Hemlock Brook Preserve
Baptist Church Road, Yorktown, Westchester County, New York
14 acres


Sprain Brook Parkway north (ends at green mileage marker 12.5) to Taconic Parkway; take the exit for Underhill Avenue (13.8 mile marker); turn left at the stop sign; drive 0.3 of a mile and turn right onto Baldwin Road; drive 0.3 of a mile and turn left onto Baptist Church Road; drive 0.3 of a mile and park alongside the road just before the road guard rail; the small sign for the preserve is on the left.


The sign says:

"Donated by Walter P. Lewisohn with assistance from The Nature Conservancy."  This was in 1971.

Given to the Westchester Land Trust by the Nature Conservancy so the latter can concentrate on their larger preserves.


great-horned owls


6/01/2004.  There are no trails here.  From the roadside the opening to the preserve is small and between two homes.  The house on the west side of Hemlock Brook is rather unique: it virtually sits on top of the eastern side of the brook.  It looks somewhat like an old mill. 

I bushwhacked through the woods and down to the brook.  This is somewhat dangerous because the slope is steep and a bit muddy and slippery. The brook is very rocky and a couple of times I almost fell into the it.  There are a couple of cliff faces here that are absolutely beautiful with their cover of dark green moss. 

I followed the brook all the way down south to Route 129 (Croton Lake Road) and then back. On the way back I walked along the slope rather than close to the brook.  The brook flattens out near Route 129.  There is a Phragmites marsh near the road and a small field. As the ground flattens out the Japanese barberry and multiflora rose gets way too numerous for comfort.  Had to push my way through the thorny multiflora rose.

4/26/04.  Dog Sonar and I repeated the trip from last June.  Near the successional field is a stone wall to be crossed.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
dates = date plants found in bloom on field trips, 4/26/2005, 6/01/2004

Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Carya sp. (hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) 4/26/04
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree) 6/01/04
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) lots
Chimaphila maculata (striped wintergreen)
Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) 6/01/04
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose) 6/01/04  lots of it
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum) 6/01/04
Vinca minor (periwinkle)

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (porcelainberry)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape vines)

Actaea alba (white baneberry)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 4/26/05
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress) 6/01/04
Cardamine diphylla (toothwort) 4/26/05
Cardamine hirsuta (hoary bittercress) 4/26/05
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Corydalis sempervirens (pale corydalis) 6/01/04
Epifagus virginiana (beech drops)
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Galium mollugo (wild madder)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Goodyera pubescens (downy rattlesnake plantain)
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny day lily)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil) 6/01/04
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Medicago lupulina (black medick) 6/01/04
Panax trifolius (dwarf ginseng) 4/26/04
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Polygonatum biflorum (smooth true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum virginianum (Virginia knotweed)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil) 6/01/04
Prenanthes altissima (tall white lettuce)
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaf crowfoot)
Ranunculus recurvatus (hooked crowfoot)
Rumex acetosella (sheep sorrel)
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion)
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadow rue)
Trifolium hybridum (alsike clover) 6/01/04
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 6/01/04
Trifolium repens (white clover) 6/01/04
Trillium erectum (red trillium) 4/26/05
Urtica dioica var. procera  (stinging nettle)
Veratrum viride (swamp hellebore) 6/01/04
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Viola macloskeyi. (northern white violet) 4/26/05)
Viola sororia (common blue violet) 4/26/05

Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Luzula multiflora (wood rush)

Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered sedge type)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) 4/26/05
Carex sp. (sedge)
Carex vulpinoidea (fox sedge)

Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Bromus inermis (smooth brome grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Athyrium thelypteroides (silvery glade fern)
Cystopteris fragilis (fragile fern)
Dryopteris carthusiana (toothed woodfern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Polypodium sp. (rockcap fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)