Explore. Hike. Cycle. Come and enjoy our campus.
The safety of our visitors and staff is of utmost importance to Cary Institute. To protect the community from the spread of COVID-19, please follow social distancing recommendations made by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To comply with social distancing recommendations, trail traffic is now one-way. Please follow arrows on trail signs to help us ensure 6 feet of distance between hikers.
one-way trail map
For the safety of our visitors, Cary Institute will be closing Lovelace Drive to vehicle traffic effective April 30. When enjoying our campus, please park at the main building or in designated parking areas.
You can access the Fern Glen using the trailhead at the main parking lot or by walking down Lovelace Drive.
Each surface is only as clean as the last person who touched it. We are not putting out benches and picnic tables, and the Fern Glen deck is closed. The CDC recommends that people:
As the situation develops, we will adjust actions to safeguard the health of visitors and staff.
March 21 - October 31
Trails are open from sunrise to sunset. Internal roadway gates are open from 8:30 am - 7:00 pm.
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.
All our trails are leisurely hikes that are suitable for most. Consult our Campus Map to learn the location of our interpretive kiosks.
Smoking and use of alcohol
Camping and building fires
Hunting and fishing
Horseback riding and use of horse-drawn vehicles
Use of snowmobiles and off-road vehicles
Swimming and skiing
Littering, collecting of any kind
Wandering from designated public areas
Thank you for respecting the integrity of the research being done on our campus.
(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.
(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
(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.
The Fern Glen is a place where nature, from the infinite to the infinitesimal, is available to all of the senses. Children in our Ecology Camp seek answers to nature's questions in its contained environment where, immersed in mud, they connect science concepts with real-world examples. Visitors stroll along its paths, delighted to watch a hummingbird sip nectar from a jewelweed or admire painted turtles sunning themselves on a log. Many use the site to hone botanical skills. With hand lenses, they identify spore patterns on ferns or compare diverse plant communities.
Our lowlands landscape is made up of wetlands, grassy meadows, forests, and the East Branch of the Wappinger Creek. Explore the area by car, bicycle, or on foot. More than 126 bird species have been spotted here.