Kitchawan Preserve
Route 134, Yorktown, Westchester County, NY
208 acres


Take the Taconic State Parkway and get off for the exit for Route 134 (at green mileage marker 11 09). Turn right at the stop sign. Drive 1.2 miles (at mileage marker 10 58) and turn left into the area.


Demonstration Gardens?  Not any more.

Hiking/walking, nature study, cross-country skiing.


The word appears in the 1683 Indian deed to Stephanus Van Cortlandt who developed Cortlandt Manor. The railroad station across from the park was always known as Kitchawan.

The Wood House was built in 1898 and was originally owned by Fernando Wood, a New York politician. He was the mayor of New York and a U.S. congressman during the Civil War. He proposed that New York City secede from the Union and declare itself a free port. He was one of the few in Congress to vote against the constitutional amendment ending slavery.
The laboratory was completed in 1959. Greenhouse was added in 1968.

8/14/03. The Warren Institute is now in possession of the buildings (Not Open to the Public).


"Stayback Hill and Kitchawan Preserve. The area contains a diversity of important snake species, including black rat snakes and northern copperheads . . . The area is also home to osprey and a combination of both forest interior songbirds and birds of fields and shrublands. Much of this area is protected, but some of the snake habitats have been degraded by off-road vehicle."

Source: Croton to Highlands Biodiversity Plan; or


To the east of the reserve are the old abandoned railroad tracks of the old New York Central's Putnam Division.

You can take a walk north alongside a farm all the way past three right turns (the last right turn is not really a path) down to the Croton River. I then turned back and went back to that second right turn I passed previously. This took me south and then down across a foot bridge and then along the stream back to the intersection with the north trail and the first right turn. This makes a rectangular walk.

Then I started over and took the first right turn (a small sign says to the beech grove). If you keep following this path (to Jackson Hill) it takes you uphill and then downhill to a power cut and then you can turn right (south) and take a short walk to the bike path of the North County Trailway alongside the Croton Reservoir. I then returned the same way I came.

8/13/03 -- This time there was only one right turn on the west side of the stream heading toward the Croton Reservoir. Well, that makes it easier I guess. This time I followed the yellow trail on the east side of the trail that also takes the hiker to the Croton Reservoir.

A huge unleashed dog tried to attack my new puppy, Sonar, but I was able to stop him by breaking part of a branch over the charging dog's back. I screamed at the owner "Don't you ever obey the law?" I was really mad. And right by the parking lot there is a huge sign saying "Dogs Must be On Leash." The puppy could have been scarred for live with a fear of other dogs. Damn those irresponsible dog owners. They all think there dog is nice and gentle, but I have to keep fighting these big dogs off me and my small dogs. Maybe I should get a pit bull and give these irresponsible pet owners a taste of what I have to go through so often when I'm out trying to do my botany. I guess they would think twice about letting their dogs loose then. I'll just say to the unleashed dog owners: "Oh, we can let our dogs off the leash? Oh, good. I'll just let my pit bull go. But you better watch your dog and yourself, because he does have a nasty temperament." (Thanks for letting me vent my anger.)

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
date = date plant found in bloom

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Aesculus sp. (chestnut tree)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush) 4/27/99
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) 4/27/99 bracts out
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash) 4/27/99
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Picea sp. (spruce)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus malus sp. (apple) 4/27/99 soon
Quercus alba (white oak) 4/27/99
Quercus rubra (red oak) 4/27/99
Quercus velutina (black oak) 4/27/99
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Salix sp. (willow) 4/27/99
Sassafras albidum (sassafras) 4/27/99
Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae) ?
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
planted some foreign conifers along the north trail

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) 4/27/99
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepper bush)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush) 4/27/99
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Lonicera maackii (Amur honeysuckle)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Pachysandra terminalis (pachysandra)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Spiraea sp. (spiraea) 4/27/99 just past crumbling bldg. at end of north trail; wh flwrs; spoon-shaped lvs
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)

Ampelopsis bracteata (porcelainberry)
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Dioscorea villosa (wild yamroot)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vinca minor (periwinkle)
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Actaea alba (doll's eyes)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 4/27/99
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit)
Asclepias syriaca (common mullein)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Boehmeria cylincrica (false nettle) 8/13/03
Cardamine? (toothwort) 4/27/99
Chelidonium majus (celandine) 8/13/03
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Cirsium sp. (thistle) 8/13/03 on private property
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower) 8/13/03
Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley)
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot) 8/13/03
Galium mollugo (wild madder) 8/13/03
Galium sp. (bedstraw)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Glechoma hederacea (gill-over-the-ground) 4/27/99
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed) 8/13/03
Iris sp. (blue or yellow flag)
Lycopus sp. (bugleweed)
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) 8/13/03
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Mentha arvensis (wild mint) 8/13/03
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Narcissus sp. (daffodil) 4/27/99
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) 8/13/03
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Podophyllum peltatum (may apple) big colony of it
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) 8/13/03
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed) 8/13/03
Potamogeton sp. (pond weed) 8/13/03 too far out in the reservoir to check
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) 8/13/03
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaf buttercup) 4/27/99
Ranunculus ficaria (lesser celandine) 4/27/99
Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum (water yellow cress; water cress)
Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod)
Solidago rugosa (rough-stemmed goldenrod) 8/13/03
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 4/27/99
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue) 8/13/03
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 8/13/03
Trifolium repens (white clover) 8/13/03
Trillium sp. (trillium)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Viola sororia (common blue violet) 4/27/99

Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex laxiflora type (sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark-green bulrush)

Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass) 4/27/99
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris intermedia (fancy woodfern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)