Hilltop Hanover Farm

both sides of Hanover Street, Croton Heights, Yorktown, Westchester County, New York

178.5 acres (128.5 acres on the east side and 50 acres on the west side)

about 1.5 miles north of the Croton Reservoir


Directions:

Saw Mill River Parkway to the Taconic State Parkway; cross over the Croton Reservoir bridge and get off at the next exit for Underhill Avenue (at mile marker 13.8); turn left onto Underhill Avenue; drive 0.8 of a mile and at the stop sign turn left onto Route 129 (Old Croton Lake Road); drive 3.3 miles and turn left onto Hanover Street; drive 1.5 of a mile and turn left into the farm. 


History:

Descendants of Nathaniel Underhill, who settled in Westchester County in the late 1600s, occupied the property, beginning in the late 18th century.

circa 1785  --  the main residence was built.

circa 1946  --  the farm became a dairy farm.

early 1990s  -- due to poor economic conditions, the breeding program stopped.

mid 1990s  --  the dairy cows were sold in preparation for selling the property.

2001 (July 11)  --  Westchester County announced plans to  pay $2.8 million for the farm property. The owners, John Sites and Giles Brophy, will retain approximately 70 acres.


Habitats:

Splendid vistas, pastures and woodlands not far from the Croton Reservoir.


Wildlife:

Found in the area: slimy salamanders, gray tree frogs and wood frogs; blue-winged warblers, eastern bluebirds, indigo buntings,hooded warblers, and Louisiana waterthrushes. (Croton-to-Highlands Biodiversity Plan: www.wcs.org/media/file/CHBP_lo-res.pdf)


Facilities::

County Executive Andy Spano said "We want to establish a center devoted entirely to the protection of the natural environment -- a working classroom in pesticide-free agriculture, a place to study wildflowers and birds, a laboratory and learning center for county residents.

The 50-acre parcel and buildings may be used as an environmental education center.

(Source: http://www.westchesterwire.com/article188.html)

(Source: Brad King, North County News, July 11 - 17, 2001, Volume 35, Number 28; http://www.yorktownhistory.org/ncn/events/farm_preserved.htm)


Trails:

6/08/04.  Took a trip over to the farm.  It looks like a big area.  On the west side of Hanover Street you can see the big silos along with many farm buildings.  There were "No Trespassing" signs all over the telephone poles, so I guess they are as of yet not open for business.  Patrick L. Cooney.