Help us preserve for the future this heritage from the past
The Pawling Nature Reserve is owned by the Nature Conservancy and maintained by local volunteers from Pawling and Dover that help with the management of the reserve. The Nature Conservancy and the Pawling Nature Reserve Committee are dedicated to preserving ecologically valuable land in its natural state. These lands are available to the public for enjoyment and nature study.
There are approximately 1000 acres in the reserve which is located in the towns of Pawling and Dover. Most of the forest is deciduous, with Hammersly Ridge [elevation1053 ft] running North/South. The Appalachian Trail crosses the property as it travels from Southwest to Northeast. Numerous color coded trails extend to all corners of the land, and most connect to the Appalachian Trail.
The main entrance is located on the Eastern border along Quaker Lake Road. This provides ready access to an impressive gorge, rimmed by a large stand of Hemlocks. Other habitats include: swamps, overgrown fields, wet meadows, fern glens and a bluebird house trail.
The reserve hosts a large population of deer, amphibians, reptiles, wild turkeys, and occasionally coyotes, bobcats and beavers. The deer herd and its effect on the vegetation has been the focus of several research studies. Because it lies at the foot of the Berkshire Mountains, the land provides nest sites for several species of birds usually found further north. Several rare plants such as Devil's Bit, inhabit the reserve land.
Local schools and colleges always have been encouraged to use the reserve for nature study and research. The reserve naturalist is Dr. James Utter, from S.U.N.Y. at Purchase. Throughout the year, he and invited naturalists host educational walks on such topics as bird banding, stream ecology, edible plants, spring wildflowers, ferns, night sounds, succession and deer management.
Cross our New Bridge!
The Pawling Fish and Game and Wingdale Friends built this amazing bridge using telephone poles, tractors, engineering- construction skills and the muscle and creativity of around 15 volunteers. Please take a hike on the NORTHERN Yellow trail on Duell Hollow Road to see it. It's a bridge that will be there for years and is something all involved in the project can be proud of. This bridge will serve our hikers very well.
Consider making a donation:
Pawling Nature Reserve
P.O. Box 599
Pawling N.Y. 12564
Checks should be made out to:
The Nature Conservancy/ PNR.
A donation of time and/or money to the Pawling Nature Reserve will help support local educational walks and maintain the land for your use. In addition, visit the Nature Conservancy's website www.Nature.org and ask to become a member of their internationally renowned organization. By becoming a Nature Conservancy member, you help to maintain this and other reserves. In addition, your contributions can help secure other ecologically valuable parcels of land for preservation and enjoyment.
The reserve is open year round from dawn to dusk. To maintain the reserve in its natural condition, camping, motorized vehicles, bikes, pets, horses, fires, unauthorized hunting, trapping and the removal of wood, rocks, plants, and animals are strictly prohibited. We appreciate your cooperation.
This website is the official Pawling Nature Reserve online resource by the active volunteers. Currently we can offer you a trail map and additional resources. If you would like to submit photos or are interested in contributing to content, please email