TIVOLI BAYS component of the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve and the TIVOLI BAYS WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA
Red Hook, northern Dutchess County, New York
1700 acres

The area stretches about three miles from Barrytown north to Tivoli.


North on Route 9 through Rhinebeck; turn left (north) onto Route 9G at traffic light at the intersection of Routes 9 and 9G; drive 5.8 miles to a parking area on Route 9G or continue an additional 0.8 miles and turn left onto Kidd Lane; drive 0.5 miles to the Research Reserve at the brown and yellow NYSDEC sign of the left.

Kiviat, Esther. 1999. Changing Tides: Tivoli Bays: A Hudson River Wetland. Fleischmanns, NY: Purple Mountain Press.


North Bay is 200 acres of mostly cattails. In addition, there are 150 acres of tree and shrub swamp. South Bay is larger and more open, with few cattails. This area is a shallow wetland cove with mudflats exposed at low tide.


olden times -- island complex occupied by Wappinger and then Mohican tribal groups

1680 -- Colonel Peter Schuyler, an Albany merchant & later mayor of Albany for 12 years, purchases Cruger Island from the native Americans.

Schuyler gets a patent grant from Governor Dongan (including town of Red Hook).

1720 -- Barent Van Benthuysen purchased the middle portion of the patent, including Cruger Island. He erects a big house known as the "Castle," near the eastern end of what became Cruger Island Road.

1812 -- a map of this period calls Cruger's Island, Magdaline.

1812 -- Dr. John Masten of Kingston buys Cruger Island. Builds a house at the south end of the island.

prior to 1835 -- Cruger Island Road, a causeway, built.

1835 -- After the death of his wife, wealthy New Yorker John Church Cruger buys the island.

1838? -- their house burns down.

1843 -- Cruger marries Euphemia Van Rensselaer. He expands a cottage into a mansion..

1879 -- Cruger dies.

1888 -- Mrs. Cruger dies. Two spinster sisters, Cornelia and Catherine, stayed on in the house.

1914 -- Catherine Cruger dies.

1919 -- the Mayan sculptures on South Cruger Island purchased by the American Museum of Natural History in NYC when Cruger Island briefly owned by New Yorker L. G. Hamersley, who then built a great gray Tudor mansion on the mainland.

Before 1922 -- house sold. House later torn down.

1922 -- Cornelia Cruger dies.

1926 -- bread manufacturer Robert Boyd Ward buys Cruger Island. Ward then conveyed the estate to the New York Society for Improving the Condition of the Poor for a home for the aged and convalescents and as a summer outing camp for working class families. At one time there were 2 boys' camps on Cruger Island and 4 girls' camps on the mainland.

1930s -- "rum running" in Tivoli Bays, to Cruger Island, to river boats bound down the river to NYC.

1947 -- archeologists survey the southernmost island, South Cruger Island.

1960 -- Bard College buys the Tudor mansion, now used as a college dormitory.

1979 -- Cruger Island and part of mainland purchased by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

1982 -- Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve established.


North Bay Trail. Blue Trail. Once on Kidd Lane pass over Stony Creek and park on the left in a parking area. Head southwest on the trail parallel to Stony Creek down to another parking area. This trail is largely within a hemlock ravine with a marsh area below with giant reed grass and cattails. Continue going southwest over several bridges and then southeast and then east on the Hogback Trail. Once reaching a paved road one can return to the North Bay Trail by heading west on the Overlook Trail.

Or one can continue south west on the North Bay Trail passing the Hogback Trail and catching the South Bay Trail located along Cruger Island Road. This trail goes southwest passing near by the Blithewood Mansion and then a field station and then comes to a parking area on Bay Road on the campus of Bard College.

You can drive part of the way down Cruger Island Road to a parking area on the right.  Then walk down the road through the forest to a wet path that leads to railroad tracks.  Pass over the tracks and angle slight to the right to find the narrow foot trail.  At high tide the path through the salt marsh area can be deep, so carefully watch the tidal flow when you are there.


10/15/2006.  Parking on Cruger Island Road, my wife Rosemary and I walked west on the dirt road to the gate.  We turned left to take the trail a little ways north to the scenic overview of a Phragmites swamp and beyond to the houses on the west bank of the Hudson River.  Very nice view.  There is a parking area here (if you have a permit) and a sign that says: Overlook Trail .18 of a mile; Stony Creek Canoe Launch .43; and Kidd Lane 1.0. 

We turned around and walked south to the gate again.  We continued the walk west.  The path here is is often wet.  The Phragmites marsh is on the right.  A short walk brings the walker to the railway tracks.  Cross over the tracks and pick up the path through the restricted area (Cruger Island).  (The area is closed January 1 to August 15.) 

We noticed that there is a a lot of periwinkle on the Island.  On the map of the Island the path heads to the northern end of the Island, curves around to the western side of the Island.  Then the path heads all the way down to the southern end.  The map shows a short-cut from the western side of the Island connecting to the entrance path.  But we discovered that there is no such short-cut.  So, our walk was longer than we had anticipated.  At the southern end we had to turn around and walk all the back along the path we came in on.

There was a group of fisherman in five boats or something in the baby.  We were surprised when we saw all five boats tied up along the shore.  A little walk from here brought us to their camp where there were four tents up.  We had smelled smoke on the trail and now discovered that a campfire was the source.  One of the fellows just warned us that they had about four of their guys out squirrel hunting.  (It was the first day of hunting season.)  While walking south on the trail someone not too far away shot his weapon and man was it loud.  That sound could not have been mistaken for a firecracker.  It was way too loud.   There are the remains of an old cherry and some brick wall remains.  Patrick L. Cooney


Esther Kiviat; Dr. Patrick L. Cooney (01/13/02); P. Cooney & Judith Fitzgerald (8/03/02); P. Cooney (10/15/2006)

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Amelanchier sp. (shadbush)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula papyrifera (white birch)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Catalpa sp. (catalpa)
Celtis occidentalis (hackberry)
Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white cedar)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus sp. (ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus rigida (pitch pine)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus avium (bird cherry)
Prunus persica (peach)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus communis (pear)
Pyrus malus (apple)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Acanthopanax sieboldianus (five leaf)
Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Amorpha fruticosa (false indigo)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush) *
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Cornus sericea (red-osier dogwood)
Forsythia sp. (golden bells)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)  10/15/2006
Leucothoe sp. (leucothoe)  ? 
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Lonicera x bella (Bell's honeysuckle)
Philadelphus sp. (mock orange)
Physocarpus opulifolius (ninebark)
Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn)
Rhamnus frangula (European buckthorn)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rosa palustris (swamp rose) *
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Salix discolor (pussy willow)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Staphylea trifolia (bladdernut)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (mapleleaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (smooth arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (hairy arrowwood viburnum)
Vinca minor (periwinkle)
Zanthoxylum americanum (common prickly ash)?

Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut) *
Apios americana (groundnut) *
Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Clematis virginiana (virgin's bower)
Cuscuta sp. (dodder)
Dioscorea villosa (wild yamroot)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vinca minor (periwinkle)
Vincetoxicum nigrum (black swallowwort)
Vitis sp. (grape)
Wisteria sp. (wisteria)

Acalypha rhomboidea? (three-seeded mercury) *
Achillea millefolium (common yarrow) *
Acorus calamus (sweetflag)
Actaea rubra (red doll's eyes)
Agrimonia gryposepala (agrimony) *
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Amaranthus cannabinus (salt marsh water hemp) *
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Anemone canadensis (Canada anemone)
Anemone virginiana (thimbleweed)
Antennaria sp. (pussytoes)
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp dogbane) *
Aquilegia canadensis (columbine)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arctium lappa (greater burdock) *
Arctium minus (common burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit)
Artemisia biennis (biennial wormwood)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort )
Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Aster divaricatus (white woodland aster)
Aster novi-belgii (New York aster)
Bidens spp. (beggar ticks) Eaton's bur-marigold and estuary beggar ticks threatened
Bidens discoidea? (strawstem beggarticks)
Caltha palustris (marsh marigold)
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed)  10/15/2006
Centaurea sp. (hybrid brown knapweed) *
Ceratophyllum demersum (coontail)
Chaernorrhinum minus (dwarf snapdragon) *
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy)
Cichorium intybus (chicory) *  10/15/2006
Cicuta maculata (water hemlock) *
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade) *
Conyza canadensis (horseweed)
Cryptotaenia canadensis (honewort)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) *
Desmodium canadense (showy tick trefoil) *
Echium vulgare (viper's bugloss)
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) *
Eriocaulon parkeri (Parker's pipewort) endangered
Eupatorium fistulosum (trumpetweed) * soon; 10/15/2006
Eupatorium maculatum (spotted Joe-Pye-weed) *
Eupatorium perfoliatum (white boneset)
Eupatorium purpureum (sweet-scented Joe-Pye-weed) * soon
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot) *  10/15/2006
Gentiana andrewsii (closed gentian)
Gentiana crinita (fringed gentian))
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)
Geum canadense (white avens) *
Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy)
Helenium autumnale (sneezeweed)
Helianthus sp. (sunflower)? * disk yellow, 10 rays, smooth stem, lvs rough on top
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny daylily)
Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa (blunt-lobed hepatica)
Hibiscus moscheutos (swamp rose mallow)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed) *
Impatiens pallida (yellow jewelweed) *
Iris pseudacorus (yellow iris)
Iris versicolor (blue iris)
Laportea canadensis (wood nettle) *
Lapsana communis (nipplewort) *
Lemna sp. (duckweed)
Lilium canadense (Canada lily)
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs)
Linaria canadensis (toadflax)
Lindernia dubia (false pimpernel) *
Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower)
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco lobelia) *
Lysimachia ciliata (fringed loosestrife) *
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) *
Medicago lupulina (black medick) *
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover) *
Mentha arvense (wild mint) *
Micranthemum micranthemoides (Nuttall's micranthemum)
Mimulus ringens (monkey flower) *
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Myriophyllum spicatum (Eurasian watermilfoil)
Nuphar advena (yellow pond lily)
Oenothera biennis (evening primrose)
Orontium aquaticum (golden club)
Osmorhiza claytonii (sweet cicely)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) *
Peltandra virginica (arrow arum)
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Plantago cordata (heartleaf plantain)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy true Solomon‘s seal)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) * 10/15/2006
Polygonum hydropiper (water pepper) *
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed) *
Pontederia cordata (pickerelweed) *
Potamogeton perfoliatus (redhead grass pondweed)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) *
Ranunculus hispidus var. caricetorium  (buttercup)  10/15/2006
Rudbeckia laciniata (green-headed coneflower)
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Sagittaria latifolia (broadleaf arrowhead)
Sanguinaria canadense (bloodroot)
Scrophularia sp. (figwort)
Scutellaria lateriflora (maddog skullcap)
Sisyrinchium sp. (blue-eyed grass)
Sium suave (water parsnip) *
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Smilax herbacea (carrion flower)
Solidago bicolor (silverrod)  10/15/2006
Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod)  10/15/2006
Solidago flexicaulis (zig-zag goldenrod)
Stachys palustris (marsh hedge nettle) *
Stellaria pubera (star chickweed) *
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue) *
Trapa natans (water chestnut)
Trifolium pratense (red clover)  10/15/2006 
Trifolium repens (white clover) *
Trillium erectum (red trillium)
Tussilago farfara (colts foot)
Typha angustifolia (narrowleaf cattail)
Typha latifolia (broadleaf cattail)
Urtica dioica var. dioica (stinging nettle)
Vallisneria americana (wild celery)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain) *
Viola spp. (violets)
Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle)

Juncus canadense (Canada rush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex laxiflora type (sedge)
Eleocharis ovata (ovate spikerush)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark-green bulrush)

Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Echinochloa crus-galli (barnyard grass)
Echinochloa muricata (barnyard grass)
Elymus virginicus (Virginia wild rye grass)
Leersia virginica (white grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Phleum pratense (Timothy grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Poa compressa (Canada bluegrass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria sp. (foxtail grass)
Zizania aquatica (wild rice)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dryopteris intermedia (fancy woodfern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Polypodium sp. (rock cap fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern)