Butterfly Walk in Kent

Become a citizen scientist! Join the Kent Conservation Committee Advisory Committee for its Butterfly Walk on Saturday July 7 at 10:00 AM, starting at the Nimham Multiple Use Area on Gipsy Trail Road. Support the North American Butterfly Association’s efforts to document butterfly populations nationwide and add to Kent’s Natural Resource Inventory by finding as many butterflies as possible.

Photo of a great spangled fritillary butterfly on a flower (Speyeria cybele)
Waiting in a meadow near you. Photo: Dave Ehnebuske

Participants will learn about the habits and habitats of these brilliant insects, visiting four different meadows by caravan. Hike Leader, Beth Herr, will compile butterfly sightings and look for butterfly eggs, caterpillars, and chrysalides. Other summer delights are likely to be found in the tall grass fields and forest edges. Bring close-focus binoculars if you have them. (A pair of eyes is good enough.) Wear sturdy shoes and long pants; bring water and lunch. Be prepared to stand and watch. Please do not bring dogs. Children over six years are welcome.

Registration is required: Call 228-5635. Heavy rain cancels; butterflies stay under cover when it rains.

Night of the Fireflies

Saturday June 23, 8:00 – 9:30 PM
Kent Town Center

Join members of the Kent Conservation Advisory Committee for a mid-summer’s eve stroll around the grounds of our own Town Center in search of fireflies and other seasonal wonders. After sunset fades and evening bird songs silence, citizen scientists will look for some of eight possible species of lightning bugs that can be found in Kent and discover how to read their signals. Learn how fireflies make light, their unusual life history, and where to find glow worms, while KCAC members add to their Natural Resource Inventory.

Firefly composite

Participants will meet in the parking lot, families, but not pets, are welcome. Wear long pants and bring a jar to closely examine summer insects. Cloudy humid weather is okay for fireflies, but heavy rain cancels. Call 845-228-5635 for more details.

Woodcocks at Moonrise

Saturday, March 31, 7:30 PM
Great Swamp Wildlife Management Area
Cornwall Hill Road in Patterson

Drawing of an American woodcock sitting on an oak leaf

For a natural history enthusiast, nothing beats the thrill of witnessing the bizarre, intricate and impressive mating flight of the American woodcock. Join Kent Conservation Advisory Committee naturalists for a gentle walk to the singing grounds of this small game bird while the full Grass (and Blue) Moon rise over the meadows.

Come learn about the woodcocks’ extraordinary behavior, how to identify the sounds of this amazing bird, and to help map its locations in the town of Kent. Spend twilight on a spring evening overlooking Pine Island and the Great Swamp at the Great Swamp Wildlife Management Area on Cornwall Hill Road in Patterson. (See map.) Call Beth at (845) 228-5635 to register.

Wear warm clothes and good hiking shoes. Very cold weather or snow would postpone the walk because the woodcock don’t fly when it’s too cold. If this happens, we’ll post a message to the CAC website and an email alert to CAC hikes subscribers (click here to subscribe) by 4 PM the day of the hike. Or, if in doubt, call (845) 228-5635.

Hike to Hawk Rock and
the Mead Farm Ruins

On Sunday, May 21, 2017, 11am join members of the Kent CAC for the annual hike to one of the town’s most interesting landmarks. We’ll meet at the DEP parking area at the end of Whangtown Road. (See map.)

Photo of Hawk Rock with Beth Herr standing in front of it
Hawk Rock. Photo: Dave Ehnebuske

If you haven’t been to Hawk Rock, you’re in for a treat. When the glaciers retreated northward at the end of the last ice age, they were carrying some huge rocks that sometimes ended up in odd positions when the ice melted. One of these so-called “erratics” is Hawk Rock. Local lore has it that long ago the Native Americans named it and used the site as a meeting place. It is certainly a believable story; the setting is beautiful and it’s one impressive rock.

Horsepound Brook skirts the trail, drains the wooded valley, and adds to New York City’s water supply. Along the way wildflowers and bird life are abundant.

This is a moderate hike that takes three hours or so round trip, including a stop for lunch at the rock. For further information call 228-5635.

Little People Walk at the Kent Library

Little people are part of the folklore of many cultures around the world. Whether leprechauns, fairies, trolls or gnomes, stories of the teeny-tiny abound. Youngsters are invited to look for evidence of little people right here in Kent, as part of the Halloween Extravaganza at the Kent Public Library on Saturday, October 29 at 12:15. After a short walk in the forest, families are invited to construct their own fairy house using natural materials.

Photo of a house that little people in the woods might be living in
I wonder if they’re home. Photo: Beth Herr

The walk is sponsored by the Kent Conservation Advisory Committee. Local artist, Lisa Amejide, will share stories about her miniature haunted houses. Families with little children are welcome to this free program. Meet in front of the library.

Hike to Hawk Rock and the Mead Farm Ruins

Join members of the Kent CAC on Sunday, May 22, 2016 from 11am to 2pm for our annual hike to two of the Town of Kent’s most interesting landmarks. We’ll meet at the DEP parking area at the end of Whangtown Road.

If you haven’t been to Hawk Rock, you’re in for a treat. When the glaciers retreated northward at the end of the last ice age, they were carrying some really big rocks that sometimes ended up in odd positions when the ice melted. One of these so-called “erratics” is Hawk Rock. Local lore has it that long ago the Native Americans named it and used the site as a meeting place. It is certainly a believable story; the setting is beautiful and it’s one impressive rock.

Photo of Hawk Rock with Beth Herr standing in front of it
Hawk Rock. Photo: Dave Ehnebuske

The Mead Farm, like the rest of this hike, is on land that was originally part of the hunting grounds for the Nochpeem tribe of native Americans, a part of the Wappinger Confederacy. After passing through various people’s hands, sometime in the 1860s Moses F. Mead purchased the eastern part of the farm where the ruins are today. The site includes a number of interesting features, including the foundations of the house, the stone portions of a cow barn and one of the most beautiful corbelled stone chambers anywhere.

This is a moderate hike that takes three hours or so round trip including stops for lunch and to look around the farm site. If weather forces us to cancel or postpone the hike, we’ll let everyone who subscribes to our hikes list know by email and post the news here. For further information contact Dave Ehnebuske, or call him at 878-7592.

Wildflower Walk

Spring has sprung! All the wee little native spring flowers are reaching for the sun before trees’ leaves shade them. Join the CAC for a wildflower ramble at Clough Preserve in Patterson at 1pm this Sunday, April 17. Meet at the Brewster High School parking lot to car pool a short distance to the preserve.

Photo of purple trillium (Trillium erectum) and yellow trout lily (Erythronium americanum)

While it has been cool, and wildflowers slow to waken, the preserve offers an easy walk through hemlock forests, along a swamp, to Ice Pond. Ramblers will enjoy the return of bird song, frogs calling and other spring delights.

The forecast is for terrific weather for this walk, but you never know. If the weather suddenly turns rotten, we’ll post a message to the CAC website and an email alert to CAC hikes subscribers (click here to subscribe) by 11am the day of the hike. Or, if in doubt, call (845) 228-5635.

Valentine’s Day Hike for Nature Lovers

Sunday, February 14, 1pm
Lake Gleneida Trail

Sorry folks, this hike has been canceled due to the frigid weather!

Celebrate Valentine’s Day out in nature. Bring your sweetheart, bring a friend, or just bring yourself. Join the Kent Conservation Advisory Committee for a pleasant walk around this glacial lake right in the middle of Carmel. Meet at 1pm at the NYCDEP kiosk. Park along Route 301 near the historic courthouse.

It is extraordinarily beautiful right here where we live. Come join this excursion through the winter world and learn about old Carmel, too. Historian Judy Kelley-Moberg will share stories about the old houses around the lake, the cholera outbreak and other tidbits of history. Along the trail we’ll try doing a hug-a-tree with one of the biggest oak trees in our area!

Wear good hiking boots. A light snowfall would provide a canvas for animal tracks, but deep snow or an icy coating would postpone the hike with an alert on kentcac.info by 11am that day. Or call 228-5635 for the latest status. Co-sponsored with Friends of the Great Swamp.

Kent CAC New Year’s Day Hike

Friday January 1, 2016, 11am
Fred Dill Wildlife Sanctuary

Start the new year with nature and neighbors! Join members of the Kent Conservation Advisory Committee for their annual walk on the first day of January. Meet at 11am in the parking lot at Putnam Family and Community Services, 1808 Route 6 (map), to enter the preserve on the south end.

Photo of hikers on New Year's Day 2012
Hikers explore the Fred Dill Wildlife Sanctuary on New Year’s Day 2012
Photo: Dave Ehnebuske

It is extraordinarily beautiful right here in our own backyard, even in the midst of winter. Come join this excursion through the winter world and learn some history too. We will be walking over the old Putnam County Fairgrounds, by the railroad that never was, and under the “wolf” oak trees.

Wear warm clothes and good hiking shoes for a few rock scrambles, and bring water, too. A light snowfall would provide a canvas for animal tracks, but deep snow or an icy coating would postpone the hike with a posting to the CAC website and an email alert to CAC hikes subscribers (click here to subscribe) by 10am that day. Or, if in doubt, call 228-5635.

Walk Off the Turkey Hike

Hike with us to see Wonder Lake and burn off some calories.

The Kent CAC is sponsoring a hike to Wonder Lake on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Hikers will meet at 11 AM at the Wonder Lake State Park parking area (map) on Ludingtonville Road. The trail is easy-to-moderate and the hike will last about 3 hours, including a short break for lunch.

It’s late fall and hunting season, so wear warm, bright clothing. Because the trails will by covered in spots with slippery leaves, comfortable hiking boots are a must. Bring lunch and a beverage.

Hopefully the weather will cooperate, but if it turns miserable we’ll have to cancel the hike. In that case, I’ll send you an e-mail and post the news on the home page about an hour before the scheduled start. For further details contact hike leader David Ehnebuske by phone at 878-7592 or by e-mail.