On a recent late spring afternoon I took a scenic drive across the Bear Mountain Bridge and then headed north on Route 9, my destination was the Constitution Marsh in Garrison, just south of the Village of Cold Spring.
The marsh is actual a 270 acre tidal wetland which is located on the eastern shore of the Hudson River. The marsh and surrounding area is managed by the National Audubon Society, which maintains a small visitor center located just before the trail head.
The journey to the marsh begins on a blue blazed trail that ascends over moderately rocky terrain to a bench and overlook before descending down rock steps to a 700 foot boardwalk.
From the boardwalk there are dramatic views of the United States Military Academy at West Point (which can also be observed from the bench), Storm King Mountain, Crow’s Nest Mountain and Breakneck Ridge.
As you walk along the boardwalk you will observe an abundance of cattails, what we used to call “punks” as kids.
Also on my walk I observed a Red Tail Hawk seemingly cruising on a wind thermal over my head, heard the sounds of the Black Capped Chickadee with its melodious “phoebe” song then observed and listened to Red Winged Blackbirds with their calls of “conkeree.”
And to be completely honest there were several other bird species that I couldn’t identify. In fact the marsh is home to over 200 bird species and 30 species of fish as well.
A sign I noticed along my walk indicated that the marsh is an, “important location for birds on the planet.” And this I certainly have no doubt off.
Access to the marsh is off of Indian Springs Road, which is located off of Route 9.
At the end of the road there is a small parking lot that can accommodate eight cars only, so it is best to visit early or as I did, late on a weekday afternoon.
After parking there is a downhill walk on an unpaved road towards the Audubon Center and the Trailhead.
Near by Indian Springs Falls is also located off of Indian Springs Road by walking the opposite way from the parking area.
The actual address of the Constitution Marsh is 127 Warren Landing Road.
The visitor center, which was not open on my visit, is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9am to 6pm.