BRINTON BROOK SANCTUARY
Route 9A, Croton-on-Hudson, Westchester County, NY
128 acres


Directions:

On Route 9 in Croton, take Senasqua Road exit, turn left (north) at stop sign onto Route 9A. Pass Sky View Nursing Home on the left and clock 3/10 mile to small brown and white "SMRAS" sign at gravel drive on right. Follow gravel drive approximately 300 yards to sanctuary entrance sign and parking area on right.
22.0 miles to exit for Senasqua
1.2 miles to park turn
.4 miles beyond Skyview Rest Home, on right side heading north


Habitats:

Mixed habitat of open meadow, red maple swamp and upland deciduous forest with 5 acre pond.


History:

The park literature says:

The original 112 acres of  Brinton Brook Sanctuary were deeded to the National Audubon Society in 1957 by Laura Brinton following the desire of her late husband, Willard Brinton and herself to permanently protect their land as a wildlife refuge.  After Laura Brinton's death in 1975, an additional 17 acres were added to the refuge by Mr. Brinton's niece, Ruth Brinton Perera.  

Willard and Laura Brinton found their homesite in the early 1900s by walking from Peekskill and following a topographic map.  When Laura Brinton donated the land to the Audubon Society, she called it a "living museum of this region."  

Saw Mill River Audubon Society sanctuaries are open year-round from dawn until dusk for members and the general public for study and enjoyment. Guided group tours of the sanctuaries are available upon request. Trail maps are available for the six sanctuaries with trails and bird lists and nature trail booklets are available for Brinton Brook.


Trails:

I take the yellow trail on the right before the official entrance straight ahead; this is a n.e. to s.w. loop

red trail to right goes to hemlock area

I continue straight; heading northeast on yellow trail

trail markers; take yellow north; lead to a big lake

The Park literature says:

The Pond Loop  -- marked with yellow, leads from the sanctuary entrance and parking lot to Brinton Brook Pond and back again returning on the east side of the parking area.  Along the way, it crosses through a variety of habitats including an old orchard at the intersection with an old farm road, an open meadow that is mowed to keep the forest from intruding, the red maple swamp by the pond, and open stands of both white oak and hemlock trees.

The Back Forty Trail, marked with blue, explores the furthest corners of  the sanctuary with hilly hike through a hardwood forest of black birch, hickory and oak.  It adjoins a Con Edison power line from which you can see the Bear Mountain Bridge.

The Hemlock Springs Trail, marked with red, begins on its southern end in a large hemlock stand and ends near the red maple swamp of Brinton Brook Pond.  Along the way it passes the Split Road Spring designed by Willard Brinton and stone ruins reputed to be those of a farm dating from the Civil War.  The hemlock grove near the spring often harbors wintering saw whet and long eared owls.

The Laurel Rock Trail, also marked with red, is an outer loop of the Hemlock Spring Trail and offers some of the most rugged hiking in the sanctuary with switchbacks across a rocky slope lined with mountain laurel.  


PLANT LIST:

Dr. Patrick Louis Cooney


Trees:
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) 4/29/95 5/11/93
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Ilex opaca (American holly)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Populus grandidentata (big tooth aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Prunus sp. (white cherry tree) 4/29/95
Pyrus malus (crab apple) 4/29/95 soon
Quercus alba (white oak)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac) 6/06/94 soon
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Salix nigra (black willow)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras) 4/29/95
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)

Shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) 4/29/95 5/11/93
Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush) 7/05/94 7/28/93
Chimaphila maculatum (wintergreen)
Cornus amomum (silky dogwood)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus) 5/11/93 6/06/94
Lindera benzoin (spicebush) 4/29/95
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose) 6/06/94
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry raspberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry) 7/28/93
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Vaccinium sp. (blueberry) 4/29/95
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum) 6/06/94
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum) 5/11/93

Vines:
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax sp. (greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis spp. (grape vines)

Herbs:
Achillea millefolium (yarrow) 7/28/93 7/29/93 8/11/94 8/30/94
Agrimonia sp. (agrimony) 7/05/94 7/28/98 8/11/94 8/30/94
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 4/29/95 5/11/93 6/06/94
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) 8/30/94
Ambrosia trifida (great ragweed) 8/30/94
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut) 8/30/94
Anemonella thalictroides (rue anemone) 4/29/95
Antennaria plantaginifolia (plantain-leaved pussytoes) 4/29/95
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp dogbane) 5/11/93 7/05/94 7/11/93
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit) 4/29/95
Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly weed) 7/05/94 7/11/93 7/28/93
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) 8/30/94
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy) 6/06/94
Cichorium intybus (chicory) 7/28/94 8/11/94 8/30/94
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower) 7/28/9
Cryptotaenia canadensis (honewort)
Cuscuta gronovii (dodder) 8/11/94 8/30/94
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 8/11/94
Desmodium sp. (tick trefoil) 8/30/94
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) 7/29/93
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Eupatorium fistulosum (trumpet-weed) 8/11/94 8/30/94
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot) 8/30/94
Euphorbia corollata (flowering spurge) 7/11/93 7/28/93 7/29/93
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod) 7/29/93 8/11/94 8/30/94
Fragaria virginiana (common strawberry) 5/11/93
Galium aparine (cleavers) 5/11/93 -- lots
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) 5/11/93 (quite a bit) 6/06/94
Geum canadense (white avens) 5/11/93
Helianthus divaricatus (woodland sunflower) 8/30/94
Helianthus sp. (sunflower) 8/11/94
Hieracium caespitosum (field hawkweed) 6/06/94
Hieracium spp. (hawkweeds) 8/30/94
Hypericum punctatum (spotted St. Johnswort) 7/11/93
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed) 7/05/94
Iris (blue flag, smaller; very thin leaves) 6/06/94
Iris versicolor. (blue flag with larger leaves) 6/06/94
Krigia sp. (Cynthia) 6/06/94
Lemna sp. (duckweed)
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco) 8/30/94
Lycopus sp. (bugleweed)
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife) 7/05/94
Lysimachia palustris (water purslane)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) 7/05/94 7/28/93 8/11/94 8/30/94
Narcissus sp. (daffodils, white) 4/29/95
Nymphaea odorata (fragrant water lily) 6/06/94 7/28/93 8/30/94
Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel) 6/06/94
Paeonia sp. (peonies, someone must have planted them, white, pinkish by) 6/06/94
Penthorum sedoides (ditch stonecrop) 7/28/93
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb) 8/30/94
Polygonum virginianum (Virginia knotweed) 8/11/94 8/30/94
Potamogeton sp. (pondweed) -- lvs in whorls of 3, small grass-like lvs; thread-like lvs, keeps branching and one that looks like a moss
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil) 6/06/94
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) 7/28/93 8/11/94 8/30/94
Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (narrow-leaved mountain mint) 7/11/93 almost
Ranunculus abortivus (small-flowered crowfoot) 4/29/95 5/11/93
Ranunculus bulbosus (bulbous buttercup) 6/06/94
Satureja vulgaris (wild basil) 7/05/94 7/28/93 8/11/94 8/30/94
Scutellaria sp. (skullcap sp.) 7/28/93
Sisyrinchium sp. (blue-eyed grass) 6/06/94
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal) 5/11/93 soon
Solanum carolinense (horse nettle) 8/11/94
Solidago rugosa (rough-stemmed goldenrod) 8/30/94 blooming soon
Sparganium androcladum (branching bur-reed) 7/05/94 7/11/93
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 4/29/95 5/11/93
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 6/06/94 7/28/93 8/11/94 8/30/94
Trifolium repens (white clover) 6/06/94 7/28/93
Utricularia sp. (bladderwort)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell) 6/06/94
Viola sororia (blue violet) 4/29/95 5/11/93
wild lettuce

Rushes:
Juncus canadensis (Canada rush)
Luzula multiflora (wood rush) 4/29/95

Sedges:
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) 4/29/95
Carex stricta (tussock sedge) 4/29/95
Cyperus strigosus (umbrella sedge)

Grasses:
Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass) 4/29/95
Cinna arundinacea (wood reedgrass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer tongue panic grass)
Sorghastrum nutans (Indian grass) 8/30/94 -- lots of it, very tan, copper tan
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Athyrium filix-femina (red-stiped ladies fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern)