Sleightsburgh Park
Sleightsburgh, Town of Esopus, Ulster County, New York
79-acre peninsula at the mouth of Rondout Creek


Heading north on Route 9W at the intersection of Route 299, drive 12 miles north at green mileage marker 12 32  and turn right onto North Broadway.  Drive 0.4 of a mile and turn right onto First Drive.  Drive less than 0.1 of a mile and turn left onto Everson Street.  In a short distance, turn right into the park entrance.


Original land was a sand deposit left by the actions of Rondout Creek and Hudson River.


1890s  --  hundreds of canal boats were in the area currently occupied by the Park access road.

The land came about with the closing of the Delaware and Hudson Canal.  At this time there was a surplus of barges.  The barges were beached alongside the south dyke of Rondout Creek and left there to decay on the Sleightsburgh Flats. 

Rondout became a busy terminal, so the channel was dredged, the sand was discarded on the flats thereby forming islands.  

1910  --  During the winter, the famous steamboat, Mary Powell and the steamboat Albany, docked just east of the present boat launch and fishing pier at the "Sunflower Dock."

1950s  --  the islands made of dredged sand were connected to each other when natural gas became a popular fuel.  The Central Hudson Gas and Electric Company built a road the length of the islands to bury the gas line.

1994  --  the land acquired by Scenic Hudson Land Trust, Inc.

1996  --  the town of Esopus bought the property from Scenic Hudson. 

2000 (June 9)  -- "The town received $49,250 to extend the existing 1,200-foot trail by 2,000 feet and build a 160-foot floating bridge over tidal lands.  A second project received $4,874 for hands-on educational programs at the park with the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and the creation of a permanent resource center for follow-up activities at the Esopus-Port Ewen Library." (


 Fishing pier, boat launch


This park is one of the designated sites of the Hudson River Greenway Water Trail.

Walking trails.

A the west end of the stone causeway across the 50-foot-wide tidal channel there is a sign that says WARNING: CAUSEWAY PASSABLE ONLY DURING LOW TIDE.  (There have been drownings here by those caught unaware; some children got caught up in the tangle of water chestnut.)

8/30/04.  The park is rather small and there is a body of water that cuts off one part of the peninsula from the other.  There is a Warning telling walkers not to go beyond the end of first part of the peninsula because of the danger of swift currents.  There is a very attractive view of the river waters from the end of the first part of the peninsula. There are informal paths around the central gravel/grass path (the gas line cut) that leads to the end of the peninsula that make the area seem a little larger.  The place is primarily used as a boat launch area.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = plant found in bloom  on day of field trip, August 27, 2004

Acer negundo (box elder maple)
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer saccharinum (silver maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Catalpa sp. (catalpa)
Celtis occidentalis (hackberry)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juglans cinera (butternut) according to park literature
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Salix sp. (willow)
Tilia americana (basswood)
Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Amorpha fruticosa (false indigo)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honey suckle)
Physocarpus opulifolius (ninebark)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Sambucus canadensis (elderberry)
Viburnum lentago (nannyberry viburnum)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Clematis virginiana (virgin's bower) *
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis riparia (riverbank grape)

Amaranthus cannabinus (salt marsh water hemp)
Amaranthus retroflexus (green amaranth) *
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) *
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut) *
Arctium lappa (great burdock)
Arctium minus (common burdock)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) *
Bidens comosa (straw stem beggar ticks) *
Chenopodium album (pigweed)
Cichorium intybus (chicory) *
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower) *
Conyza canadensis (horseweed) *
Cryptotaenia canadensis (honewort)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) *
Eupatorium fistulosum (trumpetweed) *
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot) *
Fragaria virginiana (strawberry)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Helenium autumnale (sneezeweed) *
Helianthus strumosus (pale-leaved sunflower) *
Heteranthera reniformis (kidney-leaf mud plantain)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed) *
Lactuca biennis (tall blue lettuce)
Lemna sp. (duckweed)
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper)
Lysimachia ciliata (fringed loosestrife)
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) *
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover) *
Mentha x piperita (pepperrrmint) *
Nuphar variegata (spatterdock)
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose) *
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) *
Peltandra virginica (arrow arum)
Pilea pumila (clearweed) *
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum hydropiper (water pepper) *
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Pontederia cordata (pickerelweed)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) *
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan) *
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Sagittaria latifolia (broad-leaved arrowhead)
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade)
Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod)
Solidago canadensis var. scabra (tall goldenrod) *
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) *
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue) 
Trapa natans (water chestnut) lots and lots of it
Trifolium pratense (red clover) *
Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot)
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
Urtica dioica var. dioica (stinging nettle)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein) *

Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex frankii (Frank's sedge) according to park literature
Cyperus dentatus (toothed flatsedge)
Scirpus americanus (three-square bulrush)

Digitaria sp. (crab grass)
Echinochloa sp. (barnyard grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)
Zizania aquatica (wild rice grass) according to park literature

Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)