Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

April 1, 2016
Contact: County Executive's Office, (845) 638-5122
               Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, MPH, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512



NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert encourage you to put on your walking shoes and enjoy the "great outdoors!" Join experienced Rockland County Trail Guide Docents on the first guided walk of the 2016 season:  Explore the lost town of Sandyfield on Sunday, April 3 from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM at Harriman State Park, Town of Ramapo.

Sandyfield was settled in 1760 on Hasenclever Road which connected Stony Point to Central Valley. Originally a settlement of about 30 houses, in the early 1940's Sandyfield was intentionally flooded to create Lake Welch in Harriman State Park, despite protests from the residents, who were ultimately forced to leave in 1939.  Frank Kemmer, a trained guide and naturalist with the Rockland County Trail Guide Program, will help walkers look into the past and visualize what Sandyfield once looked like. Who lived there? What were the homes like? Why did they have to leave? Frank will describe what life was like in Sandyfield, and  point out relics from a time when farms and homesteads dotted what is now known as Lake Welch. Please join us for this intriguing and informative walk!

This is a moderately difficult, 4-mile walk with some uneven terrain and some uphill walking on old, rocky unpaved roads, on portions of the Long Path and on some backcountry trails that don't see much use.  This is a dog friendly walk (dogs on 6-foot leashes only). This walk is not stroller friendly. Bring snacks and plenty of water, and bug spray, sunscreen, binoculars and walking sticks, as desired. Hiking boots are recommended (in absence of boots, wear closed toed shoes with sturdy soles). Dress for  the weather, and bring a jacket, hat, and rain gear as you see fit. There are no public restrooms available.

Take Palisades Parkway to Exit 14 - Willow Grove Road.  From South: make a LEFT off the exit onto Rte. 106/Willow Grove Road. From North: make a RIGHT off the exit onto Rte. 106/Willow Grove Road. Willow Grove Road will stay Rte 106 but become Kanawauke Road. Go past Lake Welch Causeway, pull over on right hand side of road, just past the intersection of St. John's Road and Route 106. Just before entrance to Lake Welch. Roughly three miles from the Palisades Parkway. Park on the side of the road, where you see other cars.  For more information visit Google Maps:; if you look at the map in "Earth" mode, you will see a white vehicle on the side of the road - park there.

Guided park walks offer visitors varied terrain, great scenery, interesting discussion points, and different levels of walking. "We hope County residents take advantage of this great chance to explore our beautiful, natural environment and get some exercise at the same time," said Dr. Ruppert. Guided park walks will be scheduled throughout the year - for more information visit

Important general information about the guided walks:

  • Pre-registration for all walks is suggested (for some walks pre-registration is required). For more information or to register, call (845) 708-7307 or e-mail 
  • Check  for more information, directions, and any changes to the schedule. Walks are held through out the year - stay tuned by checking out the website periodically for updates.
  • Meet in the parking lot, unless otherwise specified. All walks are rain or shine. Wear proper footwear (closed-toe sturdy shoes such as walking shoes/boots or sneakers) and clothing (light-colored) and seasonally appropriate attire such as a jacket or hat, depending on the weather. Hiking boots are preferred. Bring along binoculars, water, sunscreen, a snack, and walking sticks if desired.
  • As with any physical activity program, it is recommended you speak to your physician before starting.
  • All guided walks are coordinated and supported in partnership with the Rockland County Division of Environmental Resources, the Rockland County Youth Bureau's Conservation and Service Corps program, and the Rockland County Department of Health.