The Cary Institute's hiking trails immerse visitors in a range of ecosystems, from old fields and upland forests to wetlands. These varied habitats are great for nature observation. Look for signs of ecosystem disturbance, examine lichens on a fallen tree, or just relax and enjoy the soothing sounds of bird song.
Our campus features four trails, as detailed below. They are all leisurely hikes that are suitable for most. Consult our Trail Map to learn the location of our interpretive kiosks.
Cary Pines Trail
(2.1 km/1.3 mi.)
View a wooded meadow that is perfect for spring bird watching and a stand of white pines for which the trail was named. About halfway through, the trail divides, with one path leading to our internal roadways and Fern Glen.
Wappinger Creek Trail
(2 km/1.25 mi.)
Enjoy cool dark forest and the gentle sounds of the creek as you walk through a sugar maple stand and an old field that bustles with birds.
(branching off the Wappinger Creek and Cary Pines trails)
This trail enables students and visitors alike to investigate the forces that disturb our forests, such as deer browse, farming, glaciers, and lightning.
Sedge Meadow Trail
(off the Wappinger Creek trail)
Take a stroll on a small boardwalk that cuts through a young stand of red maples in a sedge-hummock wetland.