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Public Conservation Areas


About Our Sites


We’ve got ten wonderful places for you to visit for free, dawn to dusk.

Enjoy Your Day, Respect the Setting
Please follow these rules in order to ensure you and others can have a safe, enjoyable time while visiting these sites.

 

  • •  Sites are open between dawn and dusk.
    •  Camping is prohibited and objects left overnight may be removed.
    •  Swimming, alcohol, and open fires are prohibited.
    •  Please keep dogs leashed to protect sensitive habitats and wildlife, and be courteous of other visitors. Be a good citizen and pick up after your dog.
    •  Practice Leave No Trace ethics; take all trash with you, park only in the lots, and hike only on the trails.
    •  Permits are required for fishing and are available at the CLC office located at 49 Main Street, Chatham on weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. Fishing is permitted at the following sites: Hand Hollow, High Falls, Ooms, Schor, and Siegel-Kline Kill. To obtain a CLC Fishing Permit you must also have your NYS Freshwater Fishing Permit.
    •  Contact CLC at 518.392.5252 if you would like to hunt, fly a drone, or make use of the site for a large group outing of twelve or more, special event, wedding, or for commercial purposes, such as photographic or video shoots.
    •  Guided smartphone tours of most Public Conservation Areas are available through Vizzit, a free app that works on Apple and Android phones. We recommend downloading the app and the tours you’re interested in before you hit the trail, as many of the sites have limited reception, which may interfere with the app’s functionality.

Love it Here? Help Protect this Special Place!

 

    • •  Volunteer to help with trail maintenance, events, and office tasks.
      •  Make a donation! Most of CLC’s budget comes from grants and gifts from people like you. 

•  Collect important scientific data using the iNaturalist, iMapInvasives, or eBird apps on your smart phone.

 

Share your adventure by tagging us on Instagram @clctrust or by posting your pictures to our Facebook pages!

Maintenance at our Public Conservation Areas has been supported by the Hudson River Bank & Trust Foundation, Ellsworth Kelly and the Jack Shear Foundation, the Land Trust Alliance, the Quailwood Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, the Hudson River Estuary Program, the Hudson River Greenway, the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, and the Wellspring Foundation. We use counters to gather data about trail use.  This helps us to better understand and manage our trails, and is very important when applying for grants and other funding.  To learn more about the TRAFx trail counters we use, please click here.

Borden’s Pond


 

About the Site

62-acre Borden’s Pond is home to 1.6 miles of forested trails. Though it’s close to the village, Borden’s Pond is home to a diverse wildlife and forest composition, sloping stream-side trails, and wetland and Catskill Mountain views. Click HERE to view the trail map. Borden’s Pond is a great place to:

•  Birdwatch and track who you see using the eBird app!
•  Hike – trails are easy to moderate and primarily forested
•  Enjoy a guided tour using the Vizzit App!
•  Join CLC in the Hike Five Challenge by hiking 5 of our 10 Public Conservation Areas and you’ll be eligible to receive a prize!
•  Click HERE for more information and to download your entry form!

Map of Trails

 

Site History

In 1997, a group of citizens united to form Borden’s Park Preserve to protect this undeveloped parcel. Through community fundraising and two major grants, the initial 52-acre parcel was purchased in 1998. In 2005, Borden’s Park Preserve transferred the property to the Columbia Land Conservancy. If you’d like more information, you may be interested in reading the brochure about Borden’s Pond, or viewing the Borden’s Pond Master Plan.

 

Click here for directions to Borden’s Pond, 1628 Route 203, Ghent, NY

 

Drowned Lands Swamp


About The Site

You can visit a 350-foot knoll with expansive views of not only the swamp, but also surrounding protected farmland. This Public Conservation Area includes a portion of the Drowned Lands Swamp ecosystem, one of the largest wetland complexes in southeastern New York. Drowned Lands Swamp in Ancram boasts 1.5 miles of trails on 114 acres of land.

Drowned Land Swamp is a great place to:

•  Hike – trails are easy to moderate and primarily forested. Please note the site can be very buggy, and you may wish to avoid visiting Drowned Lands during black fly season (June – July).
•  Birdwatch and track who you see using the eBird app!
•  Now you can enjoy a guided tour using the Vizzit App!
•  Click here to tour the Blue Trail.
  Click here to tour the Green Trail.
•  Join CLC in the Hike Five Challenge by hiking 5 of our 10 Public Conservation Areas and you’ll be eligible to receive a prize!

•  Click HERE for more information and to download your entry form!

Trail Map

Site History

In 1995, the Salisbury Bank and Trust Company of Connecticut generously donated approximately 100 acres of land to CLC, establishing what is now Drowned Lands Swamp. CLC enlarged the area in 2000 through an additional acquisition. Local folklore includes tales of stills operating during prohibition, either on the property or across the road. If you’d like to learn more, you can read our Master Plan for the site, or download the informational brochure.

Click here for directions to Drowned Lands Swamp, 645 County Route 3, Ancram, NY

Greenport


About The Site

This 736-acre site within walking distance of Hudson includes 7 miles of trails. Greenport also includes an Access-for-All wheelchair friendly trail. As you explore the park on one of its many trails, take in excellent Hudson River and Catskill Mountain views. Greenport is a great place to:

•  Hike – trails are easy to moderate
•  Birdwatch and track who you see using the eBird app!
•  Cross-country ski
•  Picnic
•  Now you can enjoy a guided tour using the Vizzit App!
•  Join CLC in the Hike Five Challenge by hiking 5 of our 10 Public Conservation Areas and you’ll be eligible to receive a prize!
•  Click HERE for more information and to download your entry form!

Trail Map

Site History

CLC worked with the Open Space Institute (OSI) to establish the Greenport Conservation Area. In 1992, OSI purchased the original 400 acres, which had been actively farmed for hay, corn, and dairy production. The property was enlarged through additional acquisitions by OSI, and was conveyed to CLC in 2013. If you’re interested in learning more, read the site’s Master Plan or brochure.

Click here for directions to 319 Joslen Boulevard, Greenport, NY

Hand Hollow


About The Site

This site features woodlands, meadows, a lake, two ponds, streams, and wetlands. This variety of habitats makes it a prime location for spotting beavers, otters, black bear, bobcat, and wild turkey as you meander the 2.8 miles of trails or enjoy prime fishing access (fishing is by permit only – stop in to the CLC Office at 49 Main Street in Chatham to get one).

•  Hike – trails are easy to moderate
•  Birdwatch
•  Cross-country Ski
•  Kayak
•  Fishing (Permit Required)
•  Now you can enjoy a guided hike using the Vizzit App – click here to start the tour from the Route 9 entrance. Click here to start from the Gale Hill Road entrance!
•  Join CLC in the Hike Five Challenge by hiking 5 of our 10 Public Conservation Areas and you’ll be eligible to receive a prize!
•  Click HERE for more information and to download your entry form!

Trail Map

Site History

The Hand Hollow Conservation Area includes a patchwork of former small family properties. It was made possible through the vision and generosity of families who understood the importance of protecting open space and wildlife habitat for future generations. You can download the brochure here.

Click here for directions to Hand Hollow’s County Route 9 entrance.

Click here for directions to Hand Hollow’s Gale Hill Road entrance.

Harris


About This Site

The Harris property includes 1.9 miles of trails on 76 acres of land. The hemlock forests provide habitat for a variety of different birds. In the temporary vernal pools, you may see the eggs of frogs and salamanders in the spring, and their young as they hatch. These woodland pools provide critical habitat for amphibians. The property’s cliffs and outcroppings are home to lichens over a century old. The small piles of rocks form crevices and caves that provide great habitat for bats, porcupines, and snakes. Harris is a great place to:

•  Hike – trails are easy to moderate
•  Birdwatch and track who you see using the eBird app!
•  Cross-country ski
•  Fish (permit required, visit the CLC office at 49 Main Street in Chatham to obtain one)•  Enjoy a guided tour using the Vizzit App!
•  Join CLC in the Hike Five Challenge by hiking 5 of our 10 Public Conservation Areas and you’ll be eligible to receive a prize!

Click HERE for more information and to download your entry form!

Trail Map

Site History

Gordon Harris donated the property to CLC to be used for recreation and wildlife conservation. We also thank the Greenagers, a Great Barrington-based nonprofit, for partnering to provide youth with natural-resources based work experience maintaining the trails and building the site’s stone staircases. If you’re interested in learning more, read the site’s brochure.

Click here for directions to 105 Bloody Hollow Road, Austerlitz, NY

High Falls


About The Site

The High Falls Conservation Area is home to Columbia County’s highest waterfall. The wooded trails bring visitors to a dramatic overlook with views of the falls and provide access to the Agawamuck Creek. The Agawamuck Creek flows northwest until eventually joining the Claverack Creek on its way to the Hudson River.  You can enjoy several hiking trails at High Falls, as well as fishing.

What to Do Here

Hike – trails are easy to moderate
Birdwatch and track who you see using the eBird app!
Picnic
Cross-country Ski
Fishing (Permit Required)
Now you can enjoy a guided tour using the Vizzit App!
Join CLC in the Hike Five Challenge by hiking 5 of our 10 Public Conservation Areas and you’ll be eligible to receive a prize!
ClickHEREfor more information and to download your entry form!

Site History

High Falls is exceptionally rich in cultural history. The Agawamuck Creek and these falls have been an important part of Philmont’s history and development. Dense locust stands and large oaks and maples that are found along the trail system tell a story of past logging. In the early 19th century hydropower was the chief source of energy for industry; the water provided by the creek led to the growth of a bustling town called Factory Hill which was later renamed Philmont. Through the construction of a dam atop High Falls and a series of aqueducts and diverter dams, enough hydropower was harnessed to provide power for a total of 17 mills during Philmont’s heyday. The dam above High Falls, which was built in 1845, is visible from the viewing area, and the old mills still stand on the creek’s northern slopes. By the 1950s new technologies marked the end of many mills across the country, and as a result most of the mills in Philmont were closed by the end of the decade. In the mid-1990’s the landowner at that time contacted CLC to explore how the property could be made available to the public.

For more information, you can download the High Falls brochure or read the High Falls Master Plan.

CLC regrets we are unable to lawfully allow swimming at any of our properties. For more information about each site’s rules,click here.

Ooms


About The Site

Ooms Conservation Area in Chatham features 2.9 miles of trails on 180 acres of land. This spectacular property includes rolling grasslands, pond, pastoral landscape, Catskill mountain views, and mixed forest habitats.  There are benches and a gazebo for relaxing and birdwatching, and excellent fishing (by permit only – contact CLC to get one) at the 35-acre Sutherland Pond.

What to Do Here

Hike – trails are easy to moderate
Birdwatch and track who you see using the eBird app!
Cross-country Ski
Kayak
Picnic
Fishing (Permit Required)
Now you can enjoy a guided tour using the Vizzit App!
Join CLC in the Hike Five Challenge by hiking at least 5 any of our 10 Public Conservation Areas and receive a prize!
Click HEREfor more information and to download your entry form!

Site History

This Conservation Area is named after two families who have been in the area for generations.  The pond is named after the Sutherland family, who lived across the road from the conservation area in the 1800s. In the 1950s, the Ooms family arrived from the Netherlands and began a dairy operation on the fields surrounding the pond.  In 2001, CLC, in conjunction with the Open Space Institute, purchased this 180-acre parcel from the Ooms family to permanently ensure its availability to the public.

To learn more, download the site’s brochure or read the Master Plan.

CLC regrets we are unable to lawfully allow swimming at any of our properties. For more information about each site’s rules, click here.

Click here for directions to Ooms Conservation Area 480 Rock City Road, Chatham, NY

Overmountain


About The Site

This site offers spectacular views of the Harlem Valley, Hudson Valley, and Taconics. The Overmountain Conservation Area is the largest Public Conservation Area in the Columbia Land Conservancy’s portfolio, at 1,700 acres in size. The site is comprised of three main areas: Round Ball Mountain, Fox Hill, and Kite Hill, which you can learn more about by reading the site map.

What to Do Here

Hike – trails are easy to moderate
Birdwatch and track who you see using the eBird app!
Cross-country Ski
Join CLC in the Hike Five Challenge by hiking at least 5 any of our 10 Public Conservation Areas and receive a prize!
Click HERE for more information and to download your entry form!

Site History

This site offers spectacular views of the Harlem Valley, Hudson Valley, and Taconics. The site includes more than ten miles of trails. Some follow the ridgeline above the Harlem Valley, offering spectacular views of the Taconic Range to the east and Catskill Mountains to the west, with the entire Hudson Valley in between. Click here to read a brochure about the site and its special features.

Click here for directions to Overmountain Conservation Area: 138 Catalano Road, Ancram, NY


A note on directions: The road where the Kite Hill entrance is located variously appears as Cattalino, Catalano, Catalonus, and other alternate spellings, depending on which mapping service you’re using. The name on the road sign is Catalano.

 

Schor


About The Site

Schor Conservation Area encompasses 233 acres with 2.5 miles of trails. A summit along the trails offers views of the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains. On a clear day, the city of Albany is visible. Schor is also home to interesting ecology – a complete ecological description of the site’s geology, flora and fauna was prepared by the Farmscape Ecology Program.

What to Do Here

Hike – trails are easy to moderate
Birdwatch and track who you see using the eBird app!
Fishing (Permit Required)
Picnic
Cross-country Ski
Now you can enjoy a guided tour using the Vizzit App!
Click here to tour the Summit Trail!
Click here to tour the Green Trail!
Join CLC in the Hike Five Challenge by hiking at least 5 any of our 10 Public Conservation Areas and receive a prize!
Click HERE for more information and to download your entry form!

Site History

Schor Conservation Area was made possible by the generosity of Jonathan Schor, an early trustee of the CLC and a much loved member of the Red Rock community. Jon’s clear vision and passion led him to place conservation easements on much of his land, and upon his death, bequeath his property to CLC for establishment of this Public Conservation Area.
If you’d like to learn more about the site, download the brochure for the property, or read the site’s Master Plan. Fishing at the property is by permit only (stop in to the CLC Office at 49 Main Street to get yours).

CLC regrets we are unable to lawfully allow swimming at any of our properties. For more information about each site’s rules, click here.

Click here for directions to Schor Conservation Area: 58 Cemetery Road, Canaan, NY

 

Maintenance of this site has has been supported by grants from the Quailwood Fund, a fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

Siegel-Kline Kill


About The Site

Siegel-Kline Kill is a 55-acre site in Ghent with 1.5 miles of trails. Large sycamore trees dominate an extensive flood plain forest along the Kline Kill, and the property also includes a winter sledding hill and a working farm field.

What to Do Here

Hike – trails are easy to moderate
Birdwatch and track who you see using the eBird app!
Fishing (Permit Required)
Cross-country Ski
Sledding
Now you can enjoy a guided tour using the Vizzit App!
Join CLC in the Hike Five Challenge by hiking at least 5 any of our 10 Public Conservation Areas and receive a prize!
Click HERE for more information and to download your entry form!

Site History

The Siegel-Kline Kill Conservation Area is named after prior owners Bob and Susan Siegel.  The property was originally party of an extensive dairy farm operation.  The fields of Siegel-Kline Kill, with 25 acres of excellent agricultural soils, are transitioning to a native meadow habitat. Fishing at the site is by permit only (visit the CLC Office at 49 Main Street in Chatham to get yours).

If you’d like to know more about the site, you can download our informational brochure, or read the site’s Master Plan.

Click here for directions to Siegel-Kline Kill Conservation Area: 1452 County Route 21, Ghent, NY

Columbia Land Conservancy
49 Main Street
Chatham, NY 12037
518.392.5252
info@clctrust.org

 

Our office is open 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.,
Monday - Friday.

 

Public Conservation Areas are open dawn to dusk every day.
Visit our calendar of events to find out what’s happening next.