|Location||Trip Time||Travel Type|
|New York||30 minutes|
The Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC) would like to welcome you to Harris Conservation Area! CLC is a non-profit conservation organization that protects the natural resources that make Columbia County special and provides opportunities for people to connect to the land. The Harris Conservation Area is one of ten Public Conservation Areas owned and managed by CLC. This 76-acre property is named after Gordon Harris, who donated it to CLC. The 2 miles of trails will take you through a rolling upland forest, a hemlock grove, past forested wetlands, and a small stream. All the trails include points in these tours that can help you identify some of what is around you-- from plant and wildlife identification to the cultural history of the area and what CLC does to maintain the property.
For more content, click the "Explore this Tour Remotely" button below.
Click here to see a transcript of this story.
Click here to hide the transcript of this story.
The origins of the pond here at Harris are a bit of a mystery. It seems to be man-made, but it is far away from the old farmstead, which suggests it was probably created before the area was used for farming. The current theory is that it is a crater left over from magnesium oxide mining. During the first half of the 19th century, bogs in this area were mined for magnesium, which was primarily used for creating stained glass. Magnesium was harvested by digging five or six feet into the ground to extract minerals and rocks that contain the element. It is thought that many of these mining sites were close to Harris, but it was a short-lived activity in the area. It has also been speculated that the pond might be fed by underground springs, which is part of what sustains it. No matter how it was created, it now serves as an important habitat for species like crayfish, newts, wood frogs, and northern dusky salamanders.