Graff Sanctuary is a protected woodland ridge overlooking the Hudson River along Furnace Dock Road in the Town of Cortlandt.
Along the trails of Graff Sanctuary are many beautiful trees and several interesting rock formations including glacial erratics, large boulders different in composition from the surrounding bedrock left behind when glacial ice moved through the Hudson Valley.
Graff Sanctuary was donated by Howard Graff to the National Audubon Society in 1975 with Saw Mill River Audubon responsible for sanctuary management.
In 1991, ownership of Graff Sanctuary transferred to Saw Mill River Audubon.
The history of this stone structure at Graff Sanctuary is somewhat uncertain but it is believed to have been used for water storage as part of the Oscawana property on the other side of Furnace Dock Road.
All of our sanctuaries are open to visitors free of charge, seven days a week, dawn to dusk. Please contact our office if you want to bring a group to one of our sanctuaries.
With advance notice, we may be able to provide your group with a guided tour. Even if your group wishes to visit without a guide, please contact us in advance. For the best possible experience for your group, we want to ensure that your visit does not coincide with another group's visit.
Our sanctuaries are maintained by a part-time caretaker and by volunteers on trail maintenance days. We are also grateful for the continuing oversight of our sanctuary neighbors to let us know about sanctuary concerns and observations. Volunteer Trail Walkers also monitor our sanctuaries.
Saw Mll River Audubon is committed to protecting and restoring the native habitats in our sanctuaries for the benefit of birds, other wildlife and people.
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Great horned owls nest at Graff Sanctuary. Their deep hooting calls may be heard in the late afternoon or early morning. Great horned owls nest earlier in the year than any other New York bird. The parents will be incubating eggs by February. Like all predators, great horned owls help keep habitats healthy. Great horned owls keep rodent populations in balance.