Connecting our community to the land has been a Winnakee priority from the start. With help from our volunteer stewards and supporters like you, Winnakee maintains parks and preserves with scenic trails to inspire visitors to connect with nature and build an appreciation for the bounty of our region.
For many during these pandemic times, being in nature became the best part of the day and a way to stay connected to the world around us as an essential part of our mental and physical well-being. The respite provided by simple things like a walk through the forest to catch a glimpse of wildlife or a hike up Burger Hill to enjoy a sunset has proved to be of great importance.
As our land protection grows, so do opportunities for Winnakee to develop new trails for public enjoyment. Winnakee plans to introduce over five new miles of trails between now and the end of 2022
Winnakee parks and preserves are open 9am to Sunset (Burger Hill closes a half hour after sunset). Please keep your dog on a leash, for the safety of your pet, vulnerable Park wildlife, and other hikers, and Kindly clean up after your pet.
Recently named Hudson Valley Magazine’s 2021 “Best Small Hike Big View,” families from all over the region enjoy this lovely hilltop park in Rhinebeck. A popular picnicking, hiking and sledding spot, Burger Hill rises to a 550-foot hilltop that boasts panoramic vistas of the surrounding countryside and spectacular views of the Shawangunk Ridge, Catskill and Taconic mountains, Stissing Mountain and the Berkshires. Over 67 acres of the 76 acres (88%) that make up Drayton Grant Park is essential habitat to grassland nesting birds including Henslow’s sparrow, grasshopper sparrow, vesper sparrow, upland sandpiper, horned lark, eastern meadowlark, savannah sparrow, northern harrier, short-eared owl, and bobolink.
Winnakee Nature Preserve is part of the larger Hyde Park Trail network. The network consists of 14 miles of trails within the Town of Hyde Park that run through the Town’s parks, nature preserves and are contiguous to the Heritage Greenway, incorporating an east-west connection linking the FDR National Historic Site and the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site known as “Val-Kill”. The Town and volunteer members of the Hyde Park Trail Partnership maintain these trails in conjunction with the Dutchess County Department of Health. Winnakee holds conservation easements on a little over 300 acres within this network.
In the Town of Stanford, Sisters Hill consists of 75 acres, 8 acres of which are designated DEC wetland, containing a red maple swamp and Class B stream. It also contains a DEC Core Forest; Forest Linkage Zone and is designated by DEC as Core Habitat for Imperiled Species and a Significant Biodiversity Area in the Hudson Valley. It is permanently protected by a Dutchess Land Conservancy easement. Sisters has an existing railbed that will be the core of a new trail system, and Winnakee plans additional recreation improvements for the site.
Owned by the Town and Village of Rhinebeck, Thompson Mazzarella Park is protected under an open space easement with Winnakee Land Trust. The park is 72 acres with 2.2 miles of multi-looped foot trails that weave through agriculture fields. The park features open rec fields, active farming, a thriving community garden, towering tulip poplar forest, and is bordered by the rich habitats of the Rhinebeck Kill and Landsman Kill. It is a great family park that often boasts beautiful sunset views.
The second largest wetland area in Rhinebeck, Vlei Marsh consists of 165 acres, 90 acres of which are DEC designated wetlands, including 1,300 feet of headwaters of the Fallsburg Creek. The property is designated by the DEC as a Core Forest in a Forest Linkage Zone, meaning its intact forested connections between nearby matrix forest blocks allow animals and plants to move across the landscape. It is also designated as a DEC Significant Biodiversity Area in the Hudson Valley; it contains a wide diversity of bird life (including a heron rookery), beavers and amphibians.
Visit a hidden treasure. Winnakee Nature Preserve in Hyde Park iquickly immerses visitors in a beautiful, historic 105-acre woodland. The Nature Preserve conserves part of the estate of Colonel Archibald Rogers, a neighbor and close friend of the Roosevelt family. It was on Rogers’ land where FDR learned about forestry and was imbued with a deep love of the land. Winnakee established the site as an Educational Arboretum to inform visitors about the historic role this particular forest played in President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s environmental education; and to inspire an appreciation of its ecological value and beauty with over 36 species of native trees.
You can browse our properties using this mapor use the Legend below to find hiking trails. Featured properties (orange pins) typically have parking areas, mapped trails, and more detailed information. All of our Conservation Areas are open to the public. Hover over the pinned areas for details.
You can browse our properties using this map, or use the Legend below to find hiking trails. Featured properties (orange pins) typically have parking areas, mapped trails, and more detailed information. All of our Conservation Areas are open to the public. Hover over the pinned areas for details.