Top Hill Preserve

Bucyrus Avenue, Mahopac, Town of Carmel, Putnam County, New York


The Preserve is less than a mile west of Croton Falls Reservoir. It is at the end of Bucyrus Avenue reached from the Croton Falls Mahopac Road.

Heading north on the Taconic Parkway, take the last exit in Westchester County (Route 6 east, Jefferson Valley); follow Route 6 north through the town of Jefferson Valley; in Mahopac, make a right turn onto Route 34 (Croton Falls Road) just past the red fire house; drive 1.7 of a mile and turn left onto Stebbins Road; drive 0.4 of a mile and make a left onto Bucyrus Avenue; drive 0.5 of a mile to the end of the road.


1969 The Putnam County Land Trust was formed to work for the preservation of open space and the protection of unique and sensitive habitats.

1974 the Preserve acquired as a gift from Luther Baumgartner.

2000 (Fall) Evan Sterling from Troop 341 in Mahopac asked the Putnam County Land Trust if he could work toward his eagle badge by doing a project on a land trust property.

2001 (Spring) Evan directed approximately 20 volunteers in creating and blazing 1.3 miles of trails on Top Hill.

2001 (September 23) had a Grand Re-Opening to celebrate the new trails.


woods with quite a few rock outcrops


1.3 miles of trails.


5/17/04.  There is a map of the place attached to a tree.  At this point the red trail has faded a great deal and the map needs to be replaced.  I headed in a clockwise direction.  The Red Trail goes around the area in a loop.  It can be extended by taking the two Yellow Trail extensions (the second yellow trail is a two-way trail with a loop at the end). There is a White Trail that goes through the middle of the preserve and that can be used to make a short-cut connecting the two far sides of the Red Trail.  At times it was hard to find the trail signs. Houses completely surround the area. 

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
date = date plants found in bloom, 5/17/04

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya sp. (hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) 5/17/04
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry) 5/17/04
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Salix sp. (willow)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Chimaphila maculata (striped wintergreen)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive) 5/1704
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus) 5/17/04
Forsythia sp. (golden bells) planted
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Vinca minor (periwinkle) * planted

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 5/17/04
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Arabis laevigata (smooth rock cress) 5/17/04
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress)
Chelidonium majus (celandine) 5/17/04
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) 5/17/04
Fragaria sp. (strawberry)
Galium circaezens (wild licorice)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower) 5/17/04
Medicago lupulina (black medick) 5/17/04
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil) 5/17/04
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaved crowfoot) 5/17/04
Ranunculus recurvatus (hooked crowfoot) 5/17/04
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)
Trifolium pratense (red clover)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
Veronica serpyllifolia (thyme-leaved speedwell) 5/17/04
Viola sororia (common blue violet) 5/17/04

Luzula multiflora (wood rush)

Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered sedge type)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex sp. (sedge)

Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass) 5/17/04

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Polypodium sp. (rock cap fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)