|Location||Trip Time||Travel Type|
|New York||30 minutes|
The Columbia Land Conservancy would like to welcome you to Greenport Conservation Area! Named for the town of Greenport, the over 700-acre has seven miles of trails that will take you through a variety of ecological systems including meadows, shrublands, forests, and freshwater tidal marshes. The land here has been greatly influenced by past land use, specifically agriculture, clay mining, and brick making. Today, the site is a popular destination for walking, birdwatching, picnicking, skiing, snowshoeing, and many other activities.
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When the Dutch and other colonial sailors first traveled the Hudson River, they named various sections of the river according to prominent landmarks. Native Americans certainly had their own names for these places, but most of them have been lost to history. When Dutch colonists first arrived and looked out over the vista you're taking in, they observed prominent, exposed clay cliffs and named them "the Clavers." These cliffs were the namesake of Claverack, the town they soon founded nearby. Although the exact translation is debated, it is now believed that the term "clavers'' referred to the shape or color of these hills. Today it is hard to believe that the Dutch could have been so struck by the few spots of white clay currently visible from the river. However, it is likely that the Dutch saw a very different view. The obvious question is "what happened to the clavers?" We've estimated that the brick factories used around 4,800,000 tons of clay during their operation, so it's easy to see how clay mining cut the clavers down and back, largely erasing their faces. They were probably even further reduced by the construction of the former landfill site directly south of here. It serves as a good reminder that the brick making history of this area had a larger impact on the current shape of the land than we may realize.