retrieved 2013-08-01 – via Google News Archive.
Aumic House

The Aumic House in Guilderland, New York was built in 1887. It is a massive, composite styled building with hipped roof and gables and dormers. It includes Shingle Style and Colonial Revival elements. The house is built partway up a hill, the Helderberg Escarpment, and has a "commanding view of Altamont and the area east".It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The listing included two contributing buildings on a 16.4-acre (6.6 ha) area.

Christman Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary

Christman Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary is a national historic district located near Delanson, Schenectady County, New York. The district includes six contributing buildings and one contributing structure on a largely wooded, rural 105-acre (42 ha) tract. It lies in the valley of the Bozenkill and includes a 30-foot (9.1 m) waterfall along the Helderberg Escarpment. Located on the property is a two-story frame dwelling built in 1868, a stone dairy house, barns, large stone walls, and an open lean-to built by the Mohawk Valley Hiking Club. The sanctuary had its beginnings in 1888 when property owner W.W. Christman (1865-1937) and his wife, the former Catherine Bradt, began a winter bird feeding program during the great blizzard of that year.It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

Clarksville, Albany County, New York

Clarksville is a hamlet in the town of New Scotland, Albany County, New York. It is situated along Delaware Turnpike (New York State Route 443) in the southern part of the town at the foot of the Helderberg Escarpment. It is the site of the Clarksville Cave and has an annual Clarksville Heritage Day and Car Show. It is in the Onesquethaw Volunteer Fire Company fire protection district.

Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center

The Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center opened in July 2001 and is located near the shore of Thompson's Lake between Thompson's Lake State Park and John Boyd Thacher State Park in New York's Albany County (United States).

Exhibits and displays include a geologic model of the Helderberg Escarpment, a live honeybee observation hive, bird viewing area, fossils, furs and other hands-on collections. Trails for hiking and skiing lead from the nature center to the lake, through woodlands and fields. The center offers educational programs for school groups, youth organizations, clubs and the general public.

Helderberg (disambiguation)

The name Helderberg may refer to:

The Helderberg wine-producing region in the Western Cape of South Africa

The Boeing 747 named Helderberg on Flight SA 295 that crashed near Mauritius in 1987

The container ship SA Helderberg

The Helderberg Escarpment, at the northern end of the Catskill Mountains near Albany, New York, USA

The Helderberg Formation, a geologic formation in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia, US

The Helderberg Mountains, a mountain range in New York

John Boyd Thacher State Park

John Boyd Thacher State Park is a state park located 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Albany, New York, near Voorheesville, in Albany County on State Route 157. Located mostly atop the Helderberg Escarpment, the park has several hiking trails that offer panoramic views of the Green Mountains in Vermont and the Taconic Mountains of the Hudson Valley.

New Salem, New York

New Salem is a hamlet in the town of New Scotland, Albany County, New York. It is located in a valley at the foot of the Helderberg Escarpment along New York State Route 85. A local fair and car show is held every year in this small hamlet. It is also home to the town of New Scotland's community center and museum.

New York State Route 443

New York State Route 443 (NY 443) is an east–west state highway in the Capital District of New York in the United States. The route begins at an intersection with NY 30 in the town of Schoharie and ends 33.44 miles (53.82 km) later at a junction with U.S. Route 9W (US 9W) and US 20 in the city of Albany. It ascends the Helderberg Escarpment in the towns of Berne and New Scotland. Within the town of Bethlehem and the city of Albany, NY 443 is known as Delaware Avenue.

NY 443 was originally designated as the Albany County portion of NY 43 in the 1920s, but the NY 43 designation was truncated to Rensselaer in the early 1970s. The portion of NY 43 west of Madison Avenue in Albany was then redesignated as NY 443. Many of the reference markers along NY 443 bear the number "43" instead.

Tory cave

Tory cave may refer to:

Tory cave (Albany, New York) -- a cave in the Helderberg escarpment where a crown loyalist is said to have hidden during the American Revolution

Tory cave (New Milford, Connecticut) -- see Housatonic Range Trail

Tory cave (Albany, New York)

The Tory Cave is a limestone cave in the Helderberg Escarpment geologic formation. Its name is based on a story from the American Revolution, where a Tory — a loyalist to the English monarchy — hid in the cave. According to some accounts Jacob Salsbury was a loyalist who reported to the British on rebel troop movements.The cave is near the top of the escarpment.Visually interesting ice stalagmites can be found in the cave, in springtime.

There are other caves in the region that do not develop stalagmites. According to Jim Gould, the author of Rooted in Rock, a partial rock fall blocks drafts that would have prevented the growth of large stalagmites.

WCWN

WCWN, virtual channel 45 (UHF digital channel 22), is a CW-affiliated television station licensed to Schenectady, New York, United States and serving New York's Capital District (Albany–Schenectady–Troy) as well as Berkshire County, Massachusetts. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, as part of a duopoly with CBS affiliate WRGB (channel 6, also licensed to Schenectady). The two stations share studios on Balltown Road in Niskayuna, New York (with a Schenectady postal address) and transmitter facilities on the Helderberg Escarpment west of New Salem, a hamlet of New Scotland. On cable, WCWN is available on Charter Spectrum channels 15 (hence the CW 15 branding) and 1212; the latter channel number requires the use of a digital cable set-top box.

WFLY

WFLY (FLY 92.3) is a Top 40/CHR station licensed to Troy, New York and serving New York's Capital District as well as the surrounding areas, including the Adirondacks. The station is owned by Pamal Broadcasting and is considered their flagship station. The studios are located at 6 Johnson Road in Latham, while their transmitter is located on the Helderberg Escarpment antenna farm in New Scotland. WFLY is the oldest FM radio call sign currently in use in the Albany market, as it has been in use since 1948.

WMHT (TV)

WMHT, virtual channel 17 (UHF digital channel 25), is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station licensed to Schenectady, New York, United States and serving New York's Capital District (Albany–Schenectady–Troy) as well as Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Owned by WMHT Educational Telecommunications (formerly known as the Mohawk-Hudson Council on Educational Television, Inc.), it is a sister station to National Public Radio (NPR) member WMHT-FM (89.1 MHz). The two stations share studios in the Rensselaer Technology Park in North Greenbush (with a Troy mailing address) and transmitter facilities in the Helderberg Escarpment in New Scotland.

WNYA

WNYA, virtual channel 51 (VHF digital channel 13), is a MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station licensed to Pittsfield, Massachusetts, United States and serving Berkshire County, Massachusetts as well as New York's Capital District (Albany–Schenectady–Troy). The station is owned by Hubbard Broadcasting as part of a duopoly with Albany-licensed NBC affiliate WNYT (channel 13). The two stations share studios at the WNYT Broadcast Center on North Pearl Street (along NY 32) in Menands (with an Albany postal address); WNYA's transmitter is located on the Helderberg Escarpment west of New Salem, a hamlet of New Scotland. The station uses its main cable channel position of 4 on Charter Spectrum for marketing purposes as My 4 Albany, only mentioning their actual channel number on-air during maintenance sign-off disclosures.

WNYT (TV)

WNYT, virtual channel 13 (VHF digital channel 12), is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Albany, New York, United States and serving New York's Capital District (Albany–Schenectady–Troy) as well as Berkshire County, Massachusetts. The station is owned by Hubbard Broadcasting as part of a duopoly with Pittsfield, Massachusetts-licensed MyNetworkTV affiliate WNYA (channel 51). The two stations share studios at the WNYT Broadcast Center on North Pearl Street (along NY 32) in Menands (with an Albany postal address); WNYT's transmitter is located on the Helderberg Escarpment west of New Salem, a hamlet of New Scotland.

WTEN

WTEN, virtual channel 10 (UHF digital channel 26), is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Albany, New York, United States and serving New York's Capital District (Albany–Schenectady–Troy) as well as Berkshire County, Massachusetts. The station is owned by Nexstar Media Group, which also operates Fox affiliate WXXA-TV (channel 23, also licensed to Albany) under joint sales and shared services agreements with owner Shield Media, LLC. The two stations share studios on Northern Boulevard in Albany's Bishop's Gate section and transmitter facilities on the Helderberg Escarpment west of New Salem, a hamlet of New Scotland.

WTEN formerly operated a full-time satellite in Adams, Massachusetts: WCDC-TV (virtual channel 19, UHF digital channel 36), whose transmitter was located on Mount Greylock, the highest peak in Massachusetts. WCDC's signal covered western Massachusetts and southern Vermont that received a marginal to non-existent over-the-air signal from WTEN, although there was significant overlap between the two stations' contours otherwise. WCDC-TV was a straight simulcast of WTEN; the only on-air references to the station were during Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-mandated hourly legal identifications. Aside from the transmitter, WCDC did not maintain any physical presence locally in Adams. Nexstar scheduled a shutdown date of December 1, 2017 for WCDC-TV, through the FCC's spectrum incentive auction, but damage to the station's transmission line forced it to end operations two weeks early on November 19.

WVBG-LP

WVBG-LP is a low-power television station licensed to serve Greenwich, New York, broadcasting on UHF channel 41 from a tower in Clarksville, New York. The station is owned by Wireless Access, LLC, a group of rural telephone companies in Upstate New York and Vermont. WVBG is licensed to operate in analog, but has a construction permit to flash cut to digital from a transmitter on the Helderberg Escarpment.

WVBG received a construction permit to re pack move from TV 41 to Channel 17.

The station is on an American Tower site in Clarksville ( an old AT&T) microwave site.

Channel 17 will cover a wide area with a low UHF signal.

Programming to be aired is unknown at this time.

WXXA-TV

WXXA-TV, virtual channel 23 (VHF digital channel 7), is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Albany, New York, United States and serving New York's Capital District (Albany–Schenectady–Troy) as well as Berkshire County, Massachusetts. The station is owned by Shield Media, LLC; Nexstar Media Group, which owns ABC affiliate WTEN (channel 10, also licensed to Albany), operates WXXA under joint sales and shared services agreements. The two stations share studios on Northern Boulevard in Albany's Bishop's Gate section and transmitter facilities on the Helderberg Escarpment west of New Salem, a hamlet of New Scotland.

WXXA is the only commercial television station in Albany that has never changed its primary network affiliation or call letters.

WYPX-TV

WYPX-TV, virtual channel 55 (UHF digital channel 19), is an Ion Television owned-and-operated television station licensed to Amsterdam, New York, United States and serving New York's Capital District (Albany–Schenectady–Troy) as well as Berkshire County, Massachusetts. The station is owned by Ion Media Networks. WYPX-TV's offices are located on Charles Boulevard in Guilderland, and its transmitter is located in the Helderberg Escarpment in New Scotland. The station also serves as the de facto Ion outlet for the Mohawk Valley (including Utica).

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