SYNOPSIS: This is one of the shortest trails I’ve come across. That being said, I have returned on three separate occasions. You can’t beat it for a short trip outdoors when you have a few minutes to kill between kid’s soccer games and basketball practice. The best features are the way the brush forms a tunnel over a portion of the trail, and the bird watching platform at the end.
(Scroll down below slideshow for more info.)
APPROXIMATE TIME: 20 minutes.
DIRECTIONS: From exit 19 on Route 84, head east on Route 312 for just over three miles. Turn left on Route 22 and go north for .5 miles. Turn right onto Doansburg Road and go 1.6 miles, then turn right onto Mill Farm Road. The preserve is on your left, just before the intersection with Shannon Way. There is a wooden sign facing the road. Park on the side of the road because there is no off-street parking, but Mill Farm is a cul-de-sac so there isn’t much traffic.
THE HIKE: The trail is short, flat and relatively straight. After leaving the road and strolling a few feet through some tall grass and wildflowers, you will enter an area where the brush forms a tunnel over the top of the trail, providing some shade on a hot day, or at least a unique feature that keeps the kid’sinterest. Be sure to stop at the second kiosk and take a peek inside to see if the half dozen mice we saw still call this home – another hit with the kids! In the ‘tunnel’ there is a small wooden bridge that goes over a tiny stream, and there is a swampy wetland area on your right as you are walking in. At the end of the trail there is a wooden bird-watching stand. The view on the horizon is relatively flat and seems like a very good place to spend some time if you like to birdwach, or just have a few moments of solitude. As long as you don’t look behind you, you wouldn’t know you are pretty close to someone’s backyard. Head back out the way you came in. There is another small viewing area accessible along Gage Road if you want a different perspective on the stream that runs through the property.
HISTORY: This 13 acre preserve is one of the Putnam County Land Trust properties. It was donated in 1991 by Henry and Vera Keil. The trail was built by Boy Scout Mike Cadigan as his Eagle Scout project in 1999.
MAP & ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Our last visit to the Doansburg Preserve was in August 2009. Over a period of two years we stopped by quite frequently when my kids were playing soccer at nearby Green Chimneys. Pets are allowed if leashed and cleaned up after. For more info on the preserve, including a printable map, visit www.pclt.net. The phone number for the Putnam County Land Trust is 845/278-2808.