Albany (New York)

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Albany (New York)
<map lat="42.664951539394345" lng="-73.76172316406293" zoom="11" view="0" float="right" />
Flag of United States of America
United States of America
State: New York State
Population: 97.900
Major roads: I-87.svg I-90.svg
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Albany is the capital of New York State. At first blush, this city is very bad for hitchhiking. Many rude suburbanites flying by you, cops harassing you, and generally rough on-ramps nearly everywhere. If one is careful and strategic, however, getting through Albany in any direction can be a breeze. Knowing the bus system is a good move, and there are several spots worth knowing for departure out of it anywhere.

Going North

There are two good ways to head north that (Hillbilly Castro) has noticed. One is the exit on I-87 north out of Colonie Mall, near Whole Foods. Wide shoulder, lots of traffic, good cover from police, and many people heading to good points northward. If you hitchhike here, do not get off at the Clifton Park rest area - there is a police station here and many of the officers stationed here hate travelers. I was pushed around and had my stuff dumped into the slush by an officer there, threatened arrest, and told to leave, though I had no way to legally exit the area on foot. If you are judicious about the rides you accept, you can get all the way to Saratoga Springs - a great exit for rides far north (the exit by Wilton Mall).

The other good way, if you have a couple bucks and some time, is to take the 450 bus from Schenectady to Wilton Mall in Saratoga Springs. This is a sure shot for avoiding harassment and getting really nice rides. The bus is $2 and takes one hour (take the bus from Albany to Schenectady and get a transfer - there are a couple buses that go there.)

Going West

This is the most challenging direction to exit Albany from. Take the bus to Colonie and walk on route 20 to hitch towards Duanesburg. Alternatively, there is an exit in East Schodack, accessible by the 233 bus, that is on the "free" section of interstate 90. Hitch here with a sign that says "past Albany". Most at this exit are going into Albany, but with a few hours wait, you may be able to find someone traveling long-distance from MA. The Pattersonville rest area on the Thruway is hitchable if you keep a low profile. This is easier to do at night. This rest area is maybe 20 miles west of Albany.

Going East

Take the 233 bus to East Schodack, on route 20, signs up for Pittsfield, MA. This is a quite easy hitch generally.

Going south, New York City

Avoid I-87. Take the 233 bus to East Schodack and hitch south on route 9. This will be slower than the thruway, but will be more pleasant and will get you less harassment.