Kent CAC Fall Foliage Hike to Mount Nimham Fire Tower

Sunday, October 13, 11:00 am

No need to drive far to enjoy the best of fall colors; nothing beats seeing the brilliance of autumn from the top of Mount Nimham Fire Tower!

Join the Kent Conservation Advisory Committee for their annual fall foliage walk. Meet at the parking area on Mount Nimham Court (map) at 11 am for a ramble up a woodland trail past farm ruins, stone shelters, and a peaceful forest. The climb up the mountain is mirrored in the subtle changes in vegetation. We’ll see the woodlands carpeted by ferns of different hues, and an abundance of nuts. Once at the top, we’ll take time to enjoy the view from the tower. Return is along the gravel access road completing the walk in less than two miles.

Wear good hiking shoes for a few rock scrambles, and bring water. Heavy rain cancels. If the weather gets iffy, check our facebook page, Kent Conservation Advisory Committee, our website kentcac.info, or call 845-235-1207 after 9:30 AM.

Hawk Rock Hike

Hike to Hawk Rock and the Mead Farm Ruins
Sunday, May 19, 11 AM

Join members of the Kent CAC for the annual hike to one of the town’s most interesting landmarks. Meet at the DEP parking area at the end of Whangtown Road at 11 AM.

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, and old farm ruins tell the story of Kent in another time.

This is a moderate hike that takes three hours or so round trip including lunch. Wear good hiking shoes for a few rock scrambles, and bring water too. Heavy rain cancels, call 845-228-5635 for info.

Woodcock Walk

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

Drawing of an American woodcock sitting on an oak leaf

Enjoy an evening of spring delights: bird songs in the meadow at dusk, warm breezes and earthy smells, and a chance to witness the bizarre, the intricate, 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.

Come learn about this extraordinary behavior, how to identify the sounds of this amazing bird, and to help map its locations in the town of Kent and the Great Swamp Watershed.

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.

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.

Mount Nimham Fire Tower Festival

On October 11, 2015, the CAC organized a festival at the top of Mount Nimham to mark the tenth anniversary of the restoration of the Mount Nimham Fire Tower. There to record the festivities was long-time friend Jeff Hodges who agreed to let the CAC host the documentary he produced. Thanks so much, Jeff. You really captured the spirit of the festival.

Many thanks to all the volunteers who have given and continue to give countless hours and much money to restore and maintain the tower for all of us to use. The festival would not have been possible without you!

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.

Kent Recycling at the Firehouse

The Kent Recycling Center started out as a weekly event that was set up and torn down each week in the parking lot of the Kent Firehouse. In this video by Jeff Hodges, footage from 1991 shows us just how much work it was – and how much fun people had – as some of the folks who got this wonderful community institution up and running explain what we’re seeing.

Thanks, Jeff, for putting this video together and for sharing it with us!