College Hill Park
North Clinton Street, Poughkeepsie , Dutchess County, New York


Route 9G north to its intersection with North Clinton Street; turn right; there is a one way road through the park; the entrance is opposite house #152 (the exit is opposite house #202).


From this park one can get a good view of  Poughkeepsie and the surrounding area: the Poughkeepsie Bridge, the Fishkill Mountains on the south, the Catskills on the north and the Berkshires on the east; the Hudson River State Hospital for the Insane; and the Hudson River Driving Park (home to the annual fair of the Duchess County Agricultural Society).


1835  --  the Collegiate Hill School building, modeled after the Parthenon, stood on the top of College Hill until 1917. 

1892  --  College Hill Park was presented to the city by Mr. William W. Smith.  William and his brother Andrew Smith became famous for their Smith Brothers Cough Drops.  William (1830-1914) is buried in Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery.

1917  --  a spectacular fire burned the Collegiate Hill School Building.

1937  --  the WPA built a Parthenon-designed memorial on the top of College Hill and presented it to the city. 

1938  --  College Hill had greenhouses and a beautiful rock garden.  


Street Softball, Basketball, Playground, Picnic Area, Golf


Poughkeepsie wants to develop a continuous Greenway along the 2.5 miles of publicly owned Hudson riverfront extending from the Fallkill Creek south to the DeLaval site (off Prospect Street on the Hudson River), with Greenway trail connections to the Town of Poughkeepsie, including Marist College and the Hudson River Psychiatric Center waterfront lands. Trail extensions would one inland along the Fallkill Creek to College Hill Park then up to the Dutchess Rail Trail.

6/23/04.  Drove up to the top of the hill and parked alongside the road near the open Greek columned platform. Thought I could get some great views of the area from the structure, but the views are blocked by the trees.  May have to come back in the winter when the leaves are down.  There are some "exotics" planted on the grounds which always throws me off a bit.  Near the Greek structure is a memorial crowned with the bust of William Smith. 

While there is a lot of lawn in the park, there are some patches that are more left alone and where one can find wild flowers.

There is a golf course adjacent to the park area.

Walked down to a reservoir.  There are lots of Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven) growing around the reservoir.  

Source: Joyce C. Ghee and Joan Spence.  1999. Images of America: Poughkeepsie: 1898-1998, A Century of Change.  Charleston, SC: Arcadia Press.


Dr. Patrick L. Cooney; * = blooming on the date of the field trip, 6/23/04

Acer negundo (box elder)
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharinum (silver maple)
Aesculus hippocastanum (horse chestnut)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven) lots of them
Albizia julibrissin (silk tree)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Celtis occidentalis (hackberry)
Cercis canadensis (redbud)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Ilex opaca (American holly)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Larix decidua (European larch)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Picea sp. (Colorado blue spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus calleryana (callery pear)
Pyrus sp. (crab apple)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Taxus sp. (yew)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tilia sp. (linden) *
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood) *
Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)
Forsythia sp. (golden bells)
Lonicera morrowii (morrow's honeysuckle)
Rhamnus frangula (European buckthorn)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry raspberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (porcelain berry)
Hedera helix (English ivy)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vincetoxicum nigrum (black swallowwort) *
Vitis sp. (grape)

Achillea millefolium (yarrow) *
Aegopodium podagraria (goutweed) *
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) *
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) *
Bidens frondosa (beggar ticks)
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed) *
Chelidonium majus (celandine) *
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy) *
Cichorium intybus (chicory) *
Cirsium sp. (thistle)
Convallaria majalis (lilly of the valley)
Coronilla varia (crown vetch) *
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) *soon
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink) *
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) *
Galium aparine (cleavers)
Galium mollugo (wild madder) *
Geranium robertianum (herb Robert) *
Geum canadense (white avens) *
Glechoma hederacea (gill-over-the-ground) * a few in bloom
Hieracium sp. (hawkweed) *
Hypericum perforatum (common St. Johnswort)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Lapsana communis (nipplewort) *
Linaria vulgaris (butter-and-eggs)
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil) *
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
Medicago lupulina (black medick) *
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover) *
Melilotus officinalis (yellow sweet clover) *
Oenothera biennis (evening primrose)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) *
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) *
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose knotweed) *
Polygonum lapathifolium (nodding smartweed) *
Potentilla norvegica (rough cinquefoil) *
Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil) *
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) *
Rumex acetosella (field sorrel)
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Silene vulgaris (bladderwort campion) *
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade) *
Solidago sp. (goldenrod)
Sonchus sp. (sow thistle)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) *
Tragopogon pratensis (yellow goatsbeard) *
Trifolium pratense (red clover) *
Trifolium repens (white clover) *
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
Verbascum blattaria (moth mullein) *
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein) *

Agropyron repens (quack grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Eleusine indica (zipper grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Poa annua (annual blue grass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)