The sun pokes through at our Kenrose Preserve
Sunlit Trees The sun pokes through at our Kenrose Preserve © Charles Gleberman Photography

Places We Protect

Kenrose Preserve

New York

Enjoy pretty views and a stunning 200-year old oak tree at this preserve.

Kenrose Preserve, with its 1.5-mile trail, offers a case study in the reversion of cultivated farmland back to natural forest.

The land at this site, which was at the western boundary of Van Rensselaer Manor, was settled in the 18th century. Farms in this area raised grains, potatoes, hops and hay for horses that worked on the Erie Canal. While many neighboring farms were abandoned early in the 1900s, some cultivation continued at Kenrose into the 1950s.

Please download a trail map before you visit. When hiking, please wear sturdy shoes and bring a map, water, and a snack and rain gear.

Don’t forget to look behind you as your climb through the preserve’s abandoned meadows because there is a pretty view of Bradt Hollow and hills beyond it. Part way up the hill, the trail swings to the left. To the right of the trail is an imposing red oak, thought to be at least 170 years old.

A short distance on up the trail on your left stands an even more impressive white oak with an estimated age of 200 years or more. Farmers often left single oaks when they cleared pasture land to provide shade for their animals. There is an old forest of pines, hemlocks, beeches and maples. Spring wildflowers, which bloom in the wooded areas before the trees leaf out, include jack-in-the-pulpit, wild geranium, Canada mayflower, red trillium, partridgeberry, trout lily and hepatica.

The trail is an orange-blazed loop of about 1.5 miles long. Although there is a long climb, the ascent is generally moderate. Note that the trail can be wet and be careful to avoid any woodchuck holes, especially in the open fields. Allow an hour or more to complete the circuit.