Preserving Saugerties' Natural LegacyNavigation
Falling Waters Preserve Directions: Located on Dominican Lane in Glasco, NY. From the Village of Saugerties, drive south on Route 9W; turn left onto Josephs Drive, then turn right at the T intersection onto York Street. Dominican Lane is your first left. Directions Esopus Creek Conservancy (ECC) joined Scenic Hudson and the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill in creating an outstanding riverside nature preserve. This stunningly diverse 192-acre preserve features wooded shoreline, picturesque streams, dramatic waterfalls, meadows, wetlands, and more than a mile Hudson River waterfront. These natural features are showcased by a trail network including a mile-long riverside footpath with breathtaking views of the Hudson River, a gravel road with views of the Catskills, and an old carriage road leading to the river’s edge. The creation of Falling Waters Preserve is the result of a unique collaboration, and ECC is proud to be part of this effort. The Dominican Sisters, who own the property, generously granted Scenic Hudson an easement on the land and agreed to allow public access to a portion of it. Scenic Hudson planners worked with the Sisters and the ECC to improve an existing riverside trail system while protecting the Sisters’ privacy. New trails were constructed and will be maintained by Scenic Hudson and ECC. The waterfront was once the site of the massive Mulford Ice House which held up to 10,000 tons of ice blocks harvested annually from the frozen river during winter months and shipped to New York City during warmer months. Very little remains from the ice house era, and hardwood forest now define the shoreline. Once a busy wharf, the landscape has evolved into a peaceful riverside destination....Read More
In May, every third grader and third-grade teacher from the four elementary schools in the Saugerties school district (Cahill, Morse, Mt. Marion, and Riccardi) visited the preserves as part of their curriculum, learning about aquatic macroinvertebrates in the Esopus Creek and participating in an ‘ecological scavenger hunt’. During most of the field trips, students not only spend four hours outside in nature, but they also eat their lunch there, and learn from their classroom teachers, ECC Board members and volunteers, and Catskill Center staff in a fun, hands-on, and incredibly effective way. Saugerties Boys and Girls Club Because of this unique partnership, these students are learning about their local surroundings and are beginning to realize the ecological and educational value of preserving areas of open space (like the Esopus Bend and Falling Waters) in their local community. As they mature, they too will come to realize that these natural environments not only provide aesthetic benefits to community residents, but also provide wildlife habitat, water quality protection, and recreational...Read More
Esopus Bend Nature Preserve Esopus Bend Nature Preserve is a unique 161-acre preserve located partially within both the village and town of Saugerties along a dramatic bend in the Esopus Creek less than a mile from the Hudson River. The preserve borders Barclay Heights, a large housing development built in the 1950s, and is visible to 10,000 travelers a day who cross the Esopus Creek traveling on Rt. 9W into or out of the Village of Saugerties. Known to locals as part of the old Schroeder Farm, Esopus Bend has not been used for agriculture in forty years and has reverted to a natural ecosystem rife with an array of flora and fauna. Turkeys nest in the meadow in June. Baby fawn prints dot the sands along the forest flood plain. Toads grow up here, and the air flits with dragonflies and birds. Eagles stand on the river birches, watching for prey. Red foxes patrol the forest, and coyotes feed in the preserve in winter. The diversity of the biology of Esopus Bend is echoed in the diversity of the land itself. A lowland meadows and state-designated wetlands lie in a flood plain to the east. Sloping forests rim the northern reaches, and a flood plain forest leads to hemlock cover in the south. The carriage trail lies along a Lower Devonian limestone ridge, and the entire preserve is interlaced with drainage channels and swales that add to the complexity and mystery of the natural environment. The shape and diversity of the topography seems to echo the twelve-sided carapace of one of its most characteristic inhabitants, the snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina), which lives and nests in the wetlands. The...Read More
― Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
The preserve can be accessed at entrances at both the 50 Sterley Ave. and 10 Shady Lane entrances in Barclay Heights. Esopus Bend Nature Preserve is a 161 acre stretch of what was once the old Schroeder Farm… more history about Esopus Bend Nature Preserve
Falling Waters Preserve Directions From Saugerties, drive south on Route 9W; bear left on Route 32 South, then turn left at first crossroads (Glasco Turnpike). Continue through Glasco village (toward the river), then turn left on York. Sign for Falling Waters Preserve will be on your right.