The Christman Sanctuary: A Picturesque Preserve in Duanesburg, NY
Explore the 120-acre Christman Sanctuary in Duanesburg, New York. This sanctuary is home to the Bozenkill Creek and acts as a preserve for the historical lands around it. The area is full of locust, pine, spruce, and cedar trees, making it a perfect sanctuary for various animals who call it home.
Nature Trails to Explore
There are two main trails in the park, along with a few smaller side trails. The trails can be walked during all seasons. In warmer months, explore the waterfalls and discover the tiny creatures living in the streams of water, such as salamanders, fish, crayfish, and more. In colder months, the trails can also be used for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The sanctuary is a popular year-round bird-watching spot as well!
Blue Trail Loop: Waterfalls and Scenic Points
The Blue Trail follows a one-mile loop starting at the lot entrance. A shorter side trail, the Yellow Trail, branches off from the Blue Trail and leads to a memorial for the Christman family. Following the Yellow Trail, you’ll find a gorgeous 30-foot waterfall, Bozenkill Falls. There are also some smaller waterfalls along the way! The Blue Trail loops around in a mile-long circle, leading back to the parking lot.
Orange Trail Loop: The Historic Plantation
The Orange Trail then loops off of the Blue Trail. It crosses the creek and leads out to a large field and plantation. In this preserved spot, you’ll find the locust, cedar, spruce, red pine, and white pine trees. These trees make a perfect canopy of shade for those hiking the trails in warmer months. The Orange and Blue loops combined make for a 2.2-mile route. These accessible and walkable trails are great for all skill levels.
The History of the Preserve
Will Christman spent most of his life working on his farm, which he later converted into a nature sanctuary. With this switch, he designed a 60-acre plantation of trees on the river’s east side along the Orange Trail.
Christman also wrote a lot of poetry inspired by nature. Before his death, he wanted to make sure the beautiful lands were preserved and enjoyed by others for years to come. He and his wife have a memorial at the end of the short Yellow Trail which features some of Christman’s poetry.
After Christman passed, Lansing and Lucille Christman, his son and daughter-in-law, inherited the land. In 1970, the Nature Conservancy acquired the original 97 acres from the Christmans, and the land is now a Registered National Landmark listed by the New York State Historic Trust.
Visiting: What to Expect
With the ability to customize the trail length you want, the sanctuary is perfect for family hikes. Keep it short for smaller children by walking .5 mile to the largest waterfall and then back to the parking area, or continue on the trail for 2 miles. The trails aren’t too challenging and offer stunning, rewarding views. Dogs are welcomed in the area too, but they must be leashed.
The trails have a new addition of wooden planks to cross over muddy areas, but if you’re visiting soon after it rains, you should be cautious of slippery terrain. Moreover, the trails are narrow, so make sure you wear the correct footwear.
Visiting the Christman Sanctuary is an amazing way for nature lovers to explore and learn about the surrounding region. With a landscape that changes entirely with the seasons, you never know what might be around the corner. Happy hiking!
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