The POND LOOP, marked with yellow, leads from the sanctuary entrance and parking lot to Brinton Brook Pond and back again returning on the east side of the parking area. Along the way, it crosses through a variety of habitats including an old orchard at the intersection with an old farm road, an open meadow that is mowed to keep the forest from intruding, a red maple swamp by the pond, and open stands of both white oak and hemlock trees.
The TURKEY TRAIL, marked with blue, explores the furthest corners of the sanctuary with hilly hike through a hardwood forest of black birch, hickory and oak. It adjoins a ConEdison power line from which you can see the Bear Mountain Bridge.
The HEMLOCK SPRINGS TRAIL, marked with red, begins on its southern end in a large hemlock stand and ends near the red maple swamp of Brinton Brook pond. Along the way it passes the Split Rock Spring designed by Willard Brinton and stone ruins reputed to be those of a farm dating from the period of the Civil War. The hemlock grove near the spring is dying due to woolly adelgid infestation that is affecting eastern hemlock stands throughout the northeastern United States. As the hemlock cover decreases, more sunlight to the forest floor will allow a new generation of trees and shrubs to replace the hemlocks.
The LAUREL ROCK TRAIL, also marked with yellow, is an outer loop of the Hemlock Spring Trail and offers some of the most rugged hiking in the sanctuary with switchbacks across a rocky slope lined with mountain laurel.
The COYOTE TRAIL, marked with green, explores scenic vistas overlooking Brinton Pond and swamp through a dry ridge hardwood forest habitat. This trail also connects to the Highland Trail.
CONNECTOR TRAILS offer two other entrances to the sanctuary. Off the Pond Loop, a short trail continues to the west through the wooded edge of Amberlands behind Building #23. To the southwest, parking is available to access the white-blazed Highland Trail at the top of Arrowcrest Road just before the entrance of the Hudson National Golf Club .
Various connections link the Village of Croton-on-Hudson HIGHLAND TRAIL to Audubon trails. The Highland Trail circles the Hudson National Golf Club and continues to the northeast offering Hudson River views. A two-mile hike will bring you to the Lytle Arboretum further to the northeast.
The Highland Trail is maintained by the Village of Croton-on-Hudson.
Please note that a former section of the Highland Trail, indicated by dashed lines on the above trail map, is now CLOSED to the public. This trail section was originally routed, in error, across private property. The current owner of this private parcel has unfortunately posted the property against public access and the trail was therefore re-routed in Audubon land.
Please also remember that the adjacent golf club is private property and through walking is allowed only the wood chipped trail easement. Parking for this entrance is permissible at the edge of Arrowcrest Road at its summit before it enters the golf club.
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