A great “outdoor classroom” for introducing kids to nature.
ESOPUS, Ulster County (130 acres) — For a family-friendly hike, you can’t beat Black Creek Preserve. Yes, the steep uphill climb at the start may make the under-10 contingent groan, but they’ll love crossing the suspension bridge that spans the creek and skipping stones on the Hudson River shoreline. In between, have them watch out for wildlife — from blueback herring, which journey from the ocean to deposit their eggs in Black Creek, to bald eagles.
Free and open year-round, sunrise to sunset.
Discovering Black Creek Preserve
A short film by Jon Bowermaster/Oceans 8 films, music by Meena Ysanne.
IMPORTANT COVID-19 SAFETY UPDATES
The safety of park visitors in light of ongoing COVID cases continues to be one of our top priorities. All group visits need to be pre-approved (please fill out this form and email Anthony Coneski to coordinate a group visit).
Although neither the CDC or New York State require masks in outdoor settings, we ask that unvaccinated visitors or large groups consider wearing masks as COVID cases continue to rise in the area.
Thank you for doing your part to protect yourself and others so we can continue to make these precious resources available for all.
More to explore
John Burroughs Nature Sanctuary in West Park features hiking trails and the renowned writer’s rustic cabin. Kingston’s historic Rondout District is home to shops, restaurants and the Hudson River Maritime Museum, which offers illuminating exhibits as well as boat trips to the Rondout Lighthouse.