Hidden Valley Preserve
The section northeast of the Depot is known as Hidden Valley, a 650-acre tract characterized by densely wooded hillsides cascading into the meandering river below. This section also includes a rocky high point and small meadows, accessible by hiking trails. Hidden Valley was donated to the Steep Rock Association by the Van Sinderen family in 1963.
The level trail lying alongside the eastern bank of the river replaces the defunct railroad bed. It is easy to forget that passenger and freight trains rumbled through the entire length of the reservations from 1872 to 1948. Trails and woods roads remaining from the Van Sinderens’ equestrian and carriage-driving days criss-cross this tract of hardwoods, pine groves, and hemlocks, although many trails are not marked. A footbridge built across the Shepaug River in 1985 makes possible many pleasant loop walks. Care must be taken to avoid the goshawk area north and west of the footbridge in the nesting season. From April through June warning signs are posted and trails are then closed.