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Public Conservation Areas


Current Projects


Hand Hollow Trail Improvements & Beaver Dam

CLC staff and volunteers are working to improve sections of the Blue Trail from the Gale Hill parking lot to Meizinger Lake. Please do not ride horses or bicycles on this section of the trail, especially during wet weather.

CLC staff are also aware that the beavers who call Hand Hollow home have been… busy working on their dams, keeping the water levels in Meizinger Lake low as a result. We are working to keep the property safe while protecting the beavers.

Greenport Stiltgrass Management

You may notice a number of surveying flags and some burnt-looking grass along the Yellow Trail at Greenport. CLC is participating in an Environmental Management and Monitoring Alliance (EMMA) network study on non-chemical treatment of invasive Japanese stiltgrass. Several methods of treatments are being tested, including hand-pulling, weed whacking, crushing, and flame weeding. Data on the effectiveness of the treatments will be collected in September, possibly (we hope!) by the Hudson High School Environmental Club students, and will help land managers across the Hudson River Valley make resource decisions about treating large areas infested with stiltgrass. Watch this short video and hear from CLC Public Lands Manager, Doug Brown, to learn more about this project!

Step Into Stillness at Greenport

Local artist David McIntyre invites you to consider your relationship to nature at his new outdoor exhibit, Step Into Stillness, on display at Greenport Conservation Area from June 21 through late August. To view the exhibit, follow the Blue Access for All Trail from the parking lot for approximately one third of a mile.

Ooms Knotweed Management

CLC is also testing different methods of controlling and removing Japanese knotweed at Ooms. These include folding the knotweed, smothering it, and injecting small amounts of herbicide into the knotweed. Data on the effectiveness of these treatments will be collected and help CLC make decisions about how best to deal with knotweed infestations on other sites. Click here to read more information about how CLC responsibly uses herbicide.

Overmountain Conservation Area Meadow Restoration

CLC is working with volunteers, contractors, and scientists to transform a corn field into habitat for native pollinators and regionally rare grassland bird species like the bobolink and savannah sparrow. This restoration area is close to the Kite Hill parking lot on Catalano Road. Please stay on trails as young plants are fragile.

High Falls Invasive Species Removal Project & Tree Trimming

The Red Trail is currently closed while we remove invasive species threatening the health of the forest. You can still access the waterfall overlook via the Green Trail. Certified arborists from our friends at New Leaf Tree Services have also trimmed trees at the waterfall overlook to improve the view of the falls.

Hike Five Challenge


Hike Five with the Columbia Land Conservancy!

 
Did you know that the Columbia Land Conservancy owns and manages ten Public Conservation Areas across Columbia County, home to more than 30 miles of trails? These special places feature waterfalls, peaceful woodlands, and scenic views galore.

So let’s explore them together! Complete the challenge and you’ll be eligible for a patch featuring one of the Public Conservation Area mascots and a Northern or Southern Columbia County Outdoors Guidebook. Visit all ten sites and we’ll throw in both guidebooks. We’ve also created a fun scavenger hunt for kids to fill out while you hike.

Participation in the Hike Five Challenge is easy:

1) Click here to get an entry form

2) Visit at least five of CLC’s Public Conservation Areas between now and December 31, 2021, and log your visits on your entry form

3) Submit your entry by clicking here

We’d love to see photos of your adventures! Tag us on Instagram using #clchikefive or check in to each Public Conservation Area on Facebook when you visit!

The Hike Five Challenge is sponsored by CDPHP.

About Our Sites




It is with gratitude and humility that we acknowledge Public Conservation Areas are located on the ancestral homelands of the Mohican people, who are the Indigenous peoples of this land. Despite tremendous hardship in being forced from here, today their community resides in Wisconsin and is known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community.

This land is near the homelands of other Indigenous peoples and First Nations, including the Schaghticoke First Nations. Indigenous peoples continue efforts to reclaim and steward the land today. We pay honor and respect to their ancestors past and present as we commit to building a more inclusive and equitable space for all.

Click a link below to learn more about each Public Conservation Area!

    1. 1 Hand Hollow 
    2. 2 Ooms
    3. 3 Schor
    4. 4 Borden’s Pond
    5. 5 Siegel-Kline Kill
    6. 6 Harris
    7. 7 Greenport
    8. 8 High Falls
    9. 9 Drowned Lands Swamp
    10. 10 Overmountain

Click here to learn more about our Public Conservation Areas and rules for use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Public Conservation Areas open?

Yes, please read this message from CLC about using our sites.

What are the open hours for Public Conservation Areas?

Sites are open dawn to dusk every day- camping is prohibited.

Are hunting, fishing, and foraging allowed?

Fishing is allowed at certain sites with a permit. Click here to get your permit. Please contact info@clctrust.org for more information about hunting. In order to manage the site’s natural resources, we do not allow foraging.

Is swimming allowed at Public Conservation Areas?

Swimming is not permitted at any of our sites.

Does my dog need to be on a leash?

Yes please! Many of the sites are home to sensitive habitats and wildlife, and other visitors may be scared of your dog.

What amenities are located at Public Conservation Areas?

There are no restrooms or trash cans at the sites. Please practice Leave No Trace ethics by taking all your trash with you when you leave, and staying on trails.

I’d like to have a wedding/organize a group/do a commercial photoshoot at a Public Conservation Area, what should I do?

Please click here to obtain a permit.

Can I build a fire? Consume alcohol?

To keep our users safe, fire and alcohol consumption are not permitted.

Can I fly my drone at a Public Conservation Area?

If you would like to fly a drone at one of our Public Conservation Areas please email info@clctrust.org at least one week prior to the day you would like to fly and fill out this permit.

Thank you

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 Borden’s Pond

 

Address

1628 Route 203, Ghent (just outside the village of Chatham)

 

Trails

1.6 miles, primarily flat and forested. May be muddy after rain.

 

Great for

Birdwatching, dog walking.

 

Site History

In 1997, a group of citizens united to form Borden’s Park Preserve to protect this land. Through community fundraising and two major grants, the land was purchased and protected in 1998. In 2005, Borden’s Park Preserve transferred the property to the Columbia Land Conservancy.

Learn More:

 

Text “bordensmap” to 518.535.3252 to get a map texted to you.

 

Click here to download a map.

 

Click here to take an interactive TravelStorys Tour of the property.

 

Hunting


CLC allows a limited number of hunters at selected Public Conservation Areas by permit only.

We are currently re-evaluating our hunting permit program. If you are interested in hunting at a Public Conservation Area, please fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch as we finalize the details. Thank you!

Fishing


If you’d like to fish at a Public Conservation Area, you’ll need a fishing permit (and your NYS fishing license)! When you commit to becoming a fishing monitor, you help keep ponds and creeks clean, healthy, and well-managed. Thank you!

Permits are required for all anglers over the age of 16. Ice fishing is permitted at angler’s own risk – shanties and motorized augers are not allowed. Be aware that many sites have thin ice.

CLC suggests a $25 Conservation Friend donation to offset the costs of managing the fishing permit program.

In exchange for fishing privileges at Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC) owned Public Conservation Areas, monitors’ responsibilities include:
1. Keeping Public Conservation Areas free of trash.
2. Periodically assessing and spot checking who is fishing at the conservation area and accounting for any illegal or questionable activity. This would include fishing without a permit, failure to park in designated area, failure to carry a valid permit or fishing license, or anything else other than what is specified on the permit issued by Columbia Land Conservancy.
**Monitors do not have the authority to ask visitors to leave a site or to confront them, other than to provide info about the fishing permit program as a CLC ambassador. We ask that you observe and report, leave any policing to CLC and the local authorities.
Environmental Conservation Officers:
Officer Cox- 518.794.8935
Officer Davy- 518.414.6083
Dispatch – 877.457.5680
3. Reporting any troublesome activities to CLC. Reports should be emailed to teampca@clctrust.org.

Please sign the form below, if you agree to the terms, email a photo of your NYS Fishing License to info@clctrust.org or send to 49 Main Street in Chatham, and submit. Once received we will mail you your CLC Fishing Permit.

 

 

 

Drowned Lands Swamp


About Drowned Lands Swamp

Address

645 County Route 3, Ancram, NY

Trails

1.5 miles of trails on 114 acres of land. Drowned Lands Swamp is a great place to hike – trails are easy to moderate (the Summit Trail includes a short, steep ascent), 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).

Great for

Birdwatching, dog walking.

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. 

Learn More:

Text “drownedlandsmap” to 518.535.3252 to get a map texted to you.

Greenport


About Greenport 

 

Address

319 Joslen Boulevard, Greenport, NY

 

Trails

7 miles of trails, including an Access-for-All wheelchair friendly trail, trails are mostly flat. Trails may be muddy after rain. 

 

Great for

Birdwatching, cross-country skiing, picnicking, biking

 

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.

 

Learn More

 

Text “greenportmap” to 518.535.3252 to get a map texted to you.

Click here to download a map.

Take an interactive TravelStorys Tour of the property!

Hand Hollow


About Hand Hollow

Address

4079 County Route 9, East Chatham, NY or 451 Gale Hill Road, East Chatham

Trails

2.8 miles of primarily flat trails, may be muddy after rain. 

Great for

Birdwatching, cross-country skiing, kayaking, picnicking, and fishing. Click here to get your fishing permit.

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.

Learn more:

Text “handhollowmap” to 518.535.3252 to get a map texted to you.

Harris


About Harris

 
 

Address

105 Bloody Hollow Road, Austerlitz, NY (Please be sure you are entering Bloody Hollow Road from Stonewall Road.)

 
 

Trails

1.9 miles of primarily flat trails. There are several seasonal ponds on the property and the trails can become wet after rain.

 
 

Great for

Birdwatching, dog walking, cross-country skiing.

  

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.

 
 

Learn more:

  

Text “harrismap” to 518.535.3252 to get a map texted to you.

Click here to download a map.

Click here to take an interactive TravelStorys Tour of the property.

 

 

 

 

High Falls


 

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

 

Please note: The Red Trail is closed for habitat restoration! You can still access the overlook via the Green Trail.

 

About High Falls

 

Address

540 Roxbury Road, Philmont, NY

 

Trails

1.5 miles of moderate trails with rocky terrain 

 

Great for

Birdwatching, dog walking, picnicing, and fishing. Click here to get your fishing permit.

 

Site history

The Agawamuck Creek and these falls have been an important part of Philmont’s history and development. 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. In the mid-1990’s the landowner at that time contacted CLC to explore how the property could be made available to the public.

 

Learn more:

 

Text “highfallsmap” to 518.535.3252 to get a map texted to you.

 

Ooms


 

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

 

About Ooms

 

Address

480 Rock City Road, Chatham, NY

 

Trails

2.9 miles of moderate trails with grass or dirt terrain. Trails can be very muddy after rain, and icy during the winter.

 

Great for

Birdwatching, picnicking, kayaking, and fishing. Click here to get your fishing permit.

 

Site history

This site 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.

Learn more: 

 

Text “oomsmap” to 518.535.3252 to get a map texted to you.

Click here to download a map.

Overmountain


About Overmountain

Address

503 Carson Road, Ancram, NY (Round Ball Trailhead)

138 Catalano Road, Ancram, NY (Kite Hill Trailhead)

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.

Trails

10 miles of moderate trails with mostly grass terrain.

Great for

Birdwatching, dog walking, picnicking, biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

Site history

CLC acquired the property in three phases, starting with the bargain sale purchase of Round Ball Mountain from the Kitchen family, followed by the donation of Fox Hill by the Baxt family, and culminating with a gift of 1,300 acres from the Gilmore family.

Learn more:

Text “overmountainmap” to 518.535.3252 to get a map texted to you.
Click here to download a map.
Take an interactive TravelStorys Tour of the property!
Click here to listen to the Fox Hill Tour
Click here to listen to the Gazebo Tour

Schor


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

About Schor

Address

58 Shore View Dr, East Chatham, NY
Cemetery Road can be very muddy after rainy weather.

Trails

2.5 miles of moderate trails. Trails are primarily dirt and flat, with the exception of the Summit Trail, which is steeper.

Great for

Birdwatching, dog-walking, picnicking, and fishing. Click here to get your fishing permit.

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.

Learn more:

Text “schormap” to 518.535.3252 to get a map texted to you.
Click here to download a map.
Take an interactive TravelStorys Tour of the property!

Siegel-Kline Kill


About Siegel-Kline Kill

Address

1452 County Route 21, Ghent, NY

Trails

1.5 miles of flat grass trails. Can be muddy after rain.

Great for

Birdwatching, dog-walking, cross-country skiing, picnicking, snowshoeing, sledding, and fishing. Click here to get your permit.

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.

Learn more:

Text “siegelklinekillmap” to 518.535.3252 to get a map texted to you.

Click here to download a map.