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Just two hours from New York City, the Neversink River is a pristine ecological jewel — 60 miles of rushing waters brimming with an outstanding array of life. Theodore Gordon, considered the father of modern American fly fishing, perfected his dry-fly techniques here in the 1800s.
Along this spectacular river lies the Neversink River Preserve which includes one of the most outstanding examples of a large intact floodplain forest in New York. Floodplain forests provide important wildlife habitat and allow for species movement which is especially important in the face of climate change. Floodplains can absorb flood waters and reduce the severity of floods, filter water pollution and reduce stormwater runoff.
Why We Chose this Site:
The Neversink River, one of the most important tributaries to the Upper Delaware River, is home to a variety of migratory fish including American shad and eel and a globally endangered freshwater mussel. Its floodplain forest hosts a number of rare plants and wildlife including bobcat, bald eagles and black bears. The Neversink River is considered to be the birthplace of American dry fly fishing and today its headwaters are the source of some of New York City’s highest quality drinking water.
What We Do Here:
In 2004, The Nature Conservancy took the bold step of removing the Cuddebackville Dam. This dam no longer served a purpose and had blocked migratory fish such as American shad from their spawning grounds for nearly 200 years and hindered the dispersal of an endangered mussel.
Our current conservation priorities include the intriguing American eel and its captivating life history. Having completed a three-year American eel population and distribution study in the Neversink River and other Delaware River tributaries, we are working to improve the management and conservation of this migratory species along the Atlantic Coast. We are also working to restore floodplain forests and reconnect floodplains on Conservancy-owned former agricultural properties along a stretch of the Neversink River.
View a slideshow of our work to restore the Neversink Floodplain Forest.
Watch a video exploring this preserve
Learn about the importance of floodplain forests like the Neversink River Preserve.
A color-coded trail system takes you through easy terrain. See the kiosk at the preserve entrance for trail details.
For more information, please contact:
Delaware River Basin Program
P.O. Box 617
Cuddebackville, NY 12729
- Trees: Sugar and red maples, river birch, sycamores, red oaks and green ash.
- Wildflowers: Bee-balm, cardinal flowers, Dutchman's breeches, blue flags, closed gentians, trout lilies and violets.
- Mammals: Otters and beaver live in the creeks and wetlands that crisscross the preserve. Bobcats, black bear and wild turkeys inhabit the forests and meadows.
- Birds: Common mergansers, wood ducks, osprey, blue herons, belted kingfishers, bald eagles, ruffed grouse, northern harriers, owls, and numerous warblers and songbirds.
- Fish: Forty species, including brook trout, American shad, sea lamprey and American eel.
- Reptiles and Amphibians: Spotted salamanders, wood frogs, northern water snakes, ribbon snakes, and snapping turtles.
Download a preserve map to plan your visit to the Neversink Preserve.
- Take Route 84 to exit 1 (Port Jervis).
- At the end of the exit ramp, turn onto Route 6 West.
- Follow Route 6 to Route 209 North.
- Make a right turn onto Route 209 and north for approximately 6.3 miles to Guymard Turnpike.
- From Route 17 west, take exit 113 (Rt. 209) south.
- Travel for about 8.5 miles, and after crossing the green steel bridge, take your second left onto Canal Drive.
- Go to the end of Canal Drive (bearing left at forks) to a T-intersection.
- Turn left onto Guymard Turnpike; the preserve entrance is a gravel drive on the right with a sign. Drive slowly to the kiosk; the parking lot is on the right.