Schenectady County & Scenic Tours R-T
History, Victorian period architecture, and Federal-style barns can be found in Schenectady County. You can also enjoy outdoor adventures year round including hiking, cross-country skiing, fishing, canoeing/kayaking, and even skydiving.
There's a wealth of historical landmarks, outdoor activities, cultural attractions, exciting entertainment venues, and seemingly endless dining opportunities.
There’s something for everyone in Schenectady County!
Route 20 Scenic Tour R - A little history - Schenectady County
Entering Schenectady County from the west on Route 20, the first short excursion is to the village of Delanson Historic District via Route 395 south. The Village of Delanson was settled in 1861 when construction of the Albany & Susquehanna Railroad started. The district includes distinctive examples of a variety of popular Victorian period architectural styles including Italianate, Carpenter Gothic and Queen Anne. Return to Route 20 and continue east.
In about one mile Christ Episcopal Church is on the left (north) side of Route 20. The church is located in center square of the original Village of Duanesburg. Built by James Duane in 1762, it is the oldest, unaltered Episcopal Church in New York State.
Route 20 Scenic Tour S - A little nature - Schenectady County
Just before the church, turn north onto Duanesburg Churches Road then turn east onto Lake Road (County Route 88) for 0.7 miles. The Schenectady County Forest Preserve is a 102-acre forest where the public can hike, hunt (Nov. 15-Dec. 15), fish, cross-country ski and snowshoe. This preserve is historically significant as one of James Duane's original Great Lots where remains of stonewalls, a farm house foundation and a small family cemetery can be found. From the forest preserve, continue east on Lake Road. In about one mile, you'll find Featherstonhaugh State Forest, named after George W. Featherstonhaugh. Featherstonhaugh practiced scientific farming, crop rotation and served as the United States' first geologist and agricultural commissioner. He is also considered the father of the steam railroad. Walk from the parking area to the lake that you can explore by your own canoe or kayak. Watch for the Great Blue and Green Herons. In the fall, enjoy the sight of migrating waterfowl. Retrace your steps by traveling west on Lake Road to Duanesburg Churches Road south to Route 20.
Travel east on Route 20 to the Town of Duanesburg, the westernmost town in Schenectady County. The town is named for James Duane. He was a member of the first Provincial Congress of 1774 and was associated with Patrick Henry, John Adams and other Revolutionary leaders. He died suddenly in 1797 and is buried under Christ's Church in the town that bears his name. (While in Duanesburg, look, up in the sky! You might just catch a glimpse of skydivers from the Duanesburg Skydiving Club, located at the intersection of Routes 20 and 7. And, yes, you can give it a try -- by appointment.) Travel though Duanesburg on Route 20 to the junction of I-88 and the easternmost terminus of the Route 20 NY Scenic Byway. But wait, there is more...
Route 20 Scenic Tour T - A little more history - Schenectady County
For a final history tour, we recommend starting at the North Mansion and Tenant House (558 North Mansion Road, south off Route 20 just east of Duanesburg) the first manor house of the Duane Family. Visitors included Baron von Steuben. Continue on North Mansion Road and turn right (west) onto Duane Lake Pond Road. While all lake property is privately owned, the view is breathtaking. Follow Duane Lake Pond Road around to rejoin North Mansion Road to head back to Route 20. Turn west onto Route 20. In about 0.1 mile, turn south onto Featherstonhaugh Road. At the end of the road, you'll find Duane Mansion, with Federal-style barns on the property that are rare survivors in New York State. Return to Route 20. We hope you enjoy your visit.