Pinecliff Sanctuary


Pinecliff Sanctuary offers a quarter mile wheelchair accessible boardwalk over and around a red maple swamp. Pinecliff Sanctuary is a seven-acre property located at the end of Pinecliff Road, off Route 120-Quaker Street, just north of the hamlet of Chappaqua. There are two designated handicapped parking spaces just inside the sanctuary entrance with wheelchair access to the boardwalk.

Pinecliff Sanctuary is often visited by school and community groups in the fall and spring. 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 because parking and boardwalk space are limited at Pinecliff. For the best possible experience for your group, we want to ensure that your visit does not coincide with another group's visit.

All of our sanctuaries are open to visitors free of charge, seven days a week, dawn to dusk.

Pinecliff Sanctuary's boardwalk was built to the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act out of recycled plastic lumber. It was built with the volunteer labor of Audubon members, community groups, and sanctuary neighbors over many weekends in 1995-96. The boardwalk was made possible through financial support from a Westchester County Community Development Block Grant, contributions from local organizations and businesses, assistance from the Town of New Castle, and the generous support of Saw Mill River Audubon members and friends.

An additional short woodland trail connects to the boardwalk loop and circles the ridge between the sanctuary and the Saw Mill River Parkway. Interpretive trail signs on the boardwalk and the woodland trail were funded by the Norcross Foundation and the Campfire Association.

Sanctuary History
Pinecliff Sanctuary’s seven acres were donated by the Stern and Arleo families to the New Castle Land Conservancy in 1969. In 1975, ownership of Pinecliff Sanctuary transferred to Saw Mill River Audubon.

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 Mill River Audubon is committed to protecting and restoring the native habitats at Pineclff Sanctuary for the benefit of birds, other wildlife and people.


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Green herons visit Pinecliff Sanctuary to hunt frogs and tadpoles. Wetlands provide critical habitat for birds like green herons and the frogs they eat. However, a wetland is more than the wet areas we see. Without the surrounding buffer of woodland, there would not be a healthy frog population at Pinecliff Sanctuary. Wood frogs and spring peepers depend on the wetland buffer area for food and shelter. Amphibians and reptiles are declining in many areas because people take them from their habitats. Please help us protect the frogs, tadpoles and snakes at Pinecliff Sanctuary by leaving them in their habitat.

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