New York

Christman Sanctuary

Please Note: For the safety of our visitors, no swimming or wading is allowed at the preserve.

The Nature Conservancy acquired the original 97 acres in 1970 from Lansing and Lucille Christman, son and daughter-in-law of William W. Christman. The site is a Registered National Historic Landmark listed by the New York State Historic Trust. Lands adjacent to the Christman Sanctuary are the focus of continued protection efforts by the Conservancy and local land trusts.

A highlight of the Christman Sanctuary is the Bozenkill, with its 30-foot waterfall and numerous lesser cascades. Alternate layers of sandstone and shale are found in the large pool at the foot of the waterfall.

In Memoriam
Henri Tredwell Plant
1922 — 2012

Henri Plant and Christman steward Anne Ball © Suzette Tanis-Plant

Beloved Conservancy volunteer and supporter Henri Plant passed away on September 28, 2012 at the age of 90. Henri, along with fellow members of the Mohawk Valley Hiking Club, took up the fight to save the Christman Sanctuary from certain death by bulldozer when the New York State department of Transportation traced Interstate 88 across the 30-foot falls at the heart of the sanctuary. Once the water and lands were brought under the protection of The Nature Conservancy, Henri served as a steward for more than 30 years. He was responsible for many of the improvements that provide the public with safe access to the quietness and beauty of the sanctuary that Henri and his wife Doris Saunders-Plant valued so deeply. 

There are two main trails and two side trails at the site. From the parking area, the blue trail follows a one-mile loop, with a short side trail leading to a memorial stone for Will Christman and his wife. Across the Bozenkill, and looping off the blue trail is the orange trail where a series of Will Christman’s plantations are found.

Before you visit, please see our Visitation Guidelines and download a trail map.

Will Christman devoted his lifetime to farming, nature writing, poetry and converting his farm to a nature sanctuary. As part of this latter project, he set out a 60-ace plantation of pine and other trees, found primarily on the east side of the brook. The preserve’s plantations include locust, cedar, spruce, red pine and white pine.

This 120-acre preserve is located in Duanesburg, Schenectady County, NY.

  • Take Route 20 (Western Avenue) west from the Albany area.
  • Approximately 2 miles after the Schenectady County line, turn left on Schoharie Turnpike.
  • Cross railroad tracks in approximately 3 miles.
  • About 0.3 mile after the railroad crossing, park in designated are on your left.

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