May Hill Nature Preserve

resting on the boardwalk

This 27-acre preserve of forest and wetlands is located near The Nature Institute. It is bordered on the west by the Taconic Parkway. The heart of the land is a 9-acre wetland area that collects runoff from the surrounding slopes. The preserve is cared for and maintained by The Nature Institute. Nature Institute staff, volunteers, and students have carried out observations and ecological studies here since 1998. With interns and students from Hawthorne Valley School we have created trails through the woodland areas and a boardwalk through the wetland core so that human access is concentrated in corridors to leave the majority of the area in its natural state.

This preserve is owned by the Hawthorne Valley Association and held in a conservation easement by the Columbia Land Conservancy. The first priorities of land use here are for education and research, and low-impact recreation.

students working

To learn about the trail building and boardwalk projects and their educational value, click here.

For a guide to the habitats and some of the plants you'll meet along the trail, click here.

For a list of plant species identified in the preserve, click here.

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