KAKIAT COUNTY PARK
Rockland County, NY
353 acres


Directions:

US 87; exit 14B; right on Airmont Road; left on Montebello; turn on first right turn onto Mile Road; go to a stop sign at a T-intersection and turn left onto Viola Road; right onto Route 202 (Haverstraw Road) and travel half a mile to a left turn into the entrance for the park. Located off Route 202, between Viola Road and Grandview Avenue. It is just across from the Viola School, just northeast of Kevin Drive.


History:

The name Kakiat was from a Minsi Indian name, Kackyachtaweke. The word means what westerners call a "draw" -- a neighborhood open on one side and closed by hills on the others.

In 1769 Governor Benjamin Fletcher granted to Daniel Honan and Michael Hawdon the land from Sloatsburg to Monsey and Pomona.

part of the original Harris patent from the King of England.

The Blauvelt family had a place here known as Kakiat Farm for over 200 years. Also here was the Blauvelt mill (the foundation can still be seen).

There was a lodge located across the road from the Kakiat Farm, and it hence was known as the Kakiat Lodge. It was at the corner of Route 202 and Grandview Avenue. There is a roadside marker here in honor of Kakiat Lodge. Aaron (Aurie) Blauvelt (1738-1801), French and Indian War veteran and Orangetown Milita captain in the Revolution, occupied a stone house here and ran a saw and grist mill on the Mahwah River nearby.

Son, Cornelius Blauvelt (1766-1843), a colonel in the War of 1812, inherited the farm. His son, Richard, added a foundry to the mill and probably built this homestead c. 1830. It served as an inn in recent decades.

In the 1920s Frank Place and Raymond Torrey along with the Tramp and Trail Club of New York City rented Kakiat Lodge and marked a trail from the lodge to Stony Brook. (Myles 1991:59-60)

1961 --  the National Recreation Association recommends that the County Board of Supervisors buys the land.

1972  --  the land becomes a park.


Trails:

From the parking area you walk over a bridge over the Mahwah River (?). There is a swampy area at the start of the walk. There are three hiking trails. The first right turn off the main access path is the blue trail. A little ways up the access path is the second right, the white trail. And then ascending a little toward the mountains onto the grassy area you find the "Mountain Trail," a red trail.

I took a short walk along the blue trail, coming back on the starting part of the white trail. On the blue trail I walked northeast. Walked through a white pine grove. Then the blue trail parallels the Mahwah River. The trail heads back toward the starting point at a place along the river where they apparently had a raceway. There must have been some kind of industrial structure here at one time; sluiceways?  (These are the remains of the Blauvelt mill.)

The blue trail ends and you pick up the white trail (southwest) that takes you back.

If from the park entrance at the river bridge you keep going straight, you go onto the orange trail. This trail heads up to a lookout area from where you can see back down to the park parking area. You can see below the Mahwah River Valley. Up on the hill to the east, you can see four different big built-up areas, one of which is Rockland Community College (with a big chimney).


PLANT LIST:
Dr. William F. Standaert (with some plants by Dr. Patrick L. Cooney)


Trees:
Acer pensylvanicum (goose-foot maple) 4/14/01
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple) 4/13/01
Acer saccharum var. saccharum (sugar maple)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory) yellow sulphur buds, 4/13/01
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) 4/30/98 5/06/99
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash) 5/06/99
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Picea sp. (spruce)
Pinus rigida (pitch pine)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Populus sp. grandidentata? (big-tooth aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Prunus virginiana (choke cherry)
Pyrus malus (apple) 5/06/99
Pyrus x sp. (mostly P. malus) (apple --hybrid) 4/30/98 5/06/99
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak) 5/06/99
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak) 5/06/99
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Salix babylonica (weeping willow)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras) 5/06/99
Tilia americana var. americana (basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus americana (American elm) in fruit 4/30/98

Shrubs:
Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) 5/06/99
Comptonia peregrina (sweet fern)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Cornus racemosa (gray-stemmed dogwood)
Corylus americana (American hazel) 4/14/01
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive) 5/06/99
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin var. benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honey suckle) 4/30/98 5/06/99
Lonicera tatarica (tartar's honey suckle) 4/30/98
Quercus ilicifolia (bear oak)
Ribes sp. (rotundifolium?) (Appalachian gooseberry?)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Salix discolor (pussy willow) buds out on 4/13/01; 4/14/01
Sambucus racemosa (red-berried elderberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry) 5/06/99
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry) 5/06/99 soon
Viburnum acerifolium (mapleleaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum var. lucidum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum) 4/30/98 soon 5/06/99 soon

Vines:
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Dioscorea villosa (wild yam root)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Menispermum canadense (moonseed)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Herbs:
Actaea alba (doll's-eyes) 5/06/99
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 4/30/98 5/06/99
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Anemone quinquefolia var. quinquefolia (wood anemone) 5/06/99
Anemonella thalictroides (rue anemone)
Antennaria sp. (pussytoes)
Apocynum androsaemifolium (spreading dogbane)
Arabis laevigata var. laevigata (rockcress) 5/06/99
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Aralia racemosa (spikenard)
Arctium minus (common burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit) 5/06/99
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asarum canadense (wild ginger)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Aster schreberi (Schreber's aster)
Barbarea vulgaris (wintercress) 5/06/99
Cardamine diphylla (broad-leaved toothwort) 5/06/99
Cardamine hirsuta (bittercress) 4/13/01 5/06/99
Cardamine parviflora var. arenicola (bitter-cress) 4/13/01 5/06/99
Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh) 5/06/99
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed) 5/06/99
Chelidonium majus (celandine)
Chrysosplenium americanum (golden saxifrage)
Cirsium sp. (thistle)
Collinsonia canadensis (horsebalm)
Conopholis americana (squawroot)
Corydalis flavula (yellow corydalis) 5/06/99
Corydalis sempervirens (pale corydalis) 5/06/99
Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman's breeches)
Draba verna (whitlow-grass) 5/06/99
Epifagus virginiana (beech drops)
Erythronium americanum (trout lily) 4/14/01
Euphorbia cyparissias (cypress spurge) 5/06/99
Fragaria virginiana (common strawberry) 4/30/98 5/06/99
Galium aparine (cleavers)
Galium mollugo (wild madder)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) 4/30/98
Geranium robertianum (herb Robert) 5/06/99
Geum sp. (canadense?) (white avens?)
Hedeoma pulegioides (American pennyroyal)
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny daylily)
Hepatica americana (round-leaved hepatica) 4/13/01 4/14/01
Hieracium venosum (rattlesnake hawkweed)
Hypericum gentianoides (orangegrass)
Hypoxis hirsuta (yellow stargrass) 5/06/99
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Iris sp. (blue or yellow flag)
Leonurus cardiaca (motherwort)
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs)
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife)
Narcissus pseudonarcissus (daffodil) 4/14/01
Oenothera biennis (evening primrose)
Ornithogalum umbellatum (star of Bethlehem)
Osmorhiza claytonii (sweet cicely)
Panax trifolium (dwarf ginseng) 4/30/98 5/06/99
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Podophyllum peltatum (may apple)
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum arenastrum (common knotweed)
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Potentilla canadensis (dwarf cinquefoil) 5/06/99
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Prenanthes altissima (lettuce)
Prenanthes sp. (gall-of-the-earth)
Pycnanthemum incanum (mountain mint)
Pycnanthemum sp. (mountain mint)
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaf buttercup) 4/30/98 5/06/99
Ranunculus acris (common buttercup) 5/06/99
Ranunculus hispidus var. nitidus (swamp buttercup) 4/30/98 5/06/99
Ranunculus recurvatus (buttercup) 5/06/99
Ranunculus repens (creeping buttercup)
Rumex acetosella (sheep sorrel) 4/30/98
Rumex obtusifolius (broad-leaved dock)
Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot) 4/13/01 4/14/01
Saxifraga virginiensis (early saxifrage) 5/06/99
Scleranthus annuus (knawel)
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Solidago flexicaulis (zigzag goldenrod)
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet)
Spiraea tomentosa (hardhack)
Stellaria media (common chickweed) 4/13/01 4/14/01 4/30/98
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage) 4/14/01
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) 4/30/98 5/06/99
Tephrosia virginiana (goat's-rue)
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)
Trifolium pratense (red clover)
Trifolium repens (white clover)
Uvularia perfoliata (perfoliate bellwort) 5/06/99
Veratrum viride (swamp hellebore)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
Veronica peregrina (purslane speedwell) 4/30/98
Veronica serpyllifolia (thyme-leaved speedwell) 5/06/99
Viola conspersa (American dog violet) 5/06/9
Viola cucullata (blue marsh violet) 5/06/99
Viola pubescens (yellow forest violet) 5/06/99
Viola sagitatta (arrowhead violet) 5/06/99
Viola sororia (common blue violet) 4/30/98 5/06/99
Zizea aurea (golden alexanders) 5/06/9

Rushes:
Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Luzula multiflora (woodrush) 5/06/99

Sedges:
Carex laxiflora (sedge)
Carex pensylvanica var. pensylvanica (sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)

Grasses:
Andropogon virginicus var. virginicus (broom-sedge grass)
Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum sp. (panic grass)
Panicum virgatum (switch grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass) 4/30/98
Poa alsodes (bluegrass)
Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Equisetum hyemale (common scouring rush)
Athyrium filix-femina (Northern lady fern)
Botrychium virginianum (rattlesnake fern)
Cystopteris fragilis var. mackayi (Mackay's brittle fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris carthusiana (spinulose woodfern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)
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)

Dr. Standaert -- 5/06/99
Dr. Cooney -- 4/30/98; 4/13/01


KAKIAT PARK, ROCKLAND COUNTY, April 14, 2001.

Finally a break from the rain and the overcast skies of our wet and cloudy early spring. In the morning the group took a rectangular walk counterclockwise using the blue and the white trails. Passing over a small bridge over the Mahwah River, on the blue trail the group passed by the soft white buds of pussy willow (Salix discolor). Along a horse trail bordered with lots of blackhaw viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium), a small patch of daffodils (Narcissus sp.) bloomed. Passing through a white pine grove, we came to the river bordered by a great many specimens of trout lily (Erythronium americanum), some of which were in bloom.

We made a short side trip up the Kakiat trail (white blazed) to see three blooms of round-leaved hepatica (Hepatica americana). On the way back to the picnic area in the main part of Kakiat Park, the group found two mustards and a pink in bloom: hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) and dry land bittercress (C. parviflora var. arenicola), along with common chickweed (Stellaria media).

After lunch, the participants hiked on the orange trail up Cobus Mountain to a rocky ledge from which great views of the valley below were seen. On the ledge area were bear oak (Quercus ilicifolia), chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), shadbush (Amelanchier arborea), along with lots of little blue stem grass (Schizachyrium scoparium).

Total attendance was 16. The trip leader was Dr. Patrick L. Cooney. Thanks to the many participants and especially Dr. William F. Standaert for his help with identification and for compiling the plant list.