85 Sheafe Road, Wappingers Falls, Dutchess County, NY
301 acres

Riverside picnic areas, nature trails, nature museum. (914) 297-1224.


From Hastings-on-Hudson, NY;  Saw Mill River Parkway to the Hawthorne exit; left turn at light onto Rt. 9A that will lead into Route 9 north.    You can pick up US 84 at exit 13.  Drive west on US 84 and get off at Exit 11 for Route 9D north. If you set your odometer at 0 here then at 1.9 miles you pass Stony Kill State Environmental Education Center.  At 5.4 miles turn left onto Route 28.  At 6.6 miles turn right onto Main Street, New Hamburg.  At 7.2 miles turn left onto Schaffe Road.  At 7.8 miles turn left into the park entrance.  You can park near the nature museum.   

Or, from US 9, there are several ways to get onto Sheafe Road. One way is from the north end of the Galleria Mall, north of the park. Turn west onto Spring Road. At the stop sign turn left onto Sheafe Road. Bowdoin is 2.3 miles down Sheafe Road, on the right. Park at the museum/administration building lot by the flag pole and the public phone.


Across the Hudson River is the Ulster/Orange County line at Cedar Cliff.  Soap Hill is south of the line.  North of  the line are two quarries along the Hudson River.  North of  this is the town of Marlboro on Lattintown Creek.

From the various maps, it looks like the park is partly located in the Great Valley, and partly on part of  a Taconic Klippe ridge.  Van Diver (1992:80) tells us that the Taconic Klippe is a very large area stretching in a narrow band for 150 miles from Patterson to Ticonderoga.  A klippe is a mass of rock that has been moved bodily over other rocks to a new location, either by thrust faulting or tectonic landsliding.  The Taconic Mountain Range itself is composed of complexly deformed schists, phyllites, slates, marbles, gneisses, and quartzites.  

The park is located south of  Cobalt Lake and Clinton Point.  

History :  ( Poughkeepsie Journal:

"We think the area was inhabited by native peoples as long as 10,000 years ago,'' said Carolyn Plage, once president of the volunteer Bowdoin Park Historical and Archaeological Association.  Two archaeological digs conducted in this century uncovered substantial evidence of native-American life, including two stone shelters still accessible today.

Late in the 17th century, visitors came to the Native American village that existed on the site where today soccer fields are located.

The first recorded permanent land-owning settler was Pieter Lassen, who had his homestead at the park's north edge.  At one time there was a thriving community here.  (B. Buchanan, a longtime volunteer at the park).

During the 19th century, a long line of wealthy philanthropists with names such as Lennox, Grinnell, Sheafe and Donaldson, built estates here. The last of the line was the Bowdoin family.  "They were very involved with the Children's Aid Society,'' said Buchanan.

late 1920s  --  the family had deeded all its property to the society. For nearly half a century, many New York City children acquired their first taste of the country at what was called Bowdoin Farm.

1975  --  thanks to the efforts of citizens like Gretchen Leak, Anita Liguori, Liz Jermyn and Dan Hannigan on the Board of Supervisors, the County purchased the land and created the park.

An eleven acre piece of the Bowdoin purchase was set aside for the Tri-Municipal Sewer Plant.  When construction on the plant began, more than 40 graves of the county's earliest white settlers were discovered at the site, necessitating the sewer facility to be built around the old cemetery.  The digs in the area found artifacts dealing with the family and descendants of Peter Lassen.  

(Source: Ghee, Joyce C. and Joan Spence.  1999. Images of America: Poughkeepsie: 1898-1998, A Century of Change.  Charleston, SC: Arcadia Press.)


I really like this park.  There are a lot of different habitats: woods, lawns, fields, pond, estuary, near Hudson River.  And there are a lot of plants that the Torrey Botanical Society trips do not see since we don't usually get this far north.  


You can catch a trail near the nature museum and head south along the ridge.  Then you come down off the ridge onto the lawns of the park.  You can walk down near the railroad tracks of  the Hudson River Line of  Metro North.   


Dr. Patrick L. Cooney (corrected AS OF 4/27/01 by Joyce Hyon)

Acer negundo (box elder)
Acer pensylvanicum (striped maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple) 4/24/99
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Aesculus hippocastanum (horse chestnut)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood) 6/12/96 fruit
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Celtis occidentalis (hackberry)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust)
Juglans nigra (black walnut) 7/09/96 fruit
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Phellodendron amurense (cork tree)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Picea rubra (red spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Prunus pensylvanica (bird cherry) 4/24/99
Prunus serotina (black cherry) 5/29/96
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust) 5/29/96
Salix nigra (black willow)
Taxus baccata (yew)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus americana (American elm)
Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)

Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Amorpha fruticosa (false wild indigo)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush)
Cornus alternifolia (alternate-leaved dogwood) 5/29/96
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood) 6/12/96
Corylus sp. (hazelnut)
Epigaea repens (trailing arbutus?)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus) 6/12/96
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ligustrum sp. (privet) 6/12/96
Lindera benzoin (spicebush) 4/24/99
Lonicera morrowii (morrow's honeysuckle) 5/29/96 6/12/96
Philadelphus coronarius (mock-orange) 6/12/96
Physocarpus opulifolius (ninebark) 7/09/96 fruit
Rhamnus frangula (European buckthorn)
Rhodotypos scandens (jetbead)
Ribes rotundifolia (gooseberry)
Ribes sp. (gooseberry with spines with striped green fruit)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose) 6/12/96
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry raspberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry) 5/29/96
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry) 6/12/96
Sambucus racemosa (red elderberry) 4/24/99 soon
Staphylea trifolia (bladdernut)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush cranberry) 5/29/96
Viburnum acerifolium (maple leaf viburnum) 5/29/96 6/12/96
Viburnum dentatum v. dentatum (smooth arrowwood viburnum) 5/29/96 6/12/96
Viburnum lentago (nannyberry viburnum)
Viburnum opulus (ninebark viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)
Viburnum sp. (viburnum) 5/29/96
Vinca minor (periwinkle) 6/12/96

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (porcelain berry)
Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Cuscuta sp. (dodder) 8/14/96
Dioscorea villosa (wild yamroot) 8/14/96
Humulus lupulis (common hops)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) 7/09/96
Menispermum canadense (moonseed 6/12/96)
Mikania scandens (climbing hempweed)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Polygonum scandens (climbing false buckwheat)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vincetoxicum nigrum (black swallowtail) 5/29/96
Vitis riparia (riverbank grape)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Acalypha rhomboidea (three-seeded mercury)
Achillea millefolium (yarrow) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Actaea alba (doll's eyes) 7/09/96 in fruit
Aegopodium podagraria (goutweed) 7/09/96
Agalinis tenuifolia (slender gerardia) 6/12/96
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 5/29/96 7/09/96
Allium tricoccum (wild leek)
Allium vineale (field garlic) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Amaranthus cannabinus (salt marsh water hemp)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) 8/14/96
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Anemonella thalictroides (rue anemone) 4/24/99
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp) sessile 7/09/96
Arabis glabra (tower mustard) 6/12/96
Arabis sp. (rock cress) 6/12/96
Arctium lappa (great burdock) 8/14/96
Arctium minus (common burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort) 8/14/96
Asarum canadense (wild ginger)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) 7/09/96
Asparagus officinale (asparagus)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress) 5/29/96
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Campanula rapunculoides (creeping bellflower) 7/09/96
Campanula sp. (bellflower) 8/14/96
Capsella bursa-pastoris (shepherd's purse) 4/24/99
Cardamine hirsuta (hairy bittercress) 4/24/99
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Centaurea nigra (black knapweed) 8/14/96
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed) 4/24/99
Chamaecrista fasciculata (partridge pea) 8/14/96
Chelidonium majus (celandine) 4/24/99 5/29/96 7/09/96
Chelone sp. (turtlehead) 8/14/96 soon
Chenopodium album (pigweed)
Chenopodium gigantospermum (maple-leaf goosefoot) 7/09/96
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy) 6/12/96 8/14/96
Cichorium intybus (chicory) 7/09/96
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade) 7/09/96
Cirsium arvensis (Canada thistle) 6/12/96 soon 8/14/96
Cirsium sp. (thistle)
Collinsonia canadensis (horsebalm)
Conyza canadensis (horseweed) 8/14/96
Coronilla varia (crown vetch) 7/09/96
Cryptotaenia canadensis (honewort)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Desmodium glutinosum (pointed-leaf tick trefoil) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman's breeches) 4/24/99
Duchesnea indica (Indian strawberry) 6/12/96 also in fruit
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) 8/14/96
Erigeron philadelphicus (common fleabane) 5/29/96 7/09/96
Eupatorium sp. (purple at joints; winged leaf base)
Euphorbia cyparissias (cypress spurge) 5/29/96
Euphorbia esula (leafy spurge) 5/29/96
Euphorbia maculata (milk purslane)
Fragaria vesca (woodland strawberry)
Galium mollugo (wild madder) 6/12/96 8/14/96
Galium palustre (marsh bedstraw) 8/14/96
Galium sp. (bedstraw) with 4 fat lvs green-wh flowrs 7/09/96
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)
Geranium robertianum (herb Robert) 6/12/96 7/09/96
Geum canadense (white avens) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Geum laciniatum (rough avens) 8/14/96
Glechoma hederacea (gill-over-the-ground) 4/24/99 5/29/96 6/12/96 7/09/96
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny day lily) 7/09/96
Hepatica americana (round-lobed hepatica) 4/24/99
Hesperis matronalis (dame's rocket) 5/29/96 7/09/96
Hypericum perforatum (common St. Johnswort) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed) 8/14/96
Impatiens pallida (yellow jewelweed) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Iris pseudacorus (blue flag iris) 6/12/96
Iris versicolor (yellow flag iris) 6/12/96
Lamium purpureum (purple dead nettle) 5/29/96
Lapsana communis (nipplewort) 7/09/96
Lemna sp. (duckweed)
Leonurus cardiaca (motherwort) 6/12/96 7/09/96
Lepidium campestre (field pepper) 4/24/99
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper) 8/14/96
Lespedeza intermedia (wand-like bush clover) 8/14/96
Linaria vulgaris (butter-and-eggs) 8/14/96
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco lobelia) 8/14/96
Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia) 8/14/96
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil) 7/09/96
Lysimachia ciliata (fringed loosestrife) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort) 6/12/96 soon
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Matricaria matricarioides (pineapple weed) 6/12/96 7/09/96
Medeola virginiana (Indian cucumber root)
Medicago lupulina (black medick) 6/12/96 7/09/96
Melilotus officinalis (yellow sweet clover) 7/09/96
Mentha arvensis (wild mint) 8/14/96
Mentha spicata (spearmint) 8/14/96
Muscari armenia (grape hyacinth) 4/24/99
Myriophyllum spicatum (Eurasian water milfoil)
Nepeta cataria (catnip) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Nuphar variegata (spatterdock)
Oenothera biennis (evening primrose) 8/14/96
Ornithogallum umbellatum (star of Bethlehem) 5/29/96
Osmorhiza longistylis (aniseroot) 5/29/96
Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel) 5/29/96 8/14/96
Peltandra virginiana (arrow arum)
Phryma leptostachya (lopseed) 7/09/96
Physalis sp. (ground cherry) berries
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed) 6/12/96 soon 8/14/96
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) 5/29/96 8/14/96
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonatum biflorum (true Solomon's seal) 5/29/96
Polygonum arenastrum (dooryard knotweed) 8/14/96
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose knotweed) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Polygonum hydropiper (false mild water pepper knotweed) 8/14/96
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum pensylvanicum (pink knotweed) 8/14/96
Polygonum persicaria (lady's thumb knotweed) 8/14/96
Polygonum robustius (robust knotweed) 8/14/96
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed knotweed) 8/14/96
Pontederia cordata (pickerelweed) 8/14/96
Potamogeton crispus (curled pondweed)
Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil) 6/12/96
Prenanthes sp. (lettuce)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaved buttercup) 4/24/99
Ranunculus bulbosa (bulbous buttercup) 5/29/96 6/12/96
Ranunculus sceleratus (cursed crowfoot) 6/12/96
Rumex acetosella (field sorrel) 5/29/96
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Sagittaria sp. (arrowhead)
Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot) 4/24/99
Sanicula sp. (sanicle)
Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet) 7/09/96
Satureja vulgaris (wild basil) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Scutellaria laterifolia (maddog skullcap) 8/14/96
Silene antirrhina (sleepy catchfly) 6/12/96
Silene latifolia (white campion) 5/29/96 8/14/96
Silene vulgaris (bladderwort campion) 5/29/96 8/14/96
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Solanum carolinense (horse nettle nightshade) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade) 6/12/96 8/14/96
Solanum nigrum (black nightshade) 7/09/96
Solidago caesia (blue-stemmed goldenrod)
Solidago canadensis var. altissima (tall goldenrod) 8/14/96
Solidago gigantea (late goldenrod) 8/14/96
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 4/24/99 6/12/96 8/14/96
Thalictrum dioicum (early meadowrue) 4/24/99
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Thlaspi arvense (field pennycress)
Tragopogon pratensis (yellow goatsbeard) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Trapa natans (water chestnut)
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 5/29/96 8/14/96
Trifolium repens (white clover) 6/12/96 8/14/96
Trifolium sp. (hop clover)
Triodanis perfoliata (Venus looking glass) 7/09/96
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
Urtica dioica v. procera (tall nettle) 6/12/96 7/09/96 8/14/96
Uvularia perfoliata (perfoliate-leaved bellwort)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain) 7/09/96 8/14/96
Veronica arvensis (corn speedwell) 5/29/96
Veronica hederaefolia (ivy-leaved speedwell) 4/24/99
Vicia cracca (cow vetch) 6/12/96 7/09/96 8/14/96
Viola arvensis (European field pansy violet) 4/24/99
Viola pubescens (yellow forest violet) 4/24/99
Viola sororia (common blue violet) 4/24/99
Viola sororia var (confederate violet) 4/24/99

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

Carex cristatella (sedge)
Carex laxiflora type (sedge)
Carex lurida (sedge) 7/09/96
Carex scoparia (sedge)
Carex sp. (sedge)
Carex stipata (sedge)
Carex vulpinoidea (sedge)
Cyperus strigosus (umbrella sedge)
Scirpus atrovirens (darkgreen bulrush)

Agropyron repens (quack grass) 7/09/96
Alopecurus sp. (foxtail grass)
Arrhenatherum elatius (tall oats grass)
Bromus inermis (smooth brome grass) 7/09/96
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Digitaria sp. (crabgrass)
Echinochloa crus-galli (barnyard grass)
Eleusine indica (zipper grass)
Festuca rubra (red fescue grass) 7/09/96
Glyceria striata (mannagrass)
Holcus lanata (velvet grass) 6/12/96
Leersia oryzoides (rice cut grass)
Lolium perenne (English rye grass) 6/12/96 7/09/96
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Phleum pratense (timothy grass) 7/09/96
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Poa annua (annual blue grass) 6/12/96
Poa bulbosa (bulbous blue grass)
Poa pratensis (Kentucky blue grass)
Schizachyrium scoparia (little blue stem grass)
Setaria faberi (Faber's foxtail grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)
Setaria viridis (green foxtail grass) 7/09/96
Tridens flavus (purpletop grass) 7/09/96

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Equisetum hyemale (scouring rush horsetail)
Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort)
Athyrium filix-femina var. michauxii (northern lady fern)
Botrychium virginianum (rattlesnake fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris intermedia (intermediate woodfern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)
Matteuccia struthiopteris (ostrich fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)

Asarum europaeum (European wild ginger)?? Ed Emerson thought this might be the plant that stumped us 4/24/99; the leaves are a very glossy, dark green with the flower coming out between the two leaves. I looked at the picture for this species and it does not match. Bill Standaert thought it was Vincetoxicum nigrum.