At the Lewis A. Swyer Preserve, 120 miles up the Hudson River, the daily tides change the fresh water level in Mill Creek by more than four feet. Frequent flooding of the adjacent flat land has created the freshwater tidal swamp that is one of only five in New York State. A freshwater tidal swamp is formed only rarely, requiring a river bed close to sea level for a long distance from the mouth of the river.
Before you visit, download a trail map.
Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
The Nature Conservancy acquired this site in 1989 from Conrail. The preserve was named for a former chapter trustee. Since that time, two easements totaling over 500 acres were added that have greatly increased protection of this rare natural area.
What We Do Here
The Nature Conservancy has added a half-mile-long boardwalk for visitors to traverse the wet ground without damaging plant life. Four interpretive signs explain the uniqueness of the preserve. Since the initial acquisition in 1989, The Nature Conservancy has acquired conservation easements on more than 500 acres nearby to provide added protection to the rare freshwater tidal swamp.
Why You Should Visit
A half-mile boardwalk at the preserve leads visitors through three natural communities: a freshwater tidal swamp, a freshwater tidal marsh and freshwater intertidal mudflats. Ever-shifting tides reveal different secrets of the preserve with each passing season, and diverse species flourish in and around the swamp’s waters.