The Sawkill Creek - The Sawkill Today

The Sawkill Creek

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The Sawkill Today

Today, historic walking trails through the north woods around the Sawkill attract hikers, birdwatchers, and others who appreciate access to the Sawkill and to the quiet beauty of the forest.

In 1847, Andrew Jackson Downing called this mixed hemlock and hardwood forest “The Wilderness.” He described the woodland enthusiastically:

“This is a large and long wooded valley. It is broad and much varied in surface, swelling into deep ravines and spreading into wide hollows. But the Wilderness is by no means savage in the aspect of its beauty; on the contrary, here as elsewhere in this demesne, are evidences, in every improvement, of a fine appreciation of the natural charms of the locality."

In the 1840s, Americans like Downing and Montgomery Place’s owner Louise Livingston treasured this wilderness. In the eastern United States, it was disappearing. Countless acres of Hudson Valley forests were being converted into farmland or destroyed for use in tanneries, iron furnaces, and foundries. As tame as this “wilderness” was, Louise and others appreciated the spiritual refreshment and sensory experiences it offered.

Walking in the north woods. Photo: Historic Hudson Valley.

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