Perry Preserve (Dover Sand Hills)
Sand Hill Road, Dover Plains, Dutchess County, NY


The Perry Preserve is located in Dutchess County on Route 22. Take Interstate 684 north to Route 22 north. Follow Route 22 north through the towns of Pawling and Wingdale. About 5.5 to 6 miles north of Wingdale, you will come to Dutchess County Route 6 coming in from the east (on the left here you will see a big building with the sign 'Andren'). If you are coming up Rt. 22 from the south you take a right onto Rt. 6 (the very same Rt. 6 that forms Nellie's southern boundary); drive 1.1 miles and turn left onto Lime Kiln Road (there is a little triangle green space with a bench there); drive 1.3 miles (crossing over the Ten Mile River) and turn right onto Sand Hill Road (a real sharp turn up hill) and drive .02 of a mile and turn right into the small parking lot (for about 6 cars possibly). There is not much parking, so we frequently park our cars at Nellie and car pooled over.


The preserve is made of a series of low, narrow limestone ridges that parallel each other.  The ridges eroded over time leaving an area of white sand.


On the ridges are red cedar woodlands.  The lowlands consist of globally rare, rich sloping fens (where ground water level is exposed) with some unusual and rare animals. The locale is a statewide ecologically significant area. 

The New York State Natural Heritage Program and The Nature Conservancy ranks Dover Sand Hills as a B3 area (an area of high biodiversity).  It shares this rank in the Harlem Valley calcareous wetland habitat complex with Brace Mountain, Drowned Lands Swamp, Great Swamp, Mount Riga Fen, Nellie Hill, and Overmountain Road.

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Roger Perry was a chapter trustee for The Nature Conservancy.  He was committed to conservation internationally and locally.  He suffered an untimely death.


There is a small red-blazed trail that goes in a circular path. You can go counter-clockwise of clockwise around the path. The soil is very sandy here. A ridge of gray and white rock is the middle of the circular trail. Views off to the west are nice, looking over a huge red cedar area and up to the West Mountain.

On the west side of the area there is a dried-up pond (probably a vernal pond now). You can reach it by heading out on the far left trail that leads to a big open area like a power-cut.  It eventually goes uphill and at the top, turn left into the woods along a somewhat hard to see trail.  (If you get to a very sandy area, you have gone too far.)  Follow it to the vernal pond.  It's a little tricky, but the pond is worth a visit. 

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

Betula papyrifera (white birch)
Celtis occidentalis (hackberry)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar) lots and lots
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Pinus sp. (pine) 2 needled, 2" long
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)
Pyrus sp. (crab apple)
Salix sp. (willow)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Alnus sp. (alder) very hairy even on stem
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cephalanthus occidentalis (button bush)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Cornus racemosa (gray-stemmed dogwood) 6/23/02
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Ligustrum sp. (privet) 6/23/02
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Potentilla fruticosa (shrubby cinquefoil) 6/23/02
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rosa carolina (Carolina rose) 6/23/02
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Salix spp. (willows)
Salix discolor (pussy willow)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow) 6/23/02 10/23/01
Agalinis tenuifolia (common agalinis) 6/23/02 10/23/01
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting)
Anemone virginiana (thimbleweed) 6/23/02
Antennaria plantaginifolia (plantain-leaved pussytoes) 4/13/02
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)
Aquilegia canadense (columbine) 6/23/02
Arabis lyrata (lyrate-leaved rockcress) 4/13/02 lots 6/23/02
Arenaria serpyllifolia (thyme-leaved sandwort) 6/23/02
Arenaria stricta (rock sandwort) 6/23/02
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Asparagus officinalis (asparagus)
Aster ericoides (heath aster) 10/23/01
Aster novi-belgii (New York aster) 10/23/01?
Aster puniceus (purple stemmed aster) 10/23/01
Chenopodium album (pigweed)
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy) 6/23/02
Cirsium sp. (thistle) one of them was 10 feet tall
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 10/23/01
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink) 6/23/02
Draba verna (whitlow grass) 4/13/02 lots
Epipactis helleborine (helleborine orchid)
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) 6/23/02
Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset)
Euphorbia cyparissias (cypress spurge)
Fragaria virginiana (common strawberry)
Galium sp. (bedstraw) 8 in whorl with mucronate tip
Galium verum (yellow bedstraw) 6/23/02
Gentianopsis crinita (fringed gentian) 10/23/01
Hieracium piloselloides (smooth hawkweed) 6/23/02
Iris sp. (iris)
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper) 6/23/02
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil) 6/23/02
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
Melilotus officinalis (yellow sweet clover) 6/23/02
Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)
Nepeta cataria (catnip)
Origanum vulgare (wild marjoram)
Parnassia glauca (grass-of-parnassus)
Pastinaca sativa (wild parsnip) 6/23/02
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) 6/23/02
Plantago major (common plantain)
Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil) 6/23/02
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)
Pycnanthemum sp. (mountain mint)
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup) 6/23/02
Ranunculus bulbosus (bulbous buttercup) 6/23/02
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black eyed susan) 6/23/02
Tragopogon pratensis (goatsbeard) 6/23/02
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 6/23/02
Satureja officinalis (wild basil)
Silene sp. (pink)
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion) 6/23/02
Solidago canadensis var. scabra (tall goldenrod)
Solidago patula (rough-leaved goldenrod)?
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) 4/13/02
Thlaspi perfoliatum (thoroughwort penny cress)
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 6/23/02 10/23/01
Trifolium repens (white clover) 6/23/02
Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot) 4/13/02
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)

Carex lurida (sedge)
Carex stipata (sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Eleocharis sp. (spikerush)
Eriophorum sp. (cotton grass)
Juncus (soft stem rush)
Cyperus sp. (filicinus type?)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark-green bulrush) 6/23/02

Andropogon gerardii (turkey claw)
Bromus inermis (smooth brome grass)
Bromus tectorum (downy chess grass)
Panicum sp. (panic grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (canary reed grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue stem grass)

Ferns and fern allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern)

big stinkhorn mushrooms

2 hog-nose snakes on trail 6/23/02

6/23/02  -- trip with Patrick and Rosemary Cooney and Judith Fitzgerald