Zofnass Family Preserve (Westchester Wilderness Walk)
Upper Shad Road, Pound Ridge, Westchester County, New York
more than 150 acres


Directions:

US 684 north; get off the exit for Route 172;  turn right; drive to the light and turn left onto Route 172/22; from the right turn in Bedford, drive 1.8 miles and turn right onto Long View Road; drive 2.5 miles and turn left onto Upper Shad Road; drive 0.3 of a mile and turn left into a small opening where you will see the sign for the preserve and the entrance gate and kiosk (or park on the roadside by a small pull-off by the preserve entrance). 

The main entrance is on Upper Shad Road, about ľ mile from Long Ridge Road. The Walk is bounded roughly by Upper Shad Road, South Bedford Road, Pine Brook Road and Long Ridge Road.

A second entrance is 0.9 of a mile down Upper Shad Road (on the right), but the parking here is difficult.  The trail here is the East Loop Trail.

A third entrance is on South Bedford Road, near Mallard Lake.  The trail is the North Loop Trail.


History:

Paul Zofnass, a member of the Westchester Land Trustís Board of Directors, first conceived the idea of creating a trail preserve here, and worked tirelessly for its achievement. 

1982  --  Zofnass, a Manhattan investment banker, had a week-end home in Pound Ridge.  He and his family and friend would walk in the woods behind his house.  When they learned the woods were threatened by development, they started to do something to save the woods. 

Mr. Zofnass gathered the land together out of six different pieces.  He bought an extra lot and a neighbor, Clay Fowler bought two pieces. 

William Kidd owned 226 acres and a lake. 

To the north the Shimkin family, heirs to the Simon and Schuster publishing house, had 100 acres.

Mildred Suesser had 30 acres that gave access to Upper Shad Road, but she wanted to sell the land and give the proceeds to the Holocaust Museum. 

The New York City construction contractor Arthur Del Savio Sr. agreed to built just 10 houses rather than 12 and to confine them to the outer rim of the area.  He also gave the Westchester Land Trust 47 acres and an easement on 15 other acres.

William Kidd sold his land to the Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau and his NBC television wife Jane Pauley.  They were also interested inaiding the plans of Paul Zofnass. 

Shimkin sold to Amiel and Michele Peretz with the understanding that they would cooperate with Zofnass's preserve idea. 

Then Mrs. Suesser sold her land at a discount price of $650,000 to Zofnass accompanied by a promise by Zofnass that he would give a donation of $50,000 to the Holocaust Memorial in her name. 

With all the pieces in place, the process of maintaining, building and expanding trails could proceed farther apace.  His sister, Dr. Joan Zofnass, a psychoanalyst, did much of the work to build and maintain the trails in the area.

Mr. Zofnass would like to connect the preserve to Ward Pound Ridge (but this may require some road walking).  Another idea would be to connect to some 100 acres owned by NBC news announcer Tom Brokaw. 

(Source: New York Times, Westchester Section. 3/21/04.)


Habitats:

rocky woods, hillside streams, lakes and wetlands; it is the largest and most ecologically diverse of the Westchester Land Trustís preserves


Trails:

There is a rugged ten-mile trail network.  Trails north to south:

Northern Trail Head (on South Bedford Road);

North Loop;

Central Roundabout;

East Loop;

South Loop  -- 3 miles around (but there is available a shortcut to make the walk shorter);

South Trail Head (Upper Shad Road).

Source: http://www.westchesterlandtrust.org/Public-Preserves/westchesterwildnernesswalk.html

5/25/04.  Walked the South Loop Trail.  Walked along the dry entrance part of the trail and then onto the wet parts of the entrance trail through a swampy area.  Picked up the South Loop Trail going clockwise (if you are using the self-guided tour, go counter clockwise to better correspond with the numerical order).  The first part of the South Loop Trail went along the border of the swampy area.  Then the trail climbed beginning at South Maple Rock (which has some interesting rock formations). The next part of the trail overlooks the swampy area and the trail; then comes a nice rock bench with a good view.  There is a beech/black birch woods here.  Climb still farther up.  Head across and then start down.  At point #9 are the remains of a old cabin (called Tom's cabin) including chimney remnants.  Still descending, come to Becky's Brook (point #8) and more interesting rocks.  With a little more walking one descends to the intersection of the South Loop and the entrance trail.  Returned to the parking area via the entrance trail.  The trails are very well maintained and the area is very lovely.

9/30/04.  With my son Carl we marked at the second entrance on Upper Shad Road.  This was the second day following the arrival of Hurricane Jane.  Lots of fallen branches on the road.  We took the East Loop Trail.  There is a small stream flowing across the trail almost right at the start of the walk.  There is a swamp on the right and a hill on the left.  We ascend to the Grand Staircase on the right side (although we could have taken the steps on either side of a large outcrop).  There is a fence followed by a road on the right.  We walk alongside a small field.  We go up then down a hill in the woods.  We reach the Central Round About Trail. Soon after starting this leg of the journey it started raining.  We thought it would soon let up, so we continued on the trail to a stone bench and the onwards.  It was still raining hard as we reached the junction with the South Loop Trail, so we decided to return to the parking area and our car.  We turned around and returned the way we had come.   


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick Louis Cooney
dates = dates plant found in bloom, 5/25/04, 9/30/04


Trees:
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)
Populus grandidentata (big tooth aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) 
Chimaphila maculata (striped wintergreen)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera mackii (Amur honeysuckle)  ?
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Rubus sp. (dewberry)
Staphylea trifolia (bladdernut)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)  5/25/04
Viburnum dentatum (smooth arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (hairy arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum plicatum (double-file viburnum)

Vines:
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

Herbs:
Actaea alba (white baneberry)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 5/25/04
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit)
Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh)
Chelone glabra (white turtlehead) 9/30/04
Chrysosplenium americanum (golden saxifrage)
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower) 9/30/04
Epifagus virginiana (beech drops)
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pileweed)
Galium aparine (cleavers)  5/25/04
Galium mollugo (wild madder) 9/30/04
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) 5/25/04
Gnaphalium obtusifolium (sweet everlasting) 9/30/04
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco) 9/30/04
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) 5/25/04
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) 9/30/04
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil) 5/25/04
Prenanthes altissima (tall white lettuce)
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaved crowfoot)
Ranunculus recurvatus (hooked crowfoot)  5/25/04
Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)
Sisyrinchium sp. (blue-eyed grass)  5/25/04
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)  5/25/04
Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod) 9/30/04
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)
Trifolium repens (white clover) 9/30/04
Urtica dioica var. procera (tall nettle)
Veratrum viride (swamp hellebore)  5/25/04
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)

Sedges:
Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered sedge type)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)  

Grasses:
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue stem grass)  
   
Ferns and Fern Allies:
Lycopodium obscurum (ground pine)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Cystopteris sp. (fragile fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)