Town of Southeast – 36.0 Acres. Temporarily closed for bridge replacement
This 36.5-acre preserve was part of the Gage family farm. Elihu Gage came from Cape Cod and was among the ten pioneers who settled in the strip of land in eastern Putnam County known as the Oblong. For many years ownership of this territory was disputed between the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam and the English colony of Connecticut. Just outside the preserve’s boundary lies the Gage burial ground. The oldest grave belongs to Selah Gage, Elihu’s grandson, who died in 1846 at the age of 70.
Exploring The Preserve
Within the borders of this preserve there are seasonal streams and wetlands, upland woods, impressive rocky
outcroppings, and stone walls. In turn, there can be found a wide assortment of birds, plants, and
animals thriving in these varied habitats and terrain.
Some of the species of trees found here are Yellow Birch, Butternut, Mockernut Hickory, Black Oak, Red Oak, and Red Cedar. Two large rocky outcroppings are visible from the path. One features a splayed Hickory. Jack-in-the-Pulpit and masses of skunk cabbage and fern flourish in the wetlands. There are many varieties of fern, woodland plants, and wild flowers including Clubmoss, Indian Pipe, Wintergreen, Christmas Fern, and Pipsissewa. Ruffed Grouse, Eastern Phoebe, Thrushes, and Warblers are some of the birds that can be spotted.
About the Trail
Two trails serve this preserve. Both provide easy hiking and are a great day spent in a woodland environment. The preserve has undergone some recent changes which include some boardwalking over some of the wet areas and improved trail markings. Markers on trees serve as trail guides. There are two trails – red and yellow.
From Route 22 in Southeast, take Milltown Road for 2.2 miles. Preserve is on the left. Parking is limited. Click here for a Google Map and customizable directions.
Please sign in before beginning your hike. Help us protect and preserve the plant and animal life found on this property by not disturbing the area, staying on the paths, and by observing the trail regulations posted at the entrance. Though there are old campsites along the trail, camping is not allowed.