Wednesday Wanderings presents Siegle-Kline Kill Conservation Area

Contributed photoSiegel-Kline Kill Conservation Area

This month, I’m excited to explore Siegel-Kline Kill Conservation Area together. This site is small but ecologically interesting, and includes a great sledding hill!

Siegel-Kline Kill is located just off County Route 21 (which may also appear in your GPS as Church Street) outside of the Village of Ghent. You’ll want to keep a lookout for the sign with the site’s trout mascot at the entrance to the parking lot.

Once you find the parking lot and have switched off the ignition, take a moment to consider the original Indigenous stewards of this land: the Mohican tribe. Despite tremendous hardship in being forced from here, today their community resides in Wisconsin and is known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community.*

As you hit the trails, please remember to keep your dog on a leash, carry out everything you carry in, and get a fishing permit, if you’re an angler! The Kline Kill that runs through the property is a trout stream regularly stocked by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. You can get a permit at clctrust.org/fishing. Permits are free, though CLC suggests a $25 donation to offset costs of managing the fishing program.

For this wander, we’ll start at the main parking lot and make a loop of the trails before heading to the sledding hill. Siegel-Kline Kill is a great place for a walk with kids, or if you have mobility issues — the trails are flat and either grass or packed earth. Make your way through the field on the Green Trail heading toward the tall trees and the creek. Many of these trees are sycamores, which love the damp soil near the creek. Unlike most trees, which have elastic bark that stretches as they age, the sycamore sheds layers of bark as it expands. This leads to patchy grey, brown, and greenish-white bark. With the leaves off the trees, it’s a great time to appreciate the beauty of bark.

Siegel-Kline Kill is home to plenty of birds that love the trees, especially woodpeckers! You may hear pileated or downy woodpeckers hammering away at the trees as you walk. Pileated woodpeckers have a bright red crown, a black and white body, and a long pointed bill. They’re larger than the downy woodpeckers, which also have less red on their heads, and have a more chisel-like bill.

As you leave the forest and return to the field, you’ll catch site of the sledding hill, which also provides a great view of the site and surroundings. If you decide to go sledding, please do so safely: follow all COVID-19 precautions, avoid crowding the sledding hill, and be especially careful during icy weather. Most importantly: have fun!

Land acknowledgment language provided by the Stockbridge Munsee Cultural Affairs Department.

I’d love to hear about your wanderings. Email info@clctrust.org or share your photos on social media — CLC is on Instagram @clctrust, and each Public Conservation Area has its own Facebook page.

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