Gypsy Trail Road, Town of Kent, Putnam County, NY
1,023 acres


From the south:

Saw Mill River Parkway north to the Taconic Parkway (get on at mile 4.0); get off at the exit for Peekskill Hollow Road (at mile marker 25.8); drive 3.8 miles to the end of Peekskill Hollow Road and turn right; drive 3.7 miles and turn left onto Gypsy Trail Road; drive 2.3 miles and turn left onto the entrance road; drive to the end of the road where it is blocked off by a gate; park.


From the village of Carmel, turn west onto NY 301. Cross the West Branch Reservoir causeway, at the end of which take an immediate sharp right onto Gypsy Trail Road/Putnam County 41. Drive 2.3 miles, past the first two state forest and forest ranger signs to the third sign. Turn left onto dirt Ninham Mountain Road. Drive uphill to the gate.

History (Peggy Turco):

Sachem Daniel Ninham and his Wappinger Munsee people owned this land. In 1756 refugees from various tribes joined with Daniel Ninham and the camp moved to the Housatonic Valley, then to Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Ninham tried to use the courts to get his Putnam land back, but the courts were biased and Ninham lost his case. For further events in Ninham's life see Tibbet's Brook (Yonkers).

The west side, the mountain itself, also was farmed, mostly by members of the Smalley family, which is why on old maps the mountain is called Smalleys Hill.

The fire tower was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.


This area is bisected by the Gypsy Trail Road.

The west side is an old farm in the Pine Pond valley. It has old fields, deciduous woods, and a pond.


6/10/94. The west side contains two north-south trails that pass through old fields, deciduous wood, and a pond. You can go north from the parking area or south from the parking area, each time returning the way you came.

Or you can head up the hill to the fire tower on Ninham Mountain. The tower used to be open but no longer. The bottom rungs have been removed from the stairs. As is so typical of all too many parks in the Torrey area, the top is covered with broken glass. Because the tower is closed you can't see much at all. You used to be able to see Pine Pond (to the east); West Branch Reservoir (a meandering lake); Lake Gleneida (in Carmel); open pastures; Interstate 84; the communications tower on Depot Hill; Fahnestock plateau; Bull Hill; fire tower on South Beacon Mountain; steep hills over Peekskill Hollow; power lines; and the Shawangunks and Catskills (to the west).

9/30/03. They have fixed the fire tower steps and picked up the garbage!! The place actually looks nice. I walked north from the fire tower but soon came to the sign: "Water Supply Land: Entry by Permit Only; Access with Applicable Recreational Use Permit Only; For permit information, call: 1-800-575-LAND," so I turned around and came back to the fire tower and then back to the parking area. Then I walked south for awhile. Passed two trails going off to the right, followed by one that goes both right and left off the main south trail. At this latter junction are the stone remains of a small house on the left. Descended farther until I came to a hemlock area with pretty rock cliffs, both on the left (swampy area on the right) and turned around to come back. Interesting that I saw only two vines of the very invasive Asiatic bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) and no wineberry.


Progress on the Tower: 

Hi, I am George Baum, Chairman of the Conservation Advisory Committee of the Town of Kent, NY. We are an appointed volunteer committee to advise the Town Board on conservation issues and to conduct  various conservation  projects. I would like to update the information on your interesting web site regarding the fire tower on Mt Ninham. There is more information here than you might want to include so feel free to edit.   The tower is now open to the public. DEC gave the Town of Kent, Conservation Advisory  Committee stewardship for the tower restoration. After a five year effort, we have replaced the 102 wood steps with steel, reinforced the floor of the cabin at the top, and painted the 90 foot tower. We spent over $30,000 on this effort. Each step bares the name of a donor to the project. The tower was formally opened on July 24, 2005, with a music festival attended by DEC representatives from New Paltz. The Kent CAC continues to maintain the tower and upgrade the space around the tower. We are also marking some of the alternate trails through the woods to the tower.

Dr. Patrick Louis Cooney
dates = date plants found in bloom

Abies balsamea (balsam fir)
Acer pensylvanicum (striped maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Larix sp. (larch) big cones
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus malus (apple tree)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Chimaphila maculata (striped wintergreen)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Comptonia peregrina (sweet fern)
Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)
Corylus sp. (hazel)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry) 6/10/94
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) 9/30/03
Ilex verticillata (winterberry)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) 6/10/94
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rosa carolina (pasture rose) 6/10/94
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose) 6/10/94
Rubus flagellaris (northern dewberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry) 6/10/94
Spiraea sp. (spiraea)
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Vaccinium stamineum (deerberry) 6/10/94
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Vinca minor (periwinkle)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Polygonum scandens (climbing false buckwheat)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vincetoxicum nigrum (black swallowwort) 6/10/94 lots of it along road
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

Acalypha sp.
Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Agrimonia gryposepala (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arctium sp. (burdock) 9/30/03
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) 9/30/03
Aster novi-belgii (new York aster)
Aster spp. (asters) 9/30/03
Bidens comosa (beggar ticks) 9/30/03
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
Chelidonium majus (celandine) 6/10/94
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy) 6/10/94
Cichorium intybus (chicory) 9/30/03
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)
Cirsium discolor (field thistle)
Comptonia peregrina (sweet fern)
Conyza canadensis (horseweed)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 9/30/03
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink) 9/30/03
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pileweed)
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) 9/30/03
Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset)
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot) 9/30/03
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)
Galium mollugo (wild madder)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) 6/10/94
Geranium robertianum (herb Robert)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Hackelia virginiana (Virginia stickseed)
Hedeoma pulegioides (American pennyroyal)
Hieracium sp. (hawkweed) 6/10/94
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Leonurus cardiaca (motherwort)
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper)
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
Matricaria matricarioides (pineappleweed)
Melilotus officinalis (yellow sweet clover) 6/10/94
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) 9/30/03
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) 9/30/03
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup) 6/10/94
Rumex acetosella (sheep sorrel)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet) 9/30/03
Satureja vulgaris (wild basil) 9/30/03 waning
Sedum sarmentosum (stonecrop)
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion) 6/10/94
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Solidago bicolor (silver rod) 9/30/03
Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod) 9/30/03
Solidago rugosa (rough-stemmed goldenrod) 9/30/03
Sparganium sp. (burreed)
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 9/30/03
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)

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

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Cyperus sp. (nut or umbrella sedge)

Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Digitaria ischaemum (smooth crab grass)
Echinochloa crus-galli (barnyard grass)
Eleusine indica (zipper grass)
Elytrigia repens (quack grass)
Leersia oryzoides (rice cut grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)

Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal wood fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)