In 1990, GCSWCD initiated the development of an environmental education center on the banks of the Hudson River. Utilizing a 52.4-acre parcel donated to Greene County by The Nature Conservancy in the 1970s, the District drafted a phased development plan and worked to secure grants from a variety of sources. The Preserve provides access to the Hudson River shoreline and the property is characterized by several distinct forest types, tidal wetlands, rolling hills as well as steep slopes near the river.
In 1996, the District entered into a partnership with Columbia Greene Community College (CGCC) to undertake the development of an Environmental Field Station which could support thecollege's programs as well as be used by other environmental education organizations. The District coordinated the construction of a 1200 square foot structure which contains a lab, classroom and prep space. The building was constructed primarily by GCSWCD, CGCC, Greene County Buildings and Grounds Department, Greene County Highway Department, and the Town of Athens Highway Department. Some work –such as the roof system – was contracted to private builders.
In 1998, the District constructed a pond and wetland area in the preserve. Located on the upper portion of the property, the pond increases educational opportunities at the Preserve and provides more variation in habitat - encouraging greater species diversity.
Today, the Cohotate Preserve has Hudson River frontage for the public to enjoy. The Preserve is open year-round for hiking, snowshoeing, and plant and wildlife viewing. Trails include interpretive signs to inform visitors about birds, wildlife, and forest habitats. Bring your sense of curiosity, as you picnic on the remains of an ice house foundation at the river's edge, or watch for bald eagles and great blue herons from one of the several observation platforms.
Location: 450 Route 385, Athens, New York 12414
Hours: Trails are open year-round from dusk to dawn
Admission: No fees
Parking: Please use the gravel parking lot at the entrance off of Route 385