Blogs     Just for Women     Family Fun    

Constitution Marsh & Indian Brook Falls

Discover, enjoy, spend the day!

Hudson Valley, Travel, Kids, Kid-friendly day trips, family day trips

Down a dirt road in Garrison is one of my most favorite hikes in the Hudson Valley, Constitution Marsh Audubon Center & Sanctuary! I mean look at that name, it promises so much and it certainly delivers.

You will find a small parking lot at the top of a very large hill, there are no vehicles allowed in the sanctuary. As you hike down the road to Constitution Marsh, you will be walking parallel with Indian Brook, we will talk about this later in the blog. Once you have walked down the hill you will see the Audubon Center, this place is not to be missed. It's a tiny educational center that houses a menagerie of native species and your kids can take a look at fish, crayfish, turtles and lots of furs and fossils. This is a great place to start so that when you are hiking you know what wildlife to look for! (The center building is closed until further notice due to the COVID-19 health risk.)

The path for the hike continues around the back of the education center, there is only one path so no worries about getting lost. There is a bit of rock to traverse so I advise babywearing or a backpack for very small children. My daughter has been doing this hike since she was 3 and has done just fine, but there is a bit of hand grabbing and climbing necessary at the beginning of the hike. Keep an eye open as you hike through the small wooded area, it is loaded with wild blueberry bushes and my daughter loves to forage and gorge herself on them! As you get to the marsh you will feel as if you have stepped into another world, the maze of boardwalks are so much fun to explore and lead to amazing water views. We bring a lunch and find a bench among the reeds and take in all the birds, turtles and gently lapping water.

As you hike back out, there is another trail, across from the education center, that leads down to a brook that feeds into the marsh. There is a large log to sit on as your children take off their shoes and search the shallow water for crayfish, salamanders and frogs. On a hot summer day this is such a treat!

The adventure does not end here! This brook has another gift in store for you! Another trail leads to Indian Brook Falls! It can become quite crowded in the summer on weekends, and the trail is tricky for very small hikers but its definitely worth your time. You will need to go back to the parking area, and walk down the road you came in on (Indian Brook Road), in the direction of a large red overpass or towards 9D. Just past the underpass is an old gate and the trail to the falls. Follow this trail to the left when it forks and in a few short minutes you will see and hear the falls! It is illegal to swim in the falls (though many do). We just like to sit on the rocks and watch the waterfall.

Tips for enjoying this hike:
  • The sanctuary and hiking trails are open all year, we have hiked in both summer and winter.
  • The trails are rocky so wear appropriate shoes for safety.
  • Parking is limited so plan accordingly, on the weekends come early. The week days are much quieter.
  • Dogs are not allowed on this hike.
  • This is a carry-in and carry-out area, so please bring out all trash and keep our favorite places clean!
  • Indian Brook Road is not paved and a bit rough so drive carefully.

For more information on this hike please visit Constitution Marsh on the web.

Check out Katie's Hudson Valley Travel for more family-friendly outings.

Other articles by Katie's Hudson Valley Travel Journal