• Chelsea Susan Bednar

East Chatham’s BEST Hikes & Nature Conservatories

The unique advantage to staying in East Chatham is that it’s right in the center of all the best nature conservatories and trailheads. Seriously - you could pack a week's worth of excursions and still have more to explore. With so many options it can be hard to choose, so we’ve done the work for you! Below we’ve listed some of our favorite hiking recommendations:



Public Conservation Area Map


Public Conservation Area Guide | Brochure


Getting Around


Before you begin your adventures, you’ll need to be equipped with directions in hand. All Trails is a curated trail app you can download directly to your smartphone, we highly recommend it. If you want something tanglible in hand, we recommend stopping by the Chatham Book Store for booklets on hiking and the local area.



An Educational Experience

Nature Quest is an interactive educational experience, proving a hands on learning experience for all ages. The CLC has eight Public Conservation Areas to explore and learn about! Tag #CLCNatureQuest to share your journey with us.

The Nature Quest Book can be downloaded here. For a physical copy, visit one of our partnering libraries. A guided audio tour is also available: click here to download TravelStorys onto your smartphone.

Columbia Land Conservatory


There are quite a few trails that fall under the Columbia Land Conservatory (CLC)’s care. Read about each in the article below, and find which trail works for your hiking plans! The CLC states: “The Columbia Land Conservancy, a nonprofit land trust, works with our community to conserve the farmland, forests, wildlife habitat, and rural character of Columbia County, strengthening connections between people and the land starting in 1986.” Read more on their mission and work here.

Ooms Conservatory



Distance from SMF: 6.0 miles | 9 min drive

Location: 480 Rock City Road, Chatham, NY

Parking: Main Parking Lot, smaller lots available along Rock City Road.

Hours: Open Dawn-Dusk


Overlooking the idyllic pastoral landscape is Colombia County’s year-round grassland trail, Ooms Conservatory. Surrounding Sutherland Pond, this trail offers fishing, kayaking, and canoeing with a permit click here to get your permit . Stay on the marked trails as you hike!


Swimming, hunting, camping, open fires, and alcohol consumption are prohibited. Dogs must be kept on a leash. No restrooms or trash cans are provided, so please take all trash that you bring with you as you leave.

Schor Conservation Area



Distance from SMF: 7.3 miles | 14 min drive

Location: 58 Cemetery Road, Canaan, NY

Hours: Dawn-Dusk


The place to be for those who love to fish (permit required click here to get yours .) In addition to the small trout pond on site and the picnic pavilion, the Schor Conservation has trails that span 2.7 miles that leads to a scenic overlook (from Summit Trail).


Swimming is prohibited. Hunting requires specific permission from the CLC, within hunting season. The CLC encourages hikers & their dogs to wear brightly colored hiking gear and to stay on marked trails during daylight hours. Read more on hunting guidelines here.

Hand Hollow



Distance from SMF: 7.5 miles | 11 min drive

Location: Two Entrance Options:


Beaver Byway: 4079 County Rd 9, East Chatham NY

Lake Loop: 451 Gale Hill Road, East Chatham NY (use 398 Gale Hill Rd when entering in GPS). Use this entrance for Kayaking.


Hours: Dawn-Dusk


Forested trails spanning 3.0 miles. Kayaking and canoeing are permitted on site. Both hunting and fishing requires permits. click here to obtain a fishing permit The CLC encourages hikers & their dogs to wear brightly colored hiking gear and to stay on marked trails during daylight hours.


Wilson M. Powell Wildlife Sanctuary


Distance from SMF: 8.6 miles | 15 min drive

Location: Hunt Club Rd, Old Chatham, NY 12136

Directions: Located off County Route 13, one mile southwest of the intersection of CR 13 and the Old Albany Turnpike (Old Chatham Village Square), take Pitt Hall Road, then a left on Hunt Club Road, Sanctuary entrance on right.

Hours: Dawn-Dusk


While protected by the CLC, this conservatory is owned by the Alan Devoe Bird Club. This lush area preserves the the natural diversity of the land, including the protection of natural wildlife. On site there is a stream, a marshy wetland meadow, and 145 acres of forested trails leading to Dorson’s Rock Overlook. This stunning panoramic view spans the entire Hudson Valley.


Hunting is Prohibited.

Borden’s Pond



Distance from SMF: 9.6 miles | 13 min drive

Location: 1628 Route 203, Ghent, NY (just outside Chatham Village)

Hours: Dawn-Dusk


Once a pond, this marshy area is now a small wetland meadow. In 2006 the pond’s dam breached, creating what is now a wetland area. There are still beautiful sites to see, including 1.6 miles of streamlined hiking trails and a small wetland meadow.


Hunting is Prohibited.




Overmountain Conservation Area



Distance from SMF: 34 miles | 44 min drive

Location: Two Entrance Options:


503 Carson Road, Ancram, NY (GPS search: Round Ball Trailhead)

138 Catalano Road, Ancram, NY (GPS search: Kite Hill Trailhead)

* GPS spelling can appear as Cattalino, Catalano, Catalonus, and other alternate spellings

Hours: Dawn-Dusk

This Conservation spans 10 miles leading to multiple scenic overlooks of the Catskills & Taconic Mt. Ranges.


Dogs must be on leashes. Hunting requires specific permission from the CLC, within hunting season. The CLC encourages hikers & their dogs to wear brightly colored hiking gear and to stay on marked trails during daylight hours. Read more on hunting guidelines here.

We hope these recommendations will aid in planning your next big adventure when you stay with us.

Thank you for reading,


The Team at Silver Maple Farm

Looking to come back to town? Try staying at one of our sister properties upstate in Tannersville and Woodstock with {verdigreen} hotels .


Remember to follow Silver Maple Farm on Instagram and Facebook, and tell us about your stay over at Trip Advisor. We look forward to hosting your next upstate getaway!




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