Stewart Preserve is a Nature Conservancy Property, with the Sand Lake entrance located at 39 Stewart Lane – Its Orange Trail is a 1.2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Sand Lake, New York that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and birding and is accessible year-round.
Original portions of the Stewart Preserve were acquired in 1966, & subsequently, the added property has created a nearly 123 parcel comprised of rolling hardwood & hemlock forest, with some minor wetland areas. The trailhead & parking are located off of Stewart Lane, accessible from Methodist Farm Road, with a majority of the 103 acres in the town of Nassau.
Trails total approximately 2 miles of moderate walks through the mostly hardwood forest, and numerous species of ferns. The forest is dominantly mature upland oak sugar maple beech. Individual beech and oak specimens have 100-foot canopy spreads and breast-height diameters greater than 4 feet; some are probably more than 500 years old. Mature hemlock growths can also be found. Groundcover consists of abundant ferns (22 species), miterwort, foamflower, baneberry, hepatica, and starflower. The forest is an important nesting site for rapidly disappearing interior forest birds, including woodpeckers.