WARD POUND RIDGE RESERVATION
Cross River, Westchester County, NY 
4,365 acres


Directions:

Take I-684 north about 30 miles to exit 6. Go east on Route 35 about 4 miles. Turn south (right) on Route 121; go 0.1 mile to the entrance road. Drive to the tollbooth, then another 0.1 mile to Michigan Road. Turn right and go 0.5 mile to a parking lot at a ski-touring area.


History:

This area was held by native Americans until 1640.  The "pound" part of the name Ward Pound comes from the fact that the Indians constructed an enclosure, or pound, to trap those animals that would be scared into the trap by the whooping of the hunters around them.  On the Dancing Rock Trail in the southwest section of the park, one can find ancient Indian rock drawings, the Bare Rock petroglyphs.  

There is a wigwam at the Delaware Indian Resource Center at Trailside Museum

During the American Revolution, Colonel Sheldon's Light Dragoons would rendezvous here. The British Colonel Tarleton tried to capture Sheldon's force in an incident known as Tarleton's Raid.  The British burned the home of  Major Ebenezer Lockwood and the meeting house of Pound Ridge before being driven back toward North Castle.  

Men of Colonel Sheldon's Light Dragoons used Spy Rock Shelter to observe the movements of British troops. Westchester County (then part of the Bronx) was neutral ground between the British in Manhattan and the Americans outside the city.

Following the Civil War, the land was parceled and given out to retired Civil War generals.  It became farming country.  

Before the coming of the reservoir, George Hunt operated a grist and cider mill on the Cross River near the present entrance road to Pound Ridge Reservation.  William Whitman Sr. (aka, Pa Whitman) operated a sawmill on Boutonville Road just outside the present entrance to Pound Ridge Reservation.  Pa Whitman was Pound Ridge Reservation Superintendent in the 1930s.  He is shown with a wall full of fox furs that he and his dogs had rounded up.

The name Ward comes from the powerful Westchester politician William "Boss" Ward.  In 1925, through his foresight, forty-one hundred acres were acquired by the Westchester County Park Commission.   Among the achievements of William Ward and the parks commission was the creation of an overall plan for recreational areas in Westchester County: Rye Playland opened in 1928. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, Croton Point Park, Glen Island Park, and Kingsland Point Park were also developed.

1933-38  --  a Civilian Conservation Corps camp was located in the reservation.  They built the Trailside Nature Museum.  Company 210, Camp SP-9, had some 200 young unemployed men at the barracks.  It was known as Camp Merkel and was run with military precision.  The foundations can still be seen in the reservation.  

One of the caves here was used by the Leather Man (on a hill west of Honey Hollow).  The folk lore story goes this way.  He was from France where he worked in a leather factory near Marseille.  He fell in love with the employer's daughter, but his father opposed the match and the girl disappeared.  The future leather man thought foul play was involved in the disappearance and so he left for the United States.  He roamed the country roads of Westchester County and Connecticut for over 30 years, sleeping in various caves.  He wore a suit sewn together from various leather scraps, which was actually very heavy to wear.  He rarely spoke or even approached people.  On his regular round, farmers would sometimes feed him (but they could not approach him directly -- food had to be left in certain places).   (I hate to be a spoiler, but it sounds like he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia -- which possibly could have been triggered by the tragic love affair.) 

The Leatherman made a 300 mile circuit through Westchester County and Connecticut that took him thirty-four days to complete.

His route: Peekskill, Somers, Brewster, North Salem, Ridgefield, Danbury, Bridgewater, Waterbury, Forestville, New Britain, Saybrook, Guilford, Branford, Stratford, Norwalk, New Canaan, Greenwich, White Plains, Armonk, Chappaqua, Ossining, Mount Kisco, Bedford Hill, Yorktown, Peekskill.

(P. 19. Linda Cooper and Alice Roker. 2003. Images of America: Yorktown. Charleston, SC: Arcadia.)


Trails:

Kimberly Bridge Trail:  From the Trailside Nature Museum continue east on the main road to the Kimberly Bridge picnic area.  There is a nature trail here with 15 marked stations.  At the beginning of this trail, large rock outcroppings dominate both sides of the Waccabuc River. These are composed of Pound Ridge gneiss, an extremely old metamorphic bedrock.  

The Boone Trail: at the end of Michigan Road.  

Fire Tower Trail: from the end of Museum Road via Pell Hill picnic area to the Fire Tower Trail and to the Fire Towser and back.  

Slawson-Merkel Trail:  This road known as Slawson Trail was named after a family of early settlers of Pound Ridge.  Across the trail look for the remains of a house that belonged to Scott Piatt, another early settler.  He mad splint baskets, cut and sold cedar posts for the railroad telegraph and bottled beer behind his home.  A sample of his basketry and bottles from his brewery are on display in the museum.  Basket making was such a prosperous home industry in Pound Ridge that at one time it was known as Basket Town.  


PLANT LIST:

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney (and TBS trips 5/22/99 & 10/29/00 with a lot of help from Dr. William Standaert)


Trees:
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory) 5/22/99
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory) 5/22/99
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory) 5/22/99
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) 5/18/99 5/22/99
Crataegus sp. (hawthorn)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Fraxinus pensylvanica (red ash)
Juglans nigra (black walnut)
Juniperus virginiana (eastern red cedar)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Picea glauca (white spruce)
Picea pungens (Colorado blue spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (sycamore)
Prunus virginiana (chokecherry)
Populus alba (white poplar)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Populus grandidentata (large-toothed aspen)
Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry) 5/18/99 5/22/99
Pyrus malus (apple tree) 5/17/96 5/18/99
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Salix babylonica (weeping willow)
Salix caprea (goat willow) 5/17/96
Salix sericea (willow)?
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus americana (American elm)
Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)

Shrubs:
Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Aronia arbutifolia (red chokeberry) 5/17/96 5/18/99 5/22/99
Aronia melanocarpa (black chokeberry) 5/18/99 5/22/99
Aronia x prunifolia (purple chokeberry)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) 5/17/96 5/18/99
Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush)
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)
Eubotrys racemosa (deciduous swamp fetterbush)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus) 5/22/99
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle) 5/17/96 5/18/99 5/22/99 white, felty both sides
Lonicera tatarica (Tartar's honeysuckle) 5/18/99
Lyonia ligustrina (maleberry)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Myrica pensylvanica (bayberry) 5/22/99
Rhamnus sp. (buckthorn) ?
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pinxter flower) 5/22/99
Rhododendron viscossum (swamp azalea)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rosa palustris (swamp rose)
Rosa virginiana (Virginia rose)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Salix cinerea (gray willow)
Salix discolor (pussy willow)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Spiraea alba v latifolia (meadowsweet)
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush)
Syringa sp. (purple lilac) 5/18/99
Vaccinium angustifolium (low bush blueberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry) 5/17/96 5/18/99 5/22/99
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum var. lucidum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum lentago (nannyberry viburnum) 5/22/99 near
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum) 5/18/99
Viburnum sieboldii (Siebold's viburnum) 5/18/99
Vinca minor (periwinkle) 5/18/99

Vines:
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet) 5/18/99 soon 5/22/99
Dioscorea villosa (wild yamroot)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Rubus flagellaris (dewberry)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

Herbs:
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Alisma subcordatum (water plantain)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 5/17/96 5/18/99 5/22/99
Allium tricoccum (wild leek)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Anemone quinquefolia (wood anemone) 5/17/96 5/22/99
Anemonella thalictroides (rue anemone) 5/22/99
Antennaria sp. (pussytoes) 5/17/96 5/18/99
Apocynum sp. (Indian hemp)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla) 5/17/96 5/18/99 5/22/99
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit) 5/22/99
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Aster (New England Aster)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Aster lanceolatus var. simplex (aster)
Aster pilosus var. pringlei (aster)
Aster umbellatus (aster) 10/29/00
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress) 5/18/99
Bidens frondosa (beggarticks)
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
Callitriche heterophylla (water starwort)
Callitriche sp. palustris? (water starwort)
Caltha palustris (marsh marigold) 5/18/99
Capsella bursa-pastoris (shepherd's purse) 5/18/99 5/22/99
Cardamine hirsuta (hoary bittercress)
Cardamine pensylvanica (Pennsylvania bittercress) 5/18/99 5/22/99
Cardamine pratensis var. pratensis (cuckoo flower)
Cardamine rhomboidea (spring cress) 5/18/99 5/22/99
Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh)
Cerastium sp. (chickweed) 5/18/99
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed) 5/18/99 5/22/99
Cicuta maculata var. maculata (water hemlock)
Cimicifuga racemosa (bugbane)
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)
Claytonia virginica (spring beauty) 5/17/96 5/18/99 5/22/99
Coronilla varia (crown vetch)
Cypripedium acaule (pink lady's slipper) 5/22/99
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 10/29/00
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Desmodium glutinosum (pointed-leaved tick trefoil)
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink)
Draba verna (whitlow grass)
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pilewort)
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) 5/18/99
Erigeron pulchellus var. pulchellus (Robin's plantain) 5/22/99
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset)
Euphorbia cyparissias (cypress spurge) 5/18/99
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)
Fragaria virginiana (common strawberry) 5/18/99 5/22/99
Galium asprellum (rough bedstraw)
Galium mollugo (wild madder)
Galium sp. (bedstraw six in a whorl)
Galium triflorum (sweet-scented bedstraw)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) 5/18/99
Geum sp. canadense? (white avens)
Glechoma hederacea (gill-over-the-ground) 5/18/99 5/22/99
Helianthus giganteus (tall sunflower)
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny day lily)
Hibiscus moscheutos (swamp rose mallow)
Hypericum mutilum (dwarf St. Johnswort)
Hypoxis hirsuta (yellow star grass) 5/18/99 5/22/99
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Iris pseudacorus (yellow flag iris) 5/18/99
Iris versicolor (blue flag iris) 5/18/99 5/22/99
Laportea canadensis (wood nettle)
Lepidium virginicum (peppergrass) 10/29/00
Lilium sp. (lily)
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs)
Linum perenne (wild blue flax) 5/18/99 5/22/99
Lycopus virginicus (Virginia water horehound)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower) 5/17/96 5/18/99 5/22/99
Malva neglecta (common mallow) 5/18/99 5/22/99
Medicago lupulina (black medick) 5/18/99
Mentha sp. (mint)
Mimulus ringens (monkey flower)
Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel) 5/18/99 5/22/99
Panax trifolius (dwarf ginseng) 5/18/99
Pedicularis canadensis (wood betony) 5/18/99
Penstemon digitalis (beard tongue)
Penthorum sedoides (ditch stonecrop)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) 5/17/96 5/22/99
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygala sp. (field milkwort)
Polygonatum biflorum (true Solomon's seal) 5/17/96
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy true Solomon's seal) 5/18/99 5/22/99
Polygonum amphibium var. stipulaceum (water smartweed) ?
Polygonum arenastrum (common knotweed)
Polygonum arifolium (halberd-leaved tearthumb)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed)
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum punctatum (dotted smartweed)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil) 5/22/99
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb)
Polygonum virginiana (jumpseed)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil) 5/17/96 5/18/99
Prenanthes altissima (tall lettuce)
Prenanthes sp. (lettuce)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)
Pycnanthemum virginianum (mountain mint)
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaf buttercup) 5/17/96 5/18/99
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup) 5/22/99
Ranunculus bulbosus (bulbous buttercup) 5/18/99 5/22/99
Ranunculus hispidus var. caricetorium (swamp buttercup) 5/18/99
Ranunculus recurvatus (hooked buttercup) 5/18/99
Ranunculus bulbosus (bulbous buttercup) 5/17/96
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup) 5/22/99
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan)
Rumex acetosella (field sorrel) 5/18/99
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad-leaved dock)
Rumex sp. (dock)
Sagittaria sp. (arrowhead)
Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)
Satureja vulgaris (wild basil)
Scutellaria lateriflora (maddog skullcap)
Sedum purpureum? (live-forever?)
Senecio aureus (golden ragwort) 5/22/99
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal) 5/17/96 soon
Smilax herbacea (carrion flower)
Solanum carolinense (horse nettle)
Solidago caesia (blue-stemmed goldenrod)
Solidago canadensis var. scabra (goldenrod)
Solidago juncea (early goldenrod)
Solidago rugosa ssp. r. var. rugosa (goldenrod)
Sparganium sp. (bur-reed)
Stellaria graminea (common stitchwort) 5/22/99
Stellaria longifolia (long-leaved stitchwort) 5/22/99
Stellaria media (common chickweed) 5/17/96
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 5/17/96 5/18/99 5/22/99 10/29/00
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)
Tragopogon pratensis (goatsbeard)
Trichostema dichotomum (blue curls)
Trientalis borealis (starflower) 5/18/99 5/22/99
Trifolium arvense (rabbit-foot clover)
Trifolium aureum (hop clover)
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 5/22/99
Trifolium repens (white clover) 5/22/99
Trillium erectum (red trillium)
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
Urtica dioica v. procera (tall nettle)
Veratrum viride (swamp hellebore) 5/22/99
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Verbena hastata (blue vervain)
Veronica arvensis (corn speedwell)
Veronica serpyllifolia (thyme-leaved speedwell) 5/18/99
Viola conspersa (American dog violet) 5/22/99
Viola cucullata (marsh blue violet) 5/17/96 5/18/99 5/22/99
Viola sororia (common blue violet) 5/18/99 5/22/99
Viola sp. (white violet, upper petals reflexed but not twisted) 5/18/99

Rushes and Sedges:
Carex gynandra (sedge) 5/22/99
Carex intumescens (sedge)
Carex laxiflora type (sedge) 5/18/99 5/22/99
Carex lurida (sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex rosea (sedge)? 5/22/99
Carex stipata (sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge) 5/18/99 5/22/99
Cyperus strigosus (false nutsedge)
Eleocharis acicularis (needle spike rush) 5/18/99
Eleocharis tenuis var. tenuis (spike rush) 5/22/99
Juncus acuminatus (rush)
Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)
Luzula multiflora (wood rush) 5/17/96 5/18/99
Rhynchospora capitellata (beak rush)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark green bulrush)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Grasses:
Andropogon virginicus var. abbreviatus (Virginia broom beardgrass)
Andropogon virginicus var. virginicus (broom sedge grass)
Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass) 5/22/99
Brachyelytrum erectum (lawn-awned wood grass)
Bromus tectorum (downy chess brome grass) 5/22/99 near
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass) 5/22/99 near
Elymus canadensis var. canadensis (Canadian wild rye)
Elymus virginicus (wild rye grass)
Elytrigia repens (quack grass)
Festuca ovina (sheep fescue grass) 5/22/99
Glyceria striata (fowl mannagrass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Panicum rigidulum (panic grass)
Phleum pratense (timothy grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass) 5/22/99
Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass) 5/22/99
Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)
Sorghastrum nutans (Indian nut grass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Adiantum pedatum (northern maidenhair fern)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris intermedia (evergreen wood fern)
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Lycopodium obscurum (tree clubmoss)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Polypodium virginianum (rock cap fern) not broadest in the middle
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern)

Others:
Fontanella sp. (a moss) found in a small creek bed
Polytrichum sp. (hair cap moss)