PO BOX 322
New Baltimore, NY 12124
Hannacroix Creek Preserve
The HCP has 4 major trails, the LaVerne Irving, North, Red Loop and Paper Mill trails and a side spur that drops down along the ridge above the Hannacroix Creek from the LaVerne Irving, re-connecting to the LaVerne Irving as the trail cuts to the south, just above the creek.
LAVERNE IRVING TRAIL
After a moderately steep ascent from the parking area, the Irving Trail serves as the primary walkway through the Hannacroix Creek Preserve. At the top of the ridge, first the RED, then the NORTH and finally the BLUE trails branch off, while the main Irving Trail continues west, dropping down to and paralleling the Hannacroix Creek. At the southern extent, where the creek turns west, the Irving Trail splits into the Hannacroix Creek Falls and Paper Mill Trails. The creek cascades over an approximate 20’ drop, carving out the historic New Baltimore ‘swimming hole.’ The Paper Mill Trail continues south, passing by the original poor farm for New Baltimore, then connects to Madison Avenue at the western boundary of the Hamlet. Round-trip from main parking lot to the falls and back] is just under 1.5 miles
RED LOOP TRAIL
The Red Trail is a short loop of ~half mile, heading south off the Irving Trail. It quickly Y-s at a log bench. Taking the loop that bears to the right, the counter-clockwise trail passes through nice woods, then a copse of birch, up to a slight mount with views of the Civill Senior Housing roof in Ravena, then drops into a pine glen. It rises again gently, gives way to a splendid view of the Castleton-on-Hudson bridge and railroad crossing, then heads back north to return to the start at the Irving Trail. Witch hazel and May apples abound in the spring, as does poison ivy in the summer.
Accessible from the trailhead north of the parking lot [back towards the entrance of Route 144], the North trail gently ascends through a protective canopy that houses itinerant spring warblers then turns west and runs along a ridge that parallels the Hannacroix Creek, which lies to the north. Reclaimed not so long ago from a mangle of heavy rose and brambles, machetes used in construction were occasionally lost in the jumble. There is a lovely view down onto the Hannacroix Creek just as the path loops back south to intersect with the Irving Trail, now graced with an observation deck facing west.
LAVERNE IRVING SPUR
Cutting north from the Irving Trail [just beyond where the North Trail intersects], the Blue Trail passes through an area notable for spring wildflowers. It gives onto scenic views of Hannacroix Creek but is extremely steep and subject to erosion. After crossing the 2012 Scout-volunteer bridge, the trail rejoins the Irving Trail, following the Hannacroix Creek to the falls and Paper Mill Trail.
PAPER MILL TRAIL
The southern end of the LaVerne Irving Trail junctions with the Paper Mill Trail at the old foundation of the Croswell Mill, just east of Hannacroix Falls. Continuing south, the Paper Mill Trail meanders through young woods, passing historic foundations of the town ‘poor farm.’ The Paper Mill Trail ends at the Madison Avenue access to the HCP.
The HRIT [white trail] lies on the east side of Route 144 and is accessed by walking south from the main parking lot, carefully crossing Route 144 to the boardwalk that winds through a cattail marsh. After heading south, the trail T-s. Taking the left leads to the mighty Hudson River. A short ways down the trail, on the right, an optional loop leads to an observation deck that looks out onto a tidal pool, home to kingfishers and great blue herons. Spanning the tidally influenced stream is the first recycled plastic-milk carton bridge in the country! The bridge was recently rebuilt following damage from 2011’s tropical storm Irene. After crossing the bridge, the trail leads to the river and the bay at the mouth of the Hannacroix Creek where eagle sightings are common. Round trip is ~3/4 mile.