Franny Reese Preserve
Highland, Town of Lloyd, Ulster County, New York
250 acres


just south of the Mid-Hudson Bridge (west of Poughkeepsie); Rt. 9W north into the Town of Highland, make a right onto Mack Lane (Kane Motors, a Sunoco gas station, and Wingate at Ulster mark the un-labeled street) and drive about 0.2 of a mile to a pull-off on the left hand side of the road by a gate (just before house #51). 


The preserve will be managed by the Palisades Interstate Parks Commission on behalf of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The Scenic Hudson Land Trust will transfer the land to NYS Parks at a later date.

Scenic Hudson dedicated an area of impressive ridgeline just south of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Mid-Hudson Bridge to the memory of Franny Reese. The rugged landscape offers views of the Mid-Hudson Bridge and Hudson River.

Reese's family was wealthy, as was her husband, Willis Livingston Mesier Reese, and his family. He was descended from Henry Livingston, Jr. an owner of Locust Grove in the 18th century.  She and Willis had five children together.

Franny Reese for four decades championed a revitalized Hudson Valley. Besides being an activist she was also an artist (water colors) and poet. She was a founder of Scenic Hudson.

1964  --  she led efforts to protect Storm King Mountain.

Early in the 17-year crusade, a federal court issued the Scenic Hudson Decision, which established the right of citizens to bring lawsuits to protect their natural resources, launching the modern environmental movement. Franny went on to help Scenic Hudson spearhead key legislation, including the Clean Water Act and Superfund law.

1966-1984  --  she was Scenic Hudson's board chair.

1990  -- her husband dies. 

1993-1998  --  she served on the Stewart Airport Commission.  She began the battle to preserve the 7,000 acres of open land. 

2003  -- she died at the age of 85, involved in a one-car accident in Philipstown.. 


carriage trails and stone walls crisscross the area. Views of the Mid-Hudson Bridge and Hudson River.


8/30/04.  It was a little tricky finding the place since it is not clearly marked (and the darn street is not even labeled by the village or town).  Pass around the gate and follow the wide path northeast and east, passing through some fields; you pass under a powercut at which point the path comes to a T-intersection; go left and walk until you come to the lookout point over the Mid-Hudson Bridge.  Poughkeepsie is in the background.  The railway bridge is to the north of the main bridge.  From the lookout point, to the right there is a path that zig-zags its way down to the road below.  On the first level below the look-out point there is a cement structure (a garage maybe?) and a mostly metal structure.  There were the remainders of a sign saying "Bono Rea" of Bono Real Estate and 331-. After pondering the sign remainders, I continued walking down the zig-zag trail for a ways.  Decided not to pursue it down to its end.  Turned around and came back the way I came in.  The terrain is relatively flat so the walk is pretty easy.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney 

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = plant found in bloom  on day of field trip, August 30, 2004

Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Catalpa sp. (catalpa)
Celtis occidentalis (hackberry)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Populus grandidentata (big tooth aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honey suckle)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose))
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus odoratus (purple-flowering raspberry) *
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Salix discolor (pussy willow)
Staphylea trifolia (bladdernut)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Vinca minor (periwinkle)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) * only a couple of blooms
Menispermum canadense (Canada moonseed)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Sicyos angulatus (one-seeded cucumber vine) *
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis aestivalis (summer grape)

Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) *
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut) *
Anemone virginiana (thimbleweed)
Apocynum androsaemifolium (spreading dogbane)
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arctium lappa (great burdock)
Arctium minus (common burdock)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort) *
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) *
Aster spp. (small white asters) *
Campanula rapunculoides (creeping bellflower) *
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed) *
Chelidonium majus (celandine)
Cichorium intybus (chicory) *
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Collinsonia canadensis (horsebalm) *
Cryptotaenia canadensis (honewort)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) *
Desmodium paniculatum (panicled tick trefoil) *
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink) *
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pileweed) *
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) *
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot) *
Euphorbia nutans (upright spurge) *
Euphorbia sp. (spurge) whitish at base of leaves in a whorl at the top of the stem (with flower buds in the middle)
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod) *
Fragaria virginiana (strawberry)
Galinsoga sp. (gallant soldiers) *
Galium mollugo (wild madder) *
Geranium sibiricum (Siberian geranium) *
Geum canadense (white avens) *
Hackelia virginiana (Virginia stickseed)
Helianthus divaricatus (woodland sunflower) *
Hieracium spp. (hawkweed) one of which was in bloom
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed) *
Lactuca biennis (tall blue lettuce)
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs) *
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco) 
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil) *
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) *
Medicago lupulina (black medick) *
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover) *
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose) *
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) *
Penstemon sp. (beardtongue)
Pilea pumila (clearweed) *
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) *
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) *
Polygonum lapathifolium (nodding smartweed) *
Polygonum pensylvanicum (Pennsylvania smartweed) *
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Potentilla canadensis (dwarf cinquefoil)
Potentilla norvegica (rough cinquefoil)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) *
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan) *
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Satureja officinalis (wild basil)
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion) *
Solanum nigrum (black nightshade) *
Solidago bicolor (silverrod) *
Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod)
Solidago canadensis var. scabra (tall goldenrod) *
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) *
Trifolium aureum (yellow clover)
Trifolium pratense (red clover) *
Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
Viola sp. (violet)

Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Danthonia spicata (poverty grass)
Digitaria sp. (crab grass)
Echinochloa sp. (barnyard grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum sp. (fluffy-headed panic grass)
Phleum pratense (Timothy grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal wood fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)