MIANUS RIVER GORGE WILDLIFE REFUGE

Bedford, Westchester County, NY

Size: 555.20 acres


Directions:

From NY 22, turn onto NY 172 east at the triangular green in Bedford Village. Proceed 0.8 mile and take the second right at the traffic light onto Long Ridge (Stamford) Road. Go 0.5 mile and turn right onto Miller's Mill Road. Proceed 0.1 mile over the bridge and turn left onto Mianus River Road. The entrance sign is 0.6 mile further on the left. (Owned by the Lower Hudson Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.)

0 into Bedford

pick up Rt. 172

6.9 Bedford

from the exit off 684, it is 1.7 miles to Stamford Road

turn right onto Long Ridge Road or Stamford Road (go down 1.9 miles)

8.4 turn right onto Miller Road

8.4 left on Mianus Road

9.1 left into the park entrance


Geology:

The Mianus River begins in Greenwich, Connecticut.  It flows north through North Castle, New York.  In Bedford it reverses its course and flows south through the gorge and then into Long Island Sound.


History:

The river was named for Sachem Mayano of the Wappinger tribe, who was killed near the gorge in 1664, and whose name means "he who gathers together."

Formed in 1953, the Mianus River Gorge Conservation Committee fostered the pioneer land preservation project of the Conservancy.

1954 (Christmas Eve)  --  Gloria and Anthony Anable, two founders of the Mianus Gorge Conservation Group, learned that 60 acres of the gorge would be sold seven days later. The two Anables and a few others negotiated with the landowner and scrambled to procure a cash down payment. Some members pledged their life insurance policies; an intensive local fund-raising campaign amassed the rest.

1955 (New Year's Day)  --   a contract on the property was placed in the landowner's roadside mailbox before the 8 a.m. deadline.

1955 (July 1)  -- the scheduled deadline for the deal.  To beat the deadline, the group sought help from the newly formed The Nature Conservancy. The Mianus River Gorge is the "birthplace" of The Nature Conservancy's method of direct-action conservation. This was the first project the fledgling Conservancy became involved in when a group of local citizens came together to protect the gorge.

1964 --  the Mianus River Gorge was registered as a National Natural Historic Landmark.  It was the first natural area to be so designated.

(Source: Success Stories; Mianus River Gorge: The Pioneer Project; http://nature.org/aboutus/success/about/art1812.html)


Geology:

There is a side trail shortly after Point B that leads to the Hobby Hill Quarry.  

Here mica, quartz, and feldspar were mined out of the Bedford augen gneiss in the 18th century.   At the quarry you can see the exposed white and pink quartz. Signs tell you not to collect any of the quartz.

The Bedford augen gneiss at Mianus River Gorge is generally assumed to be of Precambrian or early Paleozoic origin. Geologists estimate that the pegmatite, which intrudes into the gneiss, is around 375 million years old.


Trails:

You can take one trail out that partly goes along the river, and then take another back that is set farther from the gorge itself.  


PLANT LIST:

Carol Levine; Carol Gracie; and Patrick L. Cooney


Trees:
Acer rubrum (red maple) 4/27/97
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) 5/14/95 5/19/96
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (American linden)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)

Shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) 5/14/95
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus) 5/19/96 5/28/93
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Ligustrum vulgare (common privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush) 4/27/97 4/28/95
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle) 5/14/95 5/19/96
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry) 5/14/95
Myrica pensylvanica (bayberry)
Rhamnus frangula (European buckthorn) 5/28/93
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pink azalea) 5/19/96 5/28/93
Rhodotypos scandens (jetbead) 5/14/95
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus alleghaniensis (blackberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry raspberry)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry) 5/14/95
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple leaf viburnum)
Viburnum lentago (sweet viburnum) 5/28/93
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)

Vines:
Celastrus orbiculatus (oriental bittersweet) 5/28/93
Dioscorea villosa (wild yamroot) 10/07/79
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

Herbs:
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Actaea alba (doll's eyes) 5/21/93
Agrimonia sp. (agrimony)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 4/28/95 5/14/95 5/19/96 5/28/93
Allium tricoccum (wild leek)
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Anemone quinquefolia (wood anemone) 4/27/93 5/19/96
Anemonella thalictroides (rue anemone) 4/27/97 4/28/95 5/14/95 5/19/96
Antennaria sp. (pussytoes) 5/3/93
Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine) 5/14/95 5/19/96
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit) 5/01/93 5/14/95
Asarum canadense (wild ginger)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Aster linariifolius (stiff aster) 9/18/61
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress) 5/19/96
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
Caltha palustris (marsh marigold) 4/27/97 4/27/93 4/28/95 5/28/93
Cardamine diphylla (toothwort) 4/27/97 4/28/95 5/05/93 5/14/95 5/19/96
Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh) 4/28/95 5/14/95
Chelidonium majus (celandine) 5/14/95 5/28/93
Cimicifuga racemosa (American bugbane)
Collinsonia canadensis (horsebalm)
Cypripedium acaule (pink lady's slippers)
Desmodium cuspidatum (large-bracted tick trefoil)
Desmodium nudiflorum (naked-flowered tick trefoil)
Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman's breeches)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal wood fern)
Epifagus virginiana (beech drops)
Erythronium americanum (trout lily) 4/27/97 4/28/95 4/29/93
Galium aparine (cleavers) 5/28/93
Galium asprellum (rough bedstraw)
Galium triflorum (sweet-scented bedstraw)
Gentiana andrewsii (closed blue gentian) 9/18/61
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) 5/12/93 5/19/96 5/28/93
Goodyera pubescens (rattlesnake plantain)
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny day lily)
Hepatica americana (round-lobed hepatica)
Hesperis matronalis (dame's rocket) 5/28/93
Impatiens capensis (jewelweed)
Laportea canadensis (wood nettle)
Lillium canadense (Canada lily)
Lillium philadelphicum (wood lily)
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco lobelia)
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower) 5/28/93
Medeola virginiana (Indian cucumber root)
Mitella diphylla (miterwort) 5/19/96 5/21/93
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Panax trifolium (dwarf ginseng) 5/14/95 5/19/96
Pilea fontana (clearweed)
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Podophyllum peltatum (mayapple) 5/12/93
Polygonatum biflorum (true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum pubescens (hairy Solomon's seal) 5/19/96
Polygonum virginiana (Virginia knotweed)
Potentilla canadensis (dwarf cinquefoil) 5/14/95
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil) 5/19/96 5/28/93
Prenanthes alba (white lettuce)
Prenanthes altissima (tall white lettuce)
Pyrola elliptica (shinleaf)
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaf buttercup) 4/27/97 4/28/95 5/14/94 5/19/96
Ranunculus bulbosus (bulbous buttercup) 5/28/93
Ranunculus hispidus (hispid buttercup) 4/28/95 5/14/95 5/19/96
Ranunculus hispidus v. caricetorium (swamp buttercup) 5/14/95 5/19/96
Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot) 4/27/97 4/25/93 4/28/95
Saxifraga virginiensis (early saxifrage) 4/27/97 4/27/93 4/28/95 5/14/95 5/19/96
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal) 5/28/93
Solidago bicolor (silverrod goldenrod)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 5/14/95 5/19/96
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)
Trientalis borealis (starflower) 5/28/93
Trifolium pratense (red clover)
Trillium erectum (red trillium) 4/25/93 4/27/97 4/28/95 5/14/95
Veratrum viride (swamp hellebore)
Viola conspersa (dog violet) 4/27/97
Viola cucullata (marsh blue violet) 5/14/95 5/19/96
Viola macloskeyi (northern white violet) 4/27/97 5/14/95 5/19/96
Viola pubescens (downy yellow violet) 5/14/95
Viola sororia (common blue violet) 4/28/95 5/14/95

Rushes and Sedges:
Carex laxiflora (sedge) 5/14/95
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) 4/28/95 5/14/95
Luzula multiflora (wood rush) 4/28/95 5/14/95

Grasses:
Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass) 5/14/95

Ferns:
Adiantum pedatum (northern maidenhair fern)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Athyrium thelypteroides (silvery glade fern)
Botrychium dissectum var. obliquum (grape fern)
Cystopteris fragilis (fragile fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Lycopodium clavatum (horse tail)
Lycopodium complanatum (horse tail)
Lycopodium lucidulum (horse tail)
Lycopodium obscurum (horse tail)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Polypodium virginianum (rockcap fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)