Mountain Laurel Hike

Sunday, June 8, 11am

Mother Nature decorates our woodlands in celebration of summer with the pink and white blossoms of the Mountain Laurel. This evergreen shrub is common on Kent’s steep slopes and now is the time to see the forest dotted with confection-like flowers. Join members of the Kent Conservation Advisory Committee on a walk around White Pond this Sunday, June 8, at 11am.

Learn about the extraordinary pollination mechanism and interesting history of the laurel. Enjoy walking three miles, through different habitats and plant communities, around the clear waters of White Pond. Wild flowers, breeding birds, and animal tracks and traces abound.

Wear sturdy shoes, apply tick repellant and bring water and lunch, if you wish. Meet at the White Pond Parking Area.  Call Beth at 228-5635 to register or for more information.

Mothers’ Day Hike to Hawk Rock and the Mead Farm Ruins

Sunday, May 11, 2014, 11am

Join members of the CAC 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. You can see a picture of it here.

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. Call Beth at 228-5635 for more information.

Valentine’s Hike for Nature Lovers

Canceled:Saturday, February 15, 2014, 1pm, Fred Dill Wildlife Sanctuary

We’ve had to cancel the planned hike at the Fred Dill Wildlife Sanctuary on Fair Street. Conditions at the Sanctuary are just too difficult and dangerous for a hike. The ground is blanketed with deep, ice-covered snow, and the parking area has not been cleared. To top it off, NOAA predicts it will begin to snow another 2 to 4 inches starting about the time the hike would begin.

Hike to a Kettlehole Bog

Sunday, November 3, 11am–1pm at Clearpool Model Forest

A unique plant community, possibly supporting rare plant species, has been found in Kent. Called a “kettlehole bog,” its location was discovered during a baseline survey of the model forest at Clearpool, a Green Chimneys facility. These bogs form as big chunks of glacial ice are stranded and partially buried in glacial outwash. The ice chunks subsequently melt, leaving ponds in holes in the ground, with no hydrologic inlets or outlets. Over millennia, peat progressively fills in the kettleholes, often forming a habitat for unusual mosses.

Join the Kent Conservation Advisory Committee to explore this local natural wonder. Meet at the parking area by the mess hall on the Clearpool campus located off Route 301 in Kent. (See map.)

It is extraordinarily beautiful right here in our home town. Come join this excursion through late autumn, learn some natural history and meet some new neighbors.

Hikers should wear sturdy shoes and be able to manage a few rock scrambles. Bring water and lunch. Heavy rain would cancel the hike with an email alert to Kent CAC hikes subscribers and a posting on our home page by 10am that day. Call Beth at 228-5635 for more information.

Fall Foliage Hike at Mount Nimham Fire Tower

Sunday, October 20, 1pm

No need to drive too 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 the annual fall foliage hike. Meet at the DEC parking area on Mount Nimham Court at 1pm for a ramble up a woodland trail past farm ruins, a stone chamber and a peaceful forest. As we hike up the mountain we’ll see subtle changes in vegetation, the woodlands carpeted by ferns of different hues, and and lots of evidence of this year’s abundant crop of nuts. Once at the top, we’ll have time to enjoy the view from the tower. Return will be along the gravel access road, completing a walk of less than two miles.

It is extraordinarily beautiful right here in our home town. Come join this excursion through autumn, learn some history and meet some new neighbors.

Hikers should wear sturdy shoes for a few rock scrambles and bring water. Heavy rain would cancel the hike with an email alert to Kent CAC hikes subscribers and a posting on our home page by noon that day. Call Beth at 228-5635 for more information.