An Accessible Nature Trail in Stuyvesant, NY

Nature Conservancy Lewis A. Swyer Preserve

Lewis A. Swyer Preserve Mill Creek Wetlands

Nature Conservancy Lewis A. Swyer Preserve

Nature Conservancy Lewis A. Swyer Preserve

Nature Conservancy Lewis A. Swyer Preserve

Not only can the half-mile boardwalk at the Lewis A. Swyer Preserve withstand severe flooding but it’s also the perfect nature trail to walk with my sister who has Limb-Girdle muscular dystrophy.

“Wow, this is amazing!” she says as she steps easily and safely onto the level surface, at times as little as a few inches from the ground and other sections as high as three feet off the ground. The boardwalk winds through a rare freshwater tidal swamp area in the town of Stuyvesant, Columbia County and culminates alongside the mighty Hudson river opposite a ribbon of busy Amtrak train tracks.

My sisters’ gait is unsteady and wobbly at best but walking alongside the Mill Creek tributary on a partially wood, partially composite boardwalk gives her the freedom to think about something other than her disease. She admires the bio diversity of the area, listens to a distant train whistle and stops to read the four interpretive signs. She even catches sight of a wood duck drifting with the current. But, of course, the real treat is the sense of adventure and exploration she gets without tripping, slipping or falling in the heart of the woods.

This is a must visit for anyone in a wheelchair or on crutches or who might be intimidated by tree roots, slippery leaves or muddy trails. Not only will they find comfortable benches at the end but a supportive tower with handrails and shallow steps. Tina didn’t think twice about ascending the two-story structure where she enjoyed a peak at the Hudson river and a fast-moving NYC-bound passenger train.

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