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!

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Tomhannock Creek

The Tomhannock Creek watershed is made up of the lands draining into the Tomhannock Creek and its tributaries, Otter, Sunkauissia, and Indian Creeks. Tomhannock Creek enters the Hoosic River in the Town of Schaghticoke, and the watershed extends upstream to the northwest escarpment of the Rensselaer Plateau, around Babcock Lake and just north of Grafton Lakes State Park.

This watershed contains the most important surface water source in Rensselaer County, the Tomhannock Reservoir in Pittstown. Five miles long and one‐half mile wide, the reservoir provides drinking water for more than 125,000 people in Troy, Brunswick, Schaghticoke, East Greenbush, North Greenbush, Rensselaer, Poestenkill, Halfmoon, Waterford and Menands. The quality of the water from the Tomhannock Reservoir is good to excellent. The watershed upstream of the Tomhannock dam significantly impacts the quality of the water in the reservoir. The more fertilizers and pesticides used in the watershed, the more paved surfaces, and the more septic input, then the more chemicals flow into the reservoir and the streams feeding it. 

Many migrating ducks and geese use the Tomhannock Reservoir as a stopover site, and feeding bald eagles are often seen.

The Tomhannock Watershed includes significant cliff and talus slope habitat on the northeast escarpment of the Rensselaer Plateau; a series of tall, broad waterfalls on the Tomhannock Creek downstream of the reservoir; and Pittstown State Forest, 1155 acres of forest open for hiking, snowshoeing, cross‐country skiing, and hunting.