Sean Hunter Ryan Memorial Park
north-west side of Bradley Hill Road, Nyack, New York
25 acres


From Hastings-on-Hudson, I took the Saw Mill Parkway north to US 287 west over the Tappan Zee Bridge.  Got off at exit 11 which put me on High Street.  Pass by the first street on the right and then at the light turn right onto Highland Avenue.  Go straight thru the light at the intersection with Main Street.  Nearing Nyack College I turn right onto South Highland Avenue; this avenue makes a turn to the right and starts uphill; in 0.2 of a mile turn right onto Bradley Hill Road. In a short distance (less than a 100 yards) you see the park sign on the right set back a ways from the road. 

(I turned right onto the driveway on my first visit, but on the second visit, the driveway was blocked off.  So I had to park along the street.)  The Long Path crosses Bradley Road here and climbs the hill past the preserve sign.

Bradley Hill Road divides Schuyler Town Park from Blauvelt Interstate Park. 


The property has natural features worthy of preservation in their currently undeveloped state. 

The western portion of the Blake property contains dramatic cliff faces and glacially cut ridgelines and boulders which turn into a series of meadows and stands of pines and old growth trees as one proceeds east on the property.

The parcel also contains logging trails and ponds as well as a stream which serves as a tributary to the Sparkill Creek.


Mary B. Blake Property.  The property was threatened by development.  There is an old white house needing painting and a separate three-car garage nearby. 

Press release for April 13, 2001:  let it be known that Governor Pataki announced the granting of $387,500 dollars to acquire and preserve the Mary B. Blake property. The acquisition will provide a crucial link between Schuyler Town Park, Buttermilk Falls County Park and Blauvelt State Park, ensuring a continuous greenbelt on the Hudson Highlands ridgeline.


April 9, 2004.  Nice spring weather.  Parked in front of the three-car garage.  Spotted orange trail signs in the woods just north of the garage.  Bushwhacked my way to it and started walking.  Found a white trail in the same vicinity and followed it southwest.  The trail is very wet with swampy area and swamp cabbage nearby.  The trail heads over a small stream.  At the base of a hill the white trail goes left (south) while an orange trail goes right (northwest) around the hill.  I took the orange trail right. Houses very close.  Soon start heading up the hill. Approach a road (Schuyler Road) by going between two houses (feels strange doing so); cross the road; cross a stream; start heading uphill; on the top is a colony of Hercules' club.  The orange trail comes to a T-intersection with the blue trail.  I go left and come to a nice viewing area, suddenly realizing that I have been here before and that this is Buttermilk Falls Park.  I remember standing here and being depressed by all the trees coming down for construction purposes. 

Looking southwest and west, I see below me from left to right: Rockland Toyota dealership; one skyscraper far in the background; drive-in theater (abandoned?); Art Auto Body, Inc.; a huge open field being used for some purpose or other; used cars; and on the far right, the Palisades Mall. 

I continue on the trail and start descending a zig-zag trail.  Decide not to continue going down since I would only have to come back up again.

Turn around and follow the blue trail past its intersection with the orange trail T-intersection. Head downhill on the blue trail and come to another lookout point.  Continuing downhill I come to Buttermilk Falls.  Sonar (young Jack Russell terrier) gets to see his first waterfall and is fascinated with the fast moving stream and falls.  Like a dog biting the stream coming out of a water hose, he snaps at the white water.  Turn around and go back to the Sean Hunter Ryan Memorial Park.  Come back to the white trail and decide to walk it around the hill the other way to see what's on  the other side.  Decide to quit when I see the trail go right and head up the Palisades cliffs (even though the cliffs look inviting).

8/11/04.  Brief stop.  Since they had blocked the driveway off, I had to park along the street.  Ceferino Santana and I walked around the hedge of Japanese barberry (yuck!) and started up hill along the blue-green blazed Long Path. The path rises to the top of the ridge.  There is a lot of hickory trees here and quite a few blackhaw viburnum shrubs.  Black Swallowwort is taking over parts of the ridge, just as at Hook Mountain.  There is a plaque on a rock dedicated to Sean Hunter Ryan (June 4, 1927 to August 12, 1995).  Starting to come down off the ridge, we take the white trail off to the left following the sign for Buttermilk Falls. Barely avoided stepping onto a yellow jacket nest in a hole on the side of the trail.  If they are disturbed, there can be very nasty results for the walker.

Did not walk that far.  Came to the intersection of the white trail with the orange trail and turned around.  The field really looks a mess with lots of shrubs invading the area.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
date = date plant found in bloom on field trips, 4/09/2004 and 8/11/04

Acer rubrum (red maple) 4/09/04
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)
Aralia spinosa (Hercules' club) colony of them
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Carya sp. (hickory)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Celtis occidentalis (hackberry)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus sp. (crabapple)
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)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Forsythia sp. (golden bells) 4/09/04
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)  4/09/04
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rhodotypos scandens (jet bead)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Taxus sp. (yew)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Clematis virginiana (virgin's bower) 8/11/04
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vincetoxicum nigrum (black swallowwort) 8/11/04 lots and lots of it on the ridge
Vitis aestivalis (summer grape)

Acalypha sp. (three-seeded mercury)
Achillea millefolium (common yarrow) 8/11/04
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut) 8/11/04
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) 8/11/04
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower) 8/11/04
Desmodium paniculatum (panicled tick trefoil) 8/11/04
Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman's breeches)
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pileweed)
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot)
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod) 8/11/04
Galinsoga sp. (gallant soldier) 8/11/04
Geranium sp. (geranium)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Hieracium sp. (hawkweed)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Medicago lupulina (black medick) 8/11/04
Mentha pulegium (American penny royal) 8/11/04
Narcissus sp. (daffodil)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) 8/11/04
Paronychia canadensis (forked chickweed)
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) 8/11/04
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed) 8/11/04
Potentilla canadensis (dwarf cinquefoil)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) 8/11/04
Pycnanthemum virginianum (Virginia mountain mint) 8/11/04 waning
Sedum sp. (sedum)
Silene stellata (star campion) 8/11/04
Solanum nigrum (black nightshade) 8/11/04
Solidago gigantea (late goldenrod) 8/11/04
Solidago rugosa (rough-stemmed goldenrod) 8/11/04
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage) lots of it
Vernonia noveboracensis (New York ironweed) 8/11/04
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)

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

Carex laxiflora (sack sedge)
Carex lurida (sallow sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)

Cinna arundinacea (wood reed grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Elymus hystrix (bottle-brush grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue stem grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Lycopodium arvense (field horsetail)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)