Choate Sanctuary is 32-acres of protected forest in the middle of a largely residential area. It offers over a mile of walking trails through rolling hills with beautiful stone outcroppings.
Access to Choate Sanctuary is more difficult than our other sanctuaries because parking is limited. Choate Sanctuary is also on a corner of two busy roads: Route 133-Millwood Road and Crow Hill Road just west of Mount Kisco. The sanctuary entrance is off Crow Hill Road and marked with a sign. Parking is best along Red Oak Lane across Crow Hill Road from the sanctuary entrance taking care not to block neighbors' driveways. Please use extreme caution crossing Crow Hill Road. Safety tip: always walk off the pavement on the left side of any busy road without sidewalks.
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.
The heirs of Joseph H. Choate, Jr. gave 23 acres to the New Castle Land Conservancy in 1972 in memory of their father. Three additional acres were added to the sanctuary in 1974 by Geoffrey Platt, in memory of his wife Helen Choate Platt.
In 1975, when the New Castle Land Conservancy merged with Saw Mill River Audubon, ownership transferred to Saw Mill River Audubon
In 1997, approximately four acres were added to the northern part of the sanctuary under a 99-year lease from the Town of New Castle.
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.
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more about choate sanctuary
Six species of woodpeckers can be found at Choate Sanctuary including the largest woodpecker in New York, the crow-sized pileated woodpecker pictured here. We leave standing dead trees in the sanctuaries because woodpeckers find food and make nest holes in these trees. These same holes become homes for other wildlife in later years including screech owls and other cavity-nesting birds like great crested flycatchers. If a tree is not a danger to structures or people, consider leaving trees with visible holes in place to benefit birds and other wildlife.