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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Buttercup Farm Audubon Sanctuary(Stanfordville, NY)

Visited the 641 acre Buttercup Farm Audubon Sanctuary, located just south of Pine Plains along Route 82 in the northeast corner of Dutchess County on a mild, bluebird winter day. There is also an additional parking area located along the west side of the Sanctuary on Mountain Road, which can be reached via Stissing Road just south of the the Route 82 parking area.  Had the place to myself as I broke out the snowshoes and hit the trail.
Headed east past the kiosk on a red marked trail, which crosses over a small stream and hugs the northern edge of the property.
The red trail swings south soon meeting up with the white trail and providing some very nice views back north towards Stissing Mountain.
Passing by old barbed wire fence and a ravine.  Snow was mostly crusty and about 10 inches deep.
Much of the Sanctuary is open fields, which provides great views.  Here's a glimpse west with the Catskills peaking out in the distance.
A look northeast from the open fields towards rolling hills and beautiful homes.
Northwest view towards Stissing Mountain and its smaller, northern neighbor, Little Stissing Mountain.
Old fences serve as reminders of the lands history as a former farm.
Looking north with  the parking lot way down below the field.
A pair of benches make for an incredible spot to stop and soak in the view.  Stissing Mountain's long ridge line is the most prominent feature of this north facing vista.
A zoomed view north into Pine Plains.
Dropping down from the open fields into a tunnel of hardwoods back towards Route 82.
Winter berries and bluebird skies.
Crossed Route 82 to the western side of the Sanctuary, where there are more open fields.  This aging barn's day must be numbered.
The open fields soon enter a stand of evergreens, and I followed a side yellow trail to a picturesque gazebo, nestled among them.
Emerging from the woods on the yellow trail, I enjoyed a look back southeast towards the hills I had just climbed on the other side of the Sanctuary.
A stone tower stands proudly in the woods with the name Buttercup etched into the doorway.
I dropped down out of the woods and soon arrived along a quiet, meandering stretch of wintry Wappinger Creek.
Wetland along Wappinger Creek.
I followed a white trail south for a short distance and then picked up a red marked trail which circles a peaceful, frozen pond.
The area around the pond is surrounded by wetlands as well as some nice frontage on Wappinger Creek.
A bridge crossing over Wappinger Creek.  There are trails west of here that lead towards the Mountain Road parking area, but I decided to turn back here.
Heading back towards the parking lot, enjoying more open fields and farm relics along the way.
Hiked about 4.5 miles RT at a beautiful Sanctuary, where there is a little bit of everything for everyone.  The terrain is diverse but not overly challenging and made for great snowshoe conditions.

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