Hunter Brook Preserve
Hunter Brook Road, Yorktown, Yorktown Township, Westchester County, New York
45 acres


Taconic State Parkway north to the exit for Route 131 (Underhill Avenue); turn left; drive 0.8 of a mile and at the T-intersection turn right onto Croton Lake Road (Route 129); drive 1.3 miles and turn right onto Hunter Brook Road; drive 2.6 miles and turn left onto Beekman Court; drive 0.1 of a mile and park on the side of the road by the sign that say "Trail Head Parking."  Walk a little farther down the road for the preserve entrance on the left.


The Hunter Brook, an important tributary of the Croton Reservoir, bisects the preserve.


2000 --   Westchester Land Trust acquired the property as part of a nearby housing subdivision. 


"Hunter Brook to Mohansic.  Hunter Brook, and the habitats that surround it, arguably provide some of the most important wildlife habitat south of Putnam Valley. Additional early-successional habitats are provided in the contiguous Mohansic Park and Golf Course. . . . Although an ecological connection northward to the wetlands, streams, and upland forests of Sylvan Glen (see #20) would have been very beneficial, this connection has already been severed by development and by Crompond Road (Highway 202). "

Source: Croton to Highlands Biodiversity Plan; or


mink, muskrat, brook trout, sunfish, suckers and blue gills; wood frogs and spotted salamanders; barred owls, great-horned owls, wood thrushes and many other birds


The subdivision developer, Wilder-Balter Partners, has put in a trail system that is open to the public. The hiker may walk north on either side of the brook that heads to the Croton Reservoir.


5/25/04.  I did not know exactly where the entrance is (I should have walked farther down the road) and so probably walked through some private property and cross over a big bridge over Hunter Brook.  I turned left and walked south.  This part of the preserve is very different from the one north of the bridge.  Although both parts parallel Hunter Brook, this part is more open with wide, sunny trails(?) green with lots of thick Japanese stilt grass ground cover.  The path is very overgrown in parts with lots of low places filled with water.  When I was finally blocked by an even larger path pond than the others I had passed, I turned around and walked back to the pedestrian bridge.  Heading north I noticed how different the area was: a very wooded, shady area with lots of hemlock and planted Norway spruce.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = date plant found in bloom, 5/25/04

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)  -- way too much of this species here
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry) *
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum lentago (nannyberry viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Menispermum canadense (Canada moonseed)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) *
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Arabis glabra (tower mustard) *
Allium canadense (Canada onion) ?
Allium tricoccum (wild leek)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster spp. (aster)
Cerastium arvense (field chickweed) *
Chelidonium majus (celandine) *
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Galium aparine (cleavers)
Galium circaezens (wild licorice)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)
Hesperis matronalis (dame's rocket) *
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs)
Ludwigia palustris (water purslane)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) *
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Polygonum sagittatum (arrowhead tearthumb)
Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil) *
Prenanthes altissima (tall white lettuce)
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaved crowfoot)
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup) *
Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)
Silene latifolia (white campion) *
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) *
Trifolium pratense (red clover) *
Urtica dioica var. procera (tall stinging nettle)
Veratrum viride (swamp hellebore)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Viola sp. (violet)

Juncus effusus (soft rush)

Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered sedge type)
Carex lupulina (sedge)  ?
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Carex vulpinoidea var. vulpinoidea (sedge)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark-green bulrush)
Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Glyceria sp. (mannagrass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Ferns and Fern Allies:
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)