Ferncliff Forest

Ferncliff Forest, nestled in the sleepy town of Rhinebeck, is a well-kept wild game refuge and forest preserve that is open for hiking and camping. Visitors of all ages and abilities can meander through the well-marked trails of Ferncliff, climb the fire tower, or even spend the night at one of the preserve's campsites.

Must See/Do at Ferncliff Forest
The Fire Tower is a must see at Ferncliff Forest. Visitors are able to climb the tower, weather permitting, for a chance to gain an unprecedented view of the Hudson River and surrounding vistas. The Fire Tower trail is well-marked so it is very hard to miss.

Best and Worst Times to Go to Ferncliff Forest
The preserve is open from sunrise to sunset. The weekends are a very busy time so if visitors prefer a more peaceful experience, it would be best to go either during the weekdays or early in the morning when the gates first open. The Fire Tower is not safe to climb during storms, particularly lightning storms, so it would not be advised to go to Ferncliff Forest in poor weather.

Admission to Ferncliff Forest
Ferncliff Forest is completely free. Visitors are encouraged to send in a donation. The kiosk located in the parking area has information regarding how visitors can donate. All donations go towards the upkeep of the trails, campsites, and fire tower.

Wildlife at Ferncliff Forest
The Preserve is home to a plethora of flora and fauna. Visitors can may encounter a number of creatures that are native to the Northeastern United States, including Deer, Turkeys, and even Bears. Visitors are encouraged to pick up their trash and food before leaving the preserve in order to protect the wildlife that call Ferncliff Forest home.

Insider Tip for Ferncliff Forest
Visitors who wish to camp overnight must procured a camping permit. Those wishing to obtain the permit must be at least 18 years old and can have up to five people per group. The preserve is patrolled by rangers on a daily basis and any camping group without the overnight permit will be asked to leave.

Author's bio: Krista Miller has lived in Dutchess County her entire life. She enjoys hiking around the Hudson Valley and looking for new places to explore. She currently sits on the board of a small, local museum and loves learning about local history.