| by Sydney Cuff |
The Irvington Woods fill hundreds of acres of local open space—hikers and runners regularly use this beautiful community-accessible trail system. Meandering through stunning woodlands, these well-marked trails run along dramatic ravines with majestic views of the Irvington Reservoir. The trails are mapped and maintained by a network of local dedicated volunteers, including the Irvington Woods Committee, the Irvington Cross Country Team, and the Girl and Boy Scouts.
As a current ninth grader and member of Irvington’s Community Advisory Board, I’ve had the opportunity to spearhead my own project in the Irvington Woods. From September 2014 through September of this year, I studied the trees along a mile-long hiking loop—investigating leaf shape and bark, and rifling through leaf litter along the trail. I met regularly with the Irvington Woods Committee and local arborists, and finally, a few weeks ago, I completed my project.
I marked more than two dozen trees with permanent signs that display the trees’ common and Latin names, plus fun facts about each species. It is my hope that my Tree Trail will be the first of many projects that I’ll take on to help preserve this magical open space. Please take the time this fall to walk the Tree Trail in the Irvington Woods. It deserves your attention, and it’s right outside your door. It’s an easy family-friendly walk nestled among wetlands and deciduous forest. Come stroll through magnificent stands of maple, oak, hickory, and beech trees. The trailhead begins at the O’Hara Nature Center, just off Mountain Road.