Putnam Valley, NY

The Agatha A. Durland Scout Reservation seems to have something for everyone – fishing, boating, hiking, old graveyard, stone chambers, amazing views, swimming, cabins and camping, and other activities.  Only one problem – you need to be part of Boy Scouts or Cub Scouts to utilize the facility.  Getting your kids involved in Scouting will give you access to this amazing 1400 acre property that borders Fahnestock State Park.  Luckily, my son is in Scouting so we have been to Durland a number of times.

There is a plaque at the property offices about Agatha Alling Durland.  She lived from from 1876 t0 1963.  Part of the plaque reads,

“Ms. Durland left her home as well as a substantial trust fund to the Boy Scouts of America to be used in its best interest. Throughout her life, she was known for her wit, sincerity and patriotism.  Her international reputation as a poet was evidenced by her sonnets appearing in the National Americana and on the shelves of the Congressional Library in Washington.

She was a member of the Poetry Society of America, the National League of American Penwomen, and the Advisory Board of the British-American Society of American.

In Palm Beach, Ms. Durland was also a member of the Society of the Four Arts, the Palm Beach Quills, the Palm Beach Round Table, and of the Everglades and Bath & Tennis Club.”

To get to Durland Scout Reservation, take Wiccopee Road from Peekskill Hollow Road.  Go .6 miles, then turn left onto Oscawana Heights Road and go 1.6 miles.  Turn right onto Northshore road and go .4 miles.  The entrance to Durland will be on your right.

An old graveyard is hidden in the woods.  Residents include a Revolutionary War Soldier.  A stone chamber sits along the entrance road.  Miles of hiking trails offer varying terrain, including an amazing view from one of the ridgelines.

For more info, including trail maps (and to see if they will let you hike it if you are not part of scouting) visit http://www.wpcbsa.org/Facilities/Durland/