Michael Ciaiola Conservation Area
Stage Coach Road, town of Patterson, Putnam County, NY


Take US 684 north to its end (at mile marker 28.5); keep going straight on what is now Route 22 north;  at green mileage marker 11 34 turn right onto Thunder Ridge Road; drive 0.3 of a mile and turn right onto Birch Hill Road; drive 2.4 miles to the end of Birch Hill Road at a T-intersection; drive 0.2 of a mile and turn left into a small parking area.


2002 (May 11)  --  County Executive Bondi suggested that the county rename the Walter G. Merritt Conservation Area to the Michael Ciaiola Conservation Area. The area was one of Mike's favorite places.  He led the Land Trust for a number of years.  He died of cancer in 1999.


woods, stream


10/01/03.  Very brief visit after exploring the northwest section of Walter G. Merritt Conservation Area.  The trail map (available in a metal box hanging on a tree) was very confusing.  It looks like there is a figure eight hike that would could make using the different colored trail blazes.  There is an orange-blazed Firefighter George C. Cain Memorial Trail that starts near the small parking area. 

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
date = date plant found in bloom, 10/01/03

Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Chelidonium majus (celandine)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Vinca minor (periwinkle)

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Actaea alba (white baneberry)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Bidens frondosa (beggar ticks)
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Cryptotaenia canadensis (honewort)
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot) 10/01/03
Geum canadense (white avens)
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny day lily)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed) 10/01/03
Oxalis sp.
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) 10/01/03
Solidago juncea (early goldenrod)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)

Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered sedge type)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)

Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)

Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)