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PARKS,  PRESERVES, TRAILS, AND GARDENS

The area code for the phone numbers listed below is 845, unless otherwise noted.

Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Cary Arboretum
Millbrook, Rte. 44A; 677-5359
1,924-acre ecological research and educational center; nature trails,  self-guided driving tour. 
www.ecostudies.org
 
Innisfree Garden
Millbrook, Tyrrel Rd.; 677-8000
The design of this Chinese cup garden dates back 1,000 years. The 40-acre lake is surrounded by cliffs, low hills, waterfalls, and streams. May–Oct., Wed.–Sun.
 
Millbrook Tribute Gardens
Millbrook, Franklin Ave.; 677-3434
Garden, children's playground, walking trails.
 
At the Millbrook School
Millbrook, Rte. 44; 677-8261
Forest Canopy Walkway—4 platforms joined by roped walkways 80 feet above forest floor.
Trevor Zoo—4-acre zoo with over 100 exotic and indigenous animals. Reservation required for walkway and zoo.
Nature Trail—marshland and boardwalk.
Nellie Hill Preserve
Dover Plains, 244-3271
144 acres; fields, woods, small ponds; hiking and nature trails; 10 rare plant species.
www.tnc.org
 
Historic Hyde Park Trail
Hyde Park; 229-9115, 229-8086
8.5 miles of hiking trails connecting several parks and historical sites.
 
Pinewoods Park
Hyde Park, 229-8086
25 acres; fishing, hiking, nature trails, tennis.
 
Riverfront Park
Hyde Park, 229-8086
4 acres; hiking, nature trails, educational programs.
 
Italian Gardens
Hyde Park, 229-6432
On Vanderbilt Mansion grounds. (See under Historic Sites.)
 
Harlem Valley Rail Trail
Millerton, 789-9591
21 miles of scenic hiking and biking trails linking towns, villages, and state parks on the Harlem Valley railbed from Amenia to Copake Falls. No motorized vehicles allowed.
 
Taconic State Park
Millerton
225 acres; swimming, beach, fishing.
Pawling Nature Reserve
Pawling
1,000 acres owned by the Nature Conservancy.  Hiking trails in a variety of habitats, including waterfalls and wetlands.  Appalachian Trail crosses reserve.
 
Stissing Mountain Fire Tower
Pine Plains, 398-5673
90-foot tower at elevation of 1,492 feet with view of 3 states; reached by hiking trails.
 
Thompson Pond Preserve
Pine Plains
490 acres, including 3-mile walking trail around glacial kettle-hole pond.
 
Baird State Park
Pleasant Valley, 452-1489
590 acres; golf, tennis.
 
Ferncliff Forest
Rhinebeck, 876-3196
200-acre game refuge and forest preserve; 22-station nature walk.
 
Buttercup Wildlife Sanctuary
Stanfordville
550-acre wildlife sanctuary.
 
Hudson Valley Raptor Center
Stanfordville, 758-6957
See eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures, and owls up close; natural history programs, flying demonstrations with birds of prey. Apr.–Oct., Fri.–Sun.
Wilcox Park
Stanfordville, 758-6100
650 acres; beach, boat launching, cross-country skiing, fishing, hiking, nature trails, miniature golf.
 
Dutchess Community College
Norrie Point Environmental Site,
Aquarium, Museum
Staatsburg, 889-4830
8,000-gallon freshwater aquarium that replicates Hudson River; museum of New York State wildlife; hiking trails. View of Hudson. May–Oct.; weekends and year-round by appointment.

Sharon Audubon Center
Sharon, CT; 860-364-0520
Over 11 miles of scenic hiking trails; 758 acres of mixed forest, meadows, wetlands, ponds, and streams; wildlife rehabilitation, educational programs, natural history library and museum. Year-round.

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