It was formed at the end of the last ice age—20,000 years ago. As a mile high glacier melted, a giant lake formed here (over 190 miles long!). Scientists refer to this lake as Glacial Lake Albany. Glacial Lake Albany eventually drained and the sandy deposits on the lake floor (laid down by the ancient Mohawk River) were blown into sand dunes which were ultimately colonized by plants. The Pine Bush once covered over 25,000 acres. Now there are only 6,000 acres remaining, 3,200 of which are protected by the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission.