Three miles north of Coxsackie, this 300-acre protected open space serves as a sanctuary for threatened bird species. Visitors access the grasslands from a parking area at the end of Houghtaling Road, located off US-9W.
Follow a dirt path for a 15-minute walk past two ponds popular with migrating geese. From there, venture off-trail to explore rolling meadows dotted with nesting boxes for avian residents. Then duck into the forested border to rest on the shores of Coxsackie Creek, which runs to the Hudson River.
The protected area, once farmland, is now home to many species at risk of losing grassland habitat to development. In winter, the calls of short eared owls echo at night; by day, northern harriers hunt mice among dried grass. The warmer months bring eastern meadowlark, grasshopper sparrows, upland sandpipers, bobolinks, and American kestrels to the preserve. Birdwatchers should bring binoculars and sturdy footwear. Insect repellant recommended from spring to fall.
For more information, contact the Greene Land Trust in Coxsackie, which acts as land managers and stewards for the grasslands. The nonprofit works to preserve natural and cultural resources in the region, and hosts educational events throughout the year, including a Summer Songbird Celebration at the Coxsackie Creek Grasslands Preserve.