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NY DEC Watchable Wildlife

Outdoor Discovery

Stewart State Forest
Description: Stewart State Forest’s 6,700 acres are unique in the Northeast and increasingly rare in the Hudson Valley. The mix of upland woods, working and abandoned farm fields, meadows and wetlands creates a unique landscape in an area where most parks and protected lands are forests or mountains.

Stewart is a one-of-a-kind place for animals needing transitional habitats— birds and butterflies that love grasslands and bushes, turtles and snakes that love open sandy fields, and frogs and salamanders that love small wetlands surrounded by woods and fields.

Wildlife to Watch: Wild turkeys, white-tailed deer and eastern cottontail rabbits are commonly seen at Stewart. Coyotes, gray foxes and bobcats prowl here for small mammals and birds. Almost half of the property is wetland—swamp, marsh and wet meadow or woods. Seven larger ponds and many smaller ones are located throughout the forest. Stewart has an active beaver population, as well as northern river otters and muskrats. Great blue heron rookeries have been reported in its wetlands. Threatened pied-billed grebes have also been observed. Bats are often seen at sundown during warmer months.

Stewart’s fields and meadows attract many songbirds, including blue-winged and prairie warblers. Ovenbirds, scarlet tanagers, veerys and American wood-cock nest in wooded areas. Plentiful small birds and mammals attract several kinds of hawks, including Cooper’s, red-shouldered, and sharp-shinned hawks, as well as the occasional passing northern harrier.

On a sunny day, look for sunfish, shiners and perch in pond shallows. Several species of turtles and snakes are found here, as are several species of frogs and salamanders, including Jefferson, blue-spotted and marbled salamanders.

Special Tips: Stewart State Forest includes 18 miles of gravel roads and more than 22 miles of major trails which provide unparalleled recreation, including hiking, crosscountry skiing and fishing in season. Mountain biking and snowmobiling are allowed on specifically designated trails and multiple-use trails. Horseback riding is allowed on all multiple-use trails and roads.

845-256-3076, www.dec.ny.gov/ lands/50095.html

Other Activities: This site is open from dawn to dusk, year-round. Hunting and trapping are allowed, guided by statewide laws and special Stewart State Forest regulations. Fishing is allowed in season. Camping is allowed by permit.

Ownership: NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation 
Closest Town: New Windsor, Montgomery and Newburg

Tent CampingFishingCross Country SkiingHikingHorse TrailsBicycling

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:

Eastern Newt - Photo by Susan L. Shafer
Please see map link below

Driving Directions:
Take the NYS Thrwy./I-87 to exit 17. Follow signs to Stewart Airport and continue west on Rte. 207/208 to access the southern border of the property. To access from the north, take Rte. 17K to Ridge or Barron Rd. Parking for cars and horse trailers is available at the north end of Ridge Rd. and at Weed Rd. Parking is also available along the shoulder of South and North Barron roads outside the gates, and east of Drury Lane (Rte. 747) along Rte. 207.

Map Link

Stewart State Forest : Wildlife Viewing Area