Pinecliff Sanctuary

Entrance sign for Pinecliff Sanctuary at the end of Pinecliff Road in the Town of New Castle.
Entrance sign for Pinecliff Sanctuary at the end of Pinecliff Road in the Town of New Castle.

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, Westchester County, New York.

Pinecliff Sanctuary offers a quarter mile wheelchair accessible boardwalk over and around a red maple swamp. There are two designated handicapped parking spaces just inside the sanctuary entrance with wheelchair access to the boardwalk.

Other visitors should park on Pinecliff Road taking care not to block driveway access for our neighbors and driving very slowly at all times on Pinecliff Road, being alert for children, other pedestrians and pets.

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The Pinecliff Boardwalk was built to ADA standards by volunteers from the community. Photo: Anne Swaim
The Pinecliff Boardwalk was built to ADA standards by volunteers from the community. Photo: Anne Swaim

special notice

Please contact our office in advance if you want to bring a group of more than 6 people and/or three cars to any one of our sanctuaries. Parking is very limited and there are other groups regularly scheduled to meet at our sanctuaries.

With advance notice, we also may be able to provide your group with a guided walk.

Even if your group wishes to visit without an Audubon guide, please contact us in advance to let us know when you will be visiting and the estimated number of vehicles and visitors in your group. Thank you.

Green Heron

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 also 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.

SMRA_Boundary_Sign

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

We are grateful for the ongoing help of our sanctuary neighbors and Trail Walker volunteers to watch over our sanctuaries.

sanctuary history

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.

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.