Named Hudson Valley Magazine’s 2021 Award for 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. It is ideal for a family hike or sunset viewing over the Catskills. On a snowy day, Burger Hill is one of our region’s most treasured sledding spots!
Drayton Grant Park at Burger Hill is owned by Winnakee Land Trust, and we offer many public and educational events at Burger Hill throughout the year, including an annual Full Moon Hike & Music event tradition.
This 76-acres park includes a wide mown trail leading to its rewarding peak with additional trails throughout the fields below. Over 67 acres of the 76 acres (88%) that make up Drayton Grant Park is maintained as grassland, essential habitat to grassland nesting birds for breeding and foraging as well as pollinators. As a result, Burger Hill has become a notable birding spot for grassland birds whose habitat loss and degradation in NYS has contributed to an 80-99% decline of these species since 1966. Species that have been observed at the Hill include: Bobolinks, Henslow’s sparrow, grasshopper sparrow, vesper sparrow, upland sandpiper, horned lark, eastern meadowlark, savannah sparrow, northern harrier. Milkweed and other native plants throughout the meadows make Burger Hill an important habitat for endangered Monarch butterflies, native bees and a myriad of pollinator species.
Other important habitats that can be found within Drayton Grant Park are upland hardwood and mixed forest, upland shrubland, wet meadow, and constructed ponds. These habitats support a diversity of wildlife including birds, amphibians and reptiles.
During late spring and summer, Burger Hill is home to a healthy population of bobolinks thanks to grassland habitat practices over the last decades to nurture their return. The ground-nesting bobolinks delight visitors, especially along the trail to the hilltop, with their bubbly song.
Back in the 1990’s, Burger Hill’s beautiful hayfields and wetlands were threatened with suburban-style residential development. A group of residents joined with Winnakee Land Trust and Scenic Hudson to purchase and permanently protect Burger Hill.
A key leader of this effort was local environmental attorney Drayton Grant, whose passion and commitment brought the community together to establish this extraordinary place for all to enjoy. In 2012, Drayton lost a battle with cancer; to honor her long-standing dedication to Burger Hill, the Park was renamed in her honor. In 2006, recognizing Winnakee’s dedicated stewardship of the Park, Scenic Hudson transferred full ownership of the property to Winnakee.
Drayton Grant Park at Burger Hill is located at 3137 New York 9G, Rhinebeck, NY 12572. (41.9222, -73.87384).
From the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge: From the bridge exit follow the signs to 9G south. Take 9G approximately 4 miles, past the Route 308 exit. Burger Hill is on the right.
From the South: Take Route 9G north toward Rhinebeck. Burger Hill is on the left, just past Vlei Road.
From Rhinebeck Village: Take Route 308 east to Route 101 (Violet Hill Rd.) Make a right on Route 101. Take 101 to 9G, make a right onto 9G south. Burger Hill is a half mile south on the right.