Ora Phelps Nature Preserve

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Although a small parcel of open space, this land is a plant and animal sanctuary at the confluence of Little Snook Kill and Pippenbeck Brook.  It is also part of the former homestead of the renowned Adirondack Naturalist Dr. Orra Phelps.  Dr. Phelps (1895 – 1986) was a medical doctor by trade, who moved to Wilton in 1918.  Dr. Phelps was an active member of the Adirondack Mountain Club, a twice over 46er, (someone who climbed all 46 peaks over 4000 feet in the Adirondacks) educator and author of several ADK guidebooks.  On this land along with her mother, Orra Almira Parker Phelps, she cultivated a variety of native and foreign plants to the region.  The Phelps particularly concentrated on nurturing a diverse fern garden.  Make sure to bring various field guides in order to identify the ferns and wildflowers that now thrive along the two streams.  After a strong rainfall or during spring runoff the sound of water running over the exposed rock streambed fills the air as you leisurely walk under the canopy of white pines and hemlock trees.  Saratoga P.L.A.N. maintains the trails and signage at this destination.

  • Town of Wilton
  • Size: 18 Acres
  • Scenery: Forest, Streams
  • Terrain: Natural, Boardwalk

Trip Tip: Saratoga P.L.A.N.

The trial heads east from the parking area and is well marked with white diamonds. It then divides several times through out the 18-acre parcel.  One section has a wooden bridge and continues up and along the west ridge.  The other section meanders along the east side of the stream.  There are a couple of benches along the way, as well as several boardwalks through the wetland areas.

Directions: PARKHURST ROAD

Travel north from Saratoga Springs on Rte 9.  Make a left onto Parkhurst Road, which is 4 miles north of Rte 50.  Continue on Parkhurst Road for an additional 1.7 miles to the trailhead/parking area on the right.  A blue historic sign marks the entrance into the parking area.