Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

November‎ ‎17‎, ‎2018 – Oscawana Island Nature Preserve – Crugers, NY

Difficulty: Easy

Length: Approximately 1 mile

Max elevation: 69 ft.– total elevation gain approximately 101 ft.

Route type: Out and back

Maps: None available

Trailhead parking: Oscawana Island Nature Preserve – Cortlandt Street, Croton-On-Hudson, NY 10520

 

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve is a natural Hudson River waterfront park that is bisected by the Metro North Railroad Line. Oscawana Island lies along the Hudson River. This is an excellent spot for birding and possibly sighting a Bald Eagle in winter. The park also has tidal marshlands frequented by Least Bittern and a newly grown forest that contains a river flowing through the mid-northern section.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Westchester County purchased the land in 1958 and currently has an inter-municipal agreement with the Town of Cortlandt who uses and operates the property for municipal recreational purposes.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

This preserve is very small and the various trails only add up to about a mile. nevertheless it is a nice place for a leisurely walk with nice views of the Hudson River. Oscawana Island Nature Preserve can be combined with McAndrews Estate which utilizes the same parking area and is right across the street, for a longer hike.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

From the parking area, I proceeded past the gate onto the main trail.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

The main trail runs along a wide woods road and heads in a westerly direction.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

This trails here are not marked, but really easy to follow.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

In a short distance, the trail crosses over the tidal marsh. Below, looking north.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Looking south.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

The main trail passes a short spur trail on the right and begins to climb as it curves to the left.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

The trail continues to climb as it then curves to the right.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

The trail then crosses above the Metro North Railroad tracks.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

A short distance later, just to the left of the trail is a brick fireplace.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

A house once stood on this spot and some of the foundation is still visible. The short brick column in the foreground was the end of the house.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Back on the main trail, it descends towards the edge of the Hudson River where there is a bench and a picnic table.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

To the left, the trail continues a short distance to another bench, with south facing views of the Hudson River.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Looking south, the large land mass on the right, sticking out into the river is Hook Mountain.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

In the far distance, the new Tappan Zee Bridge can also be seen on a clear day.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

A closeup view of Hook Mountain.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

To the left of the bench, the trail, now a narrow footpath, continues past a small brick structure. The trail fizzles out a short distance in.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Looking north, the land mass on the right is George’s Island Park.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Looking south towards Hook Mountain.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Looking west from a rock outcrop towards Stony Point.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Retracing my steps, I headed back up the main trail.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Another brick structure, just down the hill to the right.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Now descending, an interesting split tree and split rock combo.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

When I reached the junction with the short spur trail, I turned left.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

This short trail leads to a boat launch and a bench along the tidal marsh. This is a good place to relax and view all types of birds.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Looking west across the tidal marsh. While sitting here, an Egret hovered over me and landed on the tree branches directly above me. By the time I got the camera out, it flew off.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Looking east across the tidal marsh towards Cortlandt Street.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

An interesting tree.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

I then retraced my steps back to the main trail and turned left.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

A short distance later, I came to the gate by the parking area.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

The parking area can accommodate quite a few cars.

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

A nice little preserve by the Hudson River and in the past I have seen some Bald Eagles here. I normally hike McAndrews Estate (Oscawana County Park) as well when I come here. It makes for an enjoyable hike.

Pros: Hudson River views, ruins, bird activity, quiet in the colder months.

Cons: None.

Take a hike!

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

Oscawana Island Nature Preserve

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