Conserving Land • Protecting Resources
Since 1987

As of January 1, 2024, the Rensselaer Land Trust has merged with the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance. For all questions regarding donations, events, land, or other matters, please visit or call 518-712-9211. For questions about the merger, use extension 101 to speak with Jim Bonesteel. You can expect a new name and logo for our merged organization by Spring / Summer 2024 and a new website by the end of the year!


The Robert Ingalls Preserve in Stephentown is one of several Rensselaer Land Trust preserves that provide opportunities for the public to connect with nature. The Preserve is named in memory of former Vice President and longtime Board member Bob Ingalls.

The 50 acres of the Robert Ingalls Preserve consist of mixed hardwood‐hemlock‐pine forests, including some very large trees. Black Brook, a native trout‐spawning stream, flows through a picturesque ravine. A bench provides an idyllic spot to view Black Brook rushing over the rocks. The slopes above the brook have many wet seeps and springs, offering habitat for spring wildflowers, ferns, mosses and liverworts. There are remnants of earlier human use including stone walls, an abandoned logging road, and a small foundation possibly once a small mill. These remnants indicate prior agricultural use of this land where the forest has grown back.

The Robert Ingalls Preserve is open for fishing, hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and birding. From the parking lot, a trail leads directly down to Black Brook and the bench. A short trail continues on that side of the brook, and a bridge over Black Brook allows access to the more extensive trail network on the other side.

The original 27‐acre parcel was donated to the Rensselaer Land Trust in 2010, and the Robert Ingalls Preserve was opened after a major clean‐up by many volunteers. The bridge over Black Brook was constructed in 2015 by Michael Beskid for his Eagle Scout Project. In December, 2015, the preserve was expanded with an additional 22 acres purchased through the generosity of anonymous donors.

The Preserve is located on the Rensselaer Plateau, which is recognized as a significant area of extensive forest that provides wildlife habitat, protects water quality, offers outdoor recreation, and supports local economic activity.


The Ingalls Preserve is open to the public from dawn to dusk.
The following are the only permitted activities: hiking, nature viewing, skiing, snowshoeing, fishing, educational study, and birding. Please take all trash out with you.

Hunting, mountain biking, motorized vehicles including ATVs and motorcycles, camping, and removal or disturbance of plants and wildlife are not permitted.


The Robert Ingalls Preserve is located in the Town of Stephentown. The parking area is on Garfield Road just west of the intersection of Horse Heaven Rd (County Route 23) and Garfield Rd (County Route 26). From the intersection of Garfield Road and NY Route 66 in East Nassau (.3 mile south of the East Nassau Post Office), go 2.5 miles east on Garfield Road to the parking area on the left.

If you are using a GPS, the closest house coming from Route 66 is 508 Garfield Rd, East Nassau, NY. The Preserve comes up next on the left. Coming from the other direction, the closest house is 546 Garfield Road, East Nassau, NY, and the Preserve comes up next on the right.

Approximate Latitude, Longitude: 42.523, ‐73.473


Robert Ingalls Nature Preserve at a glance

  • Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
  • Description: A bench provides an idyllic spot to view Black Brook rushing over the rocks in a picturesque ravine. Extensive trails wind under large pines and hemlocks and along old stone walls.
  • Activities: Hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, catch-and-release fly fishing, birding, nature study. Dogs on leash.
  • Trails: Yes
  • Handicap Accessible: No.
  • Location: Stephentown
  • Acres: 51