The Lower Birch Creek Trailhead at the Shandaken Wild Forest
My regular fans (both of them) will recognize this as the site of the old house that I and other local drone pilots use to practice our flying and building inspection skills.
The actual name of this place is the Lower Birch Creek trailhead of the Shandaken Wild Forest. You can find it here if you're interested.
As trailheads go, this one is pretty luxurious. It has a pond, a porta-potty, two picnic tables, and three large fields. The grass is usually mowed and the area neat and tidy. I'm told there are fish in the pond, but I haven't fished it.
The wooden structure on the southern bank of the pond near the parking lot is a wheelchair-accessible fishing platform. I suppose there must be fish in the pond if the state went to the trouble of building it.
There also are the ruins of the old house and of two smaller outbuildings that are the main reason drone pilots hang out here. The old buildings are good to practice on. They're slated to be knocked down anyway (although that's been true for years and hasn't happened yet), so no one cares if you accidentally break something.
The bigger field toward the east of the house is also popular with drone pilots for free-flight and FPV flying. Freestyle and FPV pilots like to practice here because there's a lot of space but not very much to crash into. 'There's also another field to the east of one behind the house that's a popular spot for tent camping.
This house and all the land that's part of the trailhead area used to be owned by a dentist named Otto Reisser and his wife Elisabeth. Dr. Reisser passed away in 1996, and Mrs. Reisser shortly later in 1997.
When Mrs. Reisser died, the entire tract of land was left to the caretaker on the condition that he live in the house. Otherwise it would go to the state and become part of "Forever Wild" forest preserve.
I would have jumped on that deal like a cat on a bird. It's a beautiful piece of land.
The caretaker already owned a home, however, and didn't want this one; so the land was deeded to the state and became part of the Shandaken Wild Forest on March 26, 1999.
The land and house are now a trailhead parking lot and picnic area. The unofficial trail begins east of the house and can be seen in the video at about 2:25. It passes through a second open field that is used by tent campers. A few tents can also be seen in the distance in the video, as there were people camping the day it was taken.
I've become rather fond of the old house and still go there to practice, to test different video settings, or to test new drones and accessories. Usually the Reisser residence is the focus of my visits. In this video, however, I thought I'd take some video of the property rather than the house.