Hudson Valley segment of statewide birding trail opens – Times Union

New York’s statewide birding trail just expanded to include 39 locations in Hudson Valley, connecting residents to spots for prime birdwatching. Here, a crane is spotted in Rockland Lake State Park in the Hudson Valley.
Just in time for prime birdwatching season, the new Hudson Valley segment of a statewide birding trail has opened, adding 39 bird-watching locations in six counties to the network.
The locations encompass a mix of bird habitats on public and private lands throughout Columbia, Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, and Westchester counties, the Department of Environmental Conservation announced.
Locations include bird conservation areas like Hudson Highlands State Park, tidal swamps and marshes at Tivoli Bays Wildlife Management Area, and the Mount Peter Hawk Watch in Warwick, which provides a scenic overlook for raptor watching.
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“Exploring the Hudson Valley segment of the New York State Birding Trail is a sure way to grow and enrich an appreciation for the natural world,” said State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid in a news release. 
The DEC is taking a phased approach to opening new segments of the birding trail, announcing the New York City segment in October 2021, the Greater Niagara trail segment in February, and a trail of 20 birding locations in Long Island in March, totaling more than 130 birding locations.
Once finished, the birding trail will provide birdwatching opportunities for people of all ages and abilities across New York State. Accessibility and inclusivity are among the mandates of the trail, including promoting birding locations that can be accessed by car or public transportation.
In the Hudson Valley, several birding trail locations can be reached by the Cold Spring-Beacon Trolley Shuttle, which runs from Memorial Day to Veterans Day weekend.
The full New York State Birding Trail map is available at, which provides information on each birding site, including location and parking details, species likely to be seen, and interpretive materials such as a downloadable beginner’s guide to birding.
Several regional clubs, such as the Ralph T. Waterman Bird Club, also offer birding guides on their websites and coordinate birding field trips for members. Alan Peterson, rare and notable bird expert for the Waterman club, said the second week in May is usually the best time for birding of the year.
Birdwatching has quickly become one of New York’s fastest-growing recreation and tourism activities, according to the DEC. The New York State Birding Trail is managed by the DEC in collaboration with the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.
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Tracy Ziemer is bringing her love for the Hudson Valley to the Times Union’s expanded coverage across the region. She previously held editorial and content strategy roles at CNN, CNN Business, Food & Wine, and She loves dogs, gardening, hiking the Catskills, and tinkering with her c1860s home in Dutchess County. You can reach her at with feedback, tips and pitches.