Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve

Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve, Staten Island, NY (Christmas Day, 2008)

This is hike #23 ("Clay Pit Ponds Connector") in 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: New York City (2nd edition). Recent snowstorms sabotaged our attempts to hike for nearly two weeks, so on the verge of going stir crazy we managed to work in this short but very enchanting hike on the way to visit relatives on Christmas Day. This area of Staten Island, which is quite close to the water, was used in the mid 19th century as a clay mine for the bricks that went into New York city buildings. German immigrant Balthasar Kreischer had a huge factory here that, at its peak, made 3.5 million bricks a year!

We trekked about 2.2 miles in less than 90 minutes. It was the perfect jaunt to fit into an otherwise busy day.

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Kiosk at the small parking area

Side of park office

Picnic pavillion

On Abraham's Pond trail

Stream parallel to trail

Boardwalk in swampy area


Ellis Swamp trail

Black Oak

Semi-petrified tree?

Icy boardwalk

Sliding [photo by Laura]

The famous clay

Tiny cascade in Ellis Swamp

Boardwalk back up ...

... completes the swamp loop

Spotless water

Abraham's Pond overlook

Look at those roots!

More clay

Gorgeous group of beeches

Bridle paths criss-cross with hiking trails



Eating phragmites [photo by Laura]

Green trail

A horse!

Boardwalk at Sharrott's Pond

Sharrott's Pond


[Photo by Laura]

Brand new nature center

Laura got a manicure

Green trail

Flooded livestock barrier

Very wet green trail

Back to park office

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