Freedom Plains, LaGrange, Dutchess County, NY
600 acres


Sprain Brook Parkway to its end (at mile 12.5) and merge into the Taconic State Parkway north (at mile 2.8). Drive  a little less than 45 miles and get off at the James Baird State Park exit (from left lane) at mileage marker 48.4. (The park entrance is one mile north of Route 55 (Poughkeepsie) exit.)  


Road cuts near James Baird State Park show the green schists (colored green by the metamorphic mineral chlorite) and phyllite (with a pearly luster on finely wrinkled cleavage surfaces) in this area. (Source: Van Diver 1985:85)


The land that is now James Baird State Park was at one time farm land that was donated to the state of  New York for park purposes in 1939 by James Baird.

Baird, a prominent contractor, with a Ph.D. in engineering, worked to head several engineering and construction firms before forming the James Baird Construction Company. Baird's company constructed the Lincoln Memorial and the Folger Shakespeare Memorial Library in Washington D.C.

1939 -- James Baird gave his farm as a state park to the state of New York. Other lands were subsequently added to the park.

1940 --  a Civilian Conservation Corps Camp was established in the park and 200 workers began construction of the golf course and clubhouse.  

1947  --  the clubhouse and golf course, which was designed by Robert Trent Jones, completed.

1948  --  officially opens on June 19, 1948.  

1951  -- the pool, bathhouse, and sports complex open.


From the first stop sign, there are thee ways to go.  Going straight takes one to the picnic/recreation area and the nature center.  Going right takes one to another picnic area and the gold course.  Going left takes one to the golf restaurant/golf store and to the southern end of the park trail. 

6/06/93.  From the parking lot by the golf restaurant, picked up the trail and went north.

8/10/04.  Picked up the trail, but this time I (along with Ceferino Santana) went south.  We must have missed the trail turn because we ended up at the Arlington High School baseball field.  We could hear the band practicing as we walked the trail.  Turned around and came back the same way we went out. 


Dr. Patrick Louis Cooney

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya sp. (hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus sp. (ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Ostrya virginiana (eastern hop hornbeam)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Populus grandidentata (big toothed aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock) -- lots
Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Chimaphila maculata (striped wintergreen)
Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Hibiscus syriacus (rose-of-Sharon) 8/10/04
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Rhamnus sp. (buckthorn) with green berries; opposite leaved; long-pointed
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose) 6/6/93
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry) 6/6/93
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry) 6/6/93 soon
Spiraea japonica (Japanese spiraea ) 8/10/04
Staphylea trifolia (bladdernut)
Vaccinium corymbosum (high bush blueberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple leaf viburnum) 6/6/93 lots of it
Viburnum dentatum (hairy arrowwood viburnum)
Zanthoxylum americanum (prickly ash)

Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Menispermum canadense (Canada moonseed)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax sp. (greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis spp. (grape)

Acalypha sp. (three-seeded mercury)
Achillea millefolium (yarrow) 8/10/04
Actaea alba (doll's eyes)
Ajuga reptans (bugleweed)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 6/6/93
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) 8/10/04
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut) 8/10/04
Anemone thalictroides (rue anemone) 6/6/93
Anemone virginiana (thimbleweed)
Antennaria sp. (pussytoes)
Apocynum androsaemifolium (spreading dogbane)
Aquilegia canadensis (columbine)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arctium minus (common burdock) 8/10/04 waning
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Aster acuminatus (sharp-leaved aster)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) 8/10/04
Cardamine impatiens (narrow-leaved bittercress)
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed) 8/10/04
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy) 8/10/04
Cichorium intybus (chicory) 8/10/04
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Cirsium sp. (thistle) 8/10/04
Collinsonia canadensis (horsebalm)
Conyza canadensis (horseweed) 8/10/04
Coronilla varia (crown vetch) 8/10/04
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 8/10/04
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink)
Duchesnea indica (Indian strawberry) 8/10/04
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pileweed)
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) 8/10/04
Eupatorium rugosum (white snake root) 8/10/04
Fragaria sp. (strawberry)
Galium aparine (cleavers)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) 6/6/93 and in seed
Geum canadense (white avens) 8/10/04
Hackelia virginiana (Virginia stickseed)
Hypoxis hirsuta (yellow star grass) 6/6/93
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed) 8/10/04
Lactuca canadensis (wild lettuce)
Leonurus cardiaca (motherwort)
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco) 8/10/04
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil) 8/10/04
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) 8/10/04
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose) 8/10/04
Osmorhiza claytonii (sweet cicely)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) 8/10/04
Paronychia canadensis (forked chickweed)
Phryma leptostachya (lopseed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) 8/10/04
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) 8/10/04
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed) 8/10/04
Potentilla canadensis (dwarf cinquefoil)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Potentilla sp. (cinquefoil) 6/6/93
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) 8/10/04
Pyrola elliptica (shinleaf)
Ranunculus bulbosus (bulbous buttercup) 6/6/93
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Sanicula gregaria (cluster sanicle) waning; yellow flowers; open area in canopy
Satureja vulgaris (wild basil) 8/10/04
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion) 6/6/93 8/10/04
Solidago bicolor (silverrod)
Solidago caesia (blue stem goldenrod)
Solidago gigantea (late goldenrod) 8/10/04
Solidago juncea (early goldenrod) 8/10/04
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) 8/10/04
Thalictrum dioicum (early meadow rue)
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 8/10/04
Trifolium repens (white clover) 6/6/93 8/10/04
Urtica dioica var. procera (tall nettle)
Verbascum blattaria (moth mullein) 8/10/04
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain) 8/10/04
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
Viola spp. (violets)

Juncus effusus (soft rush):
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

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

Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Bromus inermis (smooth brome grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Eleusine indica (zipper grass)
Leersia virginica (white grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue panic grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Lycopodium digitatum (ground cedar)
Asplenium rhizophyllum (walking fern)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady's fern)
Botrychium virginianum (rattlesnake fern) with fertile frond
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Pellaea atropurpurea (purple cliff brake)
Polypodium sp. (rock cap fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)