Proposals for town of Rensselaerville, farmers and businesses

From Helderberg Hilltowns of Albany County, NY


Sunset woods
Andy Arthur, Mar. 2009

Proposals for the town of Rensselaerville, town farmers, and businesses to give more reasons to visit Rensselaerville and to enhance their experience.


  • Advertise the natural beauty of the hill towns and the outdoor recreation opportunities.
  • Organize a "Hilltowns Farm and Business Association."
  • Attract folks interested in hiking, fishing, history, and photography.
  • Make the hill towns known for their great variety of trails.
  • Maps and lists of places to visit.

See "Head for the Hills - the Helderberg Hilltowns" for more ideas.


There are many opportunities for expanding the existing system of trails.

  • The towns should encourage the planning and construction of scenic trails for use by hikers, bikers, horseback riding, fisherman, photographers, cross country runners, etc is encouraged. In the fall they might be used by hunters; in the winter by cross country skiers.
  • Promote a system of bike trails though-out the hill towns.
  • Add new trails to connect existing natural reservations.

Identify existing resources

Historic mill sites

Survey of historic mill sites to locate and document the conditions of the remains of any historic sawmills and grist mills and dam sites. Like abandoned cemeteries, these abandoned ruins will eventually be lost. It would be good to know exactly where they were before it is to late.

Family Burying Grounds

Locate and restore abandoned family burying grounds whose locations are not now known.

Historic Building Survey

Survey of extant historic buildings in the town with a history of each.

Visitor Facilities

  • In any district of the town a home owner may operate a Guest House. The definition of a Guest House is a home owner who makes extra bedrooms available in their home for occasional guests. The Guest House is not a business but rather a way to earn extra money for the home owner from time to time.
  • Landowners whose land a trail crosses or who live within say 1000 feet of a trail could be encouraged to build facilities along such trails to benefit users of the trails and to charge for their use: trail shelters, tent camping sites, toilet facilities, picnic tables, fire pits.
  • With special permits, landowners in agricultural districts should be allowed to build cabins for rent by the day or week, and to build facilities for use by recreation vehicle campers.

Adjoining Hilltowns

Proposals for farms, natural areas, and outdoor recreation opportunities in adjoining hill towns:

Visitor attractions and facilities in the hill towns