Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center
Stony Kill Foundation (SKF), a not-for-profit group affiliated with DEC's Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center, has reached an agreement with the DEC to operate the Stony Kill Farm Center in Wappingers Falls. Under the agreement, Stony Kill Foundation will continue to offer agricultural programs, educational activities and public programs at the Center. The grounds of the center are open from dawn to dusk 365 days of the year. Please contact them via email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.stonykill.org for information on programs and events.
Contact Stony Kill Foundation via email at email@example.com or visit http://www.stonykill.org/ (link leaves DEC's website)
Stony Kill Farm EEC is an education center dedicated to enhancing environmental awareness and appreciation of the natural world. This facility includes over 1000 acres of rolling country side, farmland, ponds, woodlands, meadows, cultivated fields, and fallow fields. Located in Dutchess County in southeastern New York State, it offers a special setting where visitors discover the delicate interweaving of all living things.
Grounds: Open daily from sunrise to sunset (even on state holidays)
Visitor Center Office Hours: The Visitor Center is currently closed due to the closing of Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center
Barn Open: Contact the Stony Kill Foundation (link leaves DEC's website) for the Open Barn times
An accessible path at Stony Kill Farm
Environmental Education Center|
Accessible parking and a wheelchair accessible trail is located near the Visitor Center. Other accessible features include raised garden beds and a barn with farm animals and a classroom.
A full list of DEC's accessible recreation destinations is available on the DEC website.
Help Us Protect the Center's Resources
Visitors to DEC's environmental education centers should become familiar with the regulations governing the use of the centers as found in the New York State Register and Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York (NYCRR). Go to DEC's Use of Environmental Education Centers (link leaves DEC website) page to see the regulations concerning centers; visit the Regulations and Enforcement (link leaves DEC website) page for other regulations regarding the use of state land .
Please remember that the following are prohibited:
- Bikes, skateboards, and motorized vehicles
- Taking or releasing plants or animals
- Hunting, trapping, and fishing
- Pets and horses
- Alcoholic beverages and glass containers
- Camping and campfires
Please dispose trash and recyclables in appropriate containers and stay on designated trails to protect the environment.
Farmstead/Barn (Contact Stony Kill Foundation for days and times the barn is open at 845-309-4949)
The farmstead includes a 19th Century barn and farmhouse, an 18th Century Dutch stone house, a greenhouse, workshop, comfort station, pond, picnic area, and community and raised bed garden plots. The community garden plots are leased seasonally through the Stony Kill Foundation, Inc., and the raised bed gardens are for people with disabilities and obtained through the Verplanck Garden Club, Inc.
The classroom inside the barn was added in the 1980's and is used today for education programs, events as well as meeting space for other organizations. Today the barn houses beef cattle, pigs, sheep and chickens, and these are important teaching tools for the education programs offered to thousands of people who visit Stony Kill Farm throughout the year.
Tenant Farm House
Verplanck Tenant Farm House
On the National Register for Historical Buildings, the Tenant Farm House was built in four sections. The south-east portion is original and dates back to the late 1600s-1700s. The north-east corner (second section) was probably added in the 1700s, while the south-western portion was constructed in the early 1800s as well as the wood ell on the northwest corner.
Until 1836, most of the Verplanck property was leased to tenant farmers. Through these leases, the Verplanck ensured their land would be properly managed.
Today, the Tenant Farm House is open to the public only for historical interpretation and special events. The Stony Kill Foundation is seeking money through grants and donations to restore the structure.
Woodland Trail (easy 1 mile loop)
ADA Accessible Trail
Completed in the spring of 2006, this easy crushed stone and clay mixture trail circles through a wooded swamp that was once a farm field. Now forested by hardwoods, it has become home to an abundance of wildlife like the barred owl, red-tailed hawk, garter snake, the eastern gray squirrel, and many songbirds. There is also a wildflower loop for you to explore. A free Woodland Trail booklet is available at the Manor House to help guide and interpret this trail for you.
Verplanck Ridge Trail (approximately 1.5 miles)
This moderate climb leads you through mixed hardwood forest, open meadow, and up to a uniquely wooded ridge top, where thickets and dense vines provide an excellent habitat for various songbirds and other wildlife like the bob-cat. The round-trip is about 1 ½ miles on this hard dirt and mowed grass trail.
Sierra Trail (inner loop- one mile; outer loop- two miles)
This double-looped trail takes you through hardwood forest, evergreen forest, wetland, and open meadow habitats, where you are bound to experience a remarkable array of flora and fauna. The footing of the trail is mostly hard dirt with stretches of mowed grass. Great blue herons, green herons, osprey and other birds call the Sierra pond home as well as many frogs, turtles, and song birds.
Freedom Trail (2 ½ miles)
One of our newer and more secluded trails wanders across diverse terrain. Rock walls, hills, wetland, fields, and forest lie in wait on this sojourn where you may hear the calls of a Great Horned Owl. This trail comes alive with spring peepers, red-backed salamanders wood frogs during the spring and summer months.
Muller Pond Trail (approximately ½ mile)
Our newest trail takes you through hardwood forest, wetland, and open meadow habitats as you encircle the beautiful Muller Pond. Just over ½ mile hike on mowed grass and hard dirt. Just across the road from the Sierra Trail, the Muller Pond is especially attractive to Heron, hawks, owls and many reptiles and amphibians.
A pleasant drive through New York State's Hudson River Valley brings you to the rolling countryside of Stony Kill (Interstate 84, Exit 11). Approximately 1 1/2 hour north of Manhattan and 2 hours south of Albany.
From NYS Thruway Interstate 87
Take NYS Thruway to Exit 17 (Newburgh) and follow signs and take I-84 East which takes you across the Newburgh/Beacon Bridge. Keeping to the right, take Exit 11 (Wappingers Falls/Beacon) and make a left onto Rt 9D going north. Proceed approximately 2 ½ miles north and Stony Kill is on the left.
From the Taconic State Parkway (TSP)
Take I-84 West to Exit 11 (Wappingers Falls/Beacon) and make a right onto Rt 9D going north. Proceed approximately 2 ½ miles north and Stony Kill is on the left.
From the Metro-North in New York City
Take Metro-North to the Beacon stop and Stony Kill Farm is approximately four (4) miles north from the railroad station.
Metro-North RR: 1-800-638-7646 & Beacon Taxi: (845) 838-3605
See Google Maps and enter your address for step by step directions to Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center. (This link will open a page outside of the DEC website. Hold Shift down while clicking on the link to open it in a new window.)
Wildlife to Watch:
- Eastern bluebird
- Woodpeckers, cardinals, killdeer and kestrel
- White-tailed deer
- Wild turkey
- Painted turtle
Portion of Stony Kill Lands Reclassified to Baxtertown Woods WMA
The Department of Environmental Conservation has reclassified the Baxtertown portion of the Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center property to a Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The purpose of the reclassification is to make the Baxtertown property accessible to hunters, anglers, trappers, and other recreational users, while keeping in mind its proximity to residential areas and the presence of wetlands. Visit Baxtertown Woods WMA for more information, including a map of the property.