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Exploring Five Rivers Nature Trails

Take to the trails and enter a different world. Listen for the plaintive notes of the eastern bluebird, sneak a glimpse of deer browsing in the fields and let the gentle rustle of the wind inform you. Share in the spirit of innovative conservation research and education which lends Five Rivers EEC its unique sense of place.

The northernmost section of the North Loop Trail (between Larch Lane and Wild Turkey Trail) is temporarily closed due to excessive mud. To protect the trail from damage, choose alternate routes when visiting Five Rivers. The trail will be reopened when conditions are appropriate for foot traffic.

Interpretive Trails

Brochures for interpretive trails are available at the Visitor Center and at trailhead kiosks. Braille and large print format brochures are available upon request at the Visitor Center.

Nature's Accessible Backyard Trail (¼ mile loop with shortcut options)
Acquaint yourself with flora and fauna common to your backyard on this ADA-compliant asphalt trail. Designed and funded by Friends of Five Rivers, the path showcases wildlife habitat enhancement projects you can do at home, and whets the appetite for further outdoor exploration. Scenic vistas offer engaging views of Beaver Pond and Heron Pond. A wheelchair-accessible binocular station brings Heron Pond right up close. Good chance for bluebirds and monarch butterflies among the fields. In winter, a model bird feeding station attracts a variety of feathered friends. Divergent pathways offer a range of itineraries. Interpretive guides in Braille and large print formats are available at the Visitor Center.

Picture of Woodlot Trail Kiosk
Woodlot Trail Kiosk

Woodlot Trail (¼ mile loop with shortcut option)
This ADA-compliant trail of crushed stone winds through a lush woodland, an excellent place to encounter small mammals and songbirds. Mature oak, hickory and beech trees provide exceptional wildlife habitat and refreshing forest scenery. Check the tree crotches for the leaf nests of the grey squirrel, and look for woodpecker nest holes and feeding posts among the snags. In fall, maples and sassafras adorn the canopy in warm oranges and reds. In winter, the bright red fruits of winterberry add stunning contrast.

Old Field Trail (½ mile loop with shortcut options)
This delightful patchwork of upland fields and brushlands is a living exhibit of the ecology of abandoned farmland. The trail of gentle grades over grass and wood chip surfaces is a great spot for warblers in spring. In summer, all manner of catbirds and cowbirds animate the dogwoods. In fall, a banquet of berries provides sustenance to migrants and residents alike. An experimental crabapple plantation is alive with deer, rabbits and variety of songbirds year 'round. Relict apple trees hidden in the puckerbrush recall the site's agricultural heritage of a century ago. The trail also visits former duck-rearing ponds, now home to heron, geese, river otter, and mink.

Beaver Tree Trail
View from the Beaver Tree Trail

Beaver Tree Trail (½ mile loop)
Circling the wooded border of Beaver Pond, this trail features several scenic overlooks and close approaches to the pond, with excellent opportunity to enjoy seasonal flora and fauna. Migrant puddle ducks ply the pond in spring and fall. In summer, watch for painted turtles and snapping turtles basking in the sun, and a great egret or two in mid-August. Two elevated foot bridges which span the water afford exceptional views and a 400-foot boardwalk immerses you right in amongst the bordering wetland. Moderate ups and downs over a dirt and stone path on the eastern side to the pond outlet, with access to a dock and benches. On the western side the trail is an unimproved dirt path and boardwalk.

Vlomankill Trail (¾ mile loop with shortcut options)
A picturesque trail with some steep grades over wood chip padding traces the Vlomankill through a hemlock-shaded ravine. Impressive trees, elevated views and dramatically exposed bedrock create a sense of the primeval. If you like geology, you'll love the exposed outcroppings of ancient rock folds. The trail is stone dust covered on the eastern side and unimproved dirt path on the western side. There is a link to Fordham's Crossing for additional scenic views and streamside accessibility.

Other Trails

Service Loop (1½ mile loop with short cut options)
This trail follows the path of the long-gone game farm's service road and features gentle grades over grass and gravel surfaces providing romantic views of the Helderbergs under spacious skies. This ecological sampler visits field, forest and wetland habitats, offering excellent chances for deer, waterfowl, wind birds and dickey birds. Best place to watch clouds.

walking trail with fall foliage
Fisher Trail in fall

North Loop (2 mile loop with shortcut options)
Go the distance on this boundary trail through broad fields and forests of pine and northern hardwood. Stately trees, dense brushland and dynamic views lend a sense of wilderness. Gentle grades over grass and wood chip surfaces give way along the northern leg to more challenging forest terrain with many exposed roots and narrow tread. This trail is typically muddy in early spring.

Wild Turkey Trail (1½ mile loop with shortcut options) Another great longer trail, traversing an 80-acre grassland on the way to an enchanting wooded ravine of the Phillipinkill creek. Be sure to scan the grasslands for specialties such as bobolink and eastern meadowlark in summer, northern harrier in winter. Good chance for owls, turkey and thrush specialties in the deep woods. Then extend your hike by circling Foresman's Loop for more forest.

Fisher Trail (0.66 mile trail) The Fisher Trail opened in October 2022, with trailheads at 47 Fisher Boulevard and at 106 Mason Lane. A half-mile portion of the trail, from Fisher Boulevard to a viewing platform overlooking the Phillipinkill, is accessible to people with mobility disabilities (crushed stone surface; maximum 6% grade). From there, the trail continues down a steep slope into the ravine of the Phillipinkill and on to the Wild Turkey Trail. Part of the trail is on a 35-acre parcel owned by the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy. The parcel is managed as part of Five Rivers through a 2018 easement agreement with DEC.

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    5 Rivers EEC
    56 Game Farm Road
    Delmar, NY 12054
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