SYNOPSIS: The Donald B. Smith Conservation area is a small (1.2 acre) property that sits along the East Branch Croton River, offering fishing and canoe access. There is a picnic table in case you want to bring lunch.
APPROXIMATE TIME: Small property, so not really applicable.
DIRECTIONS: (Assumming you are traveling from Route 684 heading north.) When 684 North ends and narrows to become Route 22 continue on 22 for 3.1 miles. Turn right onto Doansburg Road and go 1.8 miles, then make a hard right onto Gage Road. Go 6/10th of a mile and bear right to go onto Old Doansburg Lane. In about 3/10ths of a mile, the road will end in a loop. The park is at the end of the loop.
THE VISIT: A picnic table sits on the grassy patch at the end of Old Doansburg Lane. Behind the sign for the park is a small streamside clearing that offers water access. A worn path heads a short distance upstream, and peters out before you reach the Donald B. smith Bridge that carries traffic over the river. It’s a nice spot to have lunch and then spend an hour fishing, or wade in tge water looking for river wildlife. When I was there with my kids in September 2012, there was even the remants of a rope swing. Though, somehow I think that is not an officially sponsored or condoned activity.
HISTORY: The July 10, 2002 edition of the Putnam County News & Recorder mentions this park. In Maria Theodore Leiter’s artilce “County Office Building Named For Former County Executive David D. Bruin” she states that at the July 2nd meeting of the County Legislature, “Another resolution expanded the area known as the Donald B. Smith Conservation area in the town of Southeast by including the 1.2-acre parcel located next to the Donald B. Smith Bridge.”
MAP & ADDITIONAL INFO: The Putnam County Parks & Recreation Department phone number is 845/808-1994. As of September 2012 there is no mention of this property on the Parks & Recreation section of the county’s website at www.putnamcountyny.gov.