David's Trail keeps alive memory of a resilient young man

The Enterprise — Michael Koff
Lauren and Harold Iselin.

“David loved the outdoors,” said his father, Harold Iselin, speaking on Saturday at the dedication of a trail named in honor of his son, David Iselin. It’s the first trail on the 175-acre Bender Melon Farm Preserve in New Scotland.

As a child, David organized his brothers and neighbors to play in the snow or leaves, Harold Iselin said. As a Vassar College student, he organized touch-football games, and on family vacations he’d catch minnows or crabs in tidal pools.

David Iselin died on March 3, 2018 of cardiac arrest just shy of his 28th birthday.

Harold Iselin, in the summer of 2020, on trips to a nearby golf course, noticed the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy sign, marking donations to preserve the land and, when he saw “they were in reach,” he asked his wife, Lauren, at left, about making a gift “to get the purchase over the finish line,” he said, acknowledging all the many other gifts, big and small.

The plan is to eventually connect David’s Trail with the nearby Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail.

“The sun came out,” said Lauren Iselin on Saturday morning, “so David is shining down on us with his big, beautiful smile.” She also said of her son who had battled Crohn’s disease and a rare kidney ailment, “His resilience in life has really taught me how to try to be resilient every single day.”

Her husband concluded of the wooded, mile-long David’s Trail, “This trail is the perfect fit with David. It is a gentle trail, no big hills or rough patches …. He had a gentle soul … It’s a fitting way to keep him in our hearts.”

More Community news

  • ALTAMONT — After being postponed twice,  St. Lucy/St. Bernadette Church in Altamont is once again sponsoring a trip departing from Albany to Provence and the French Riviera.

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.