Almost anywhere in upstate NY, you can find beauty in the nature that surrounds you. Dover Plains, 90 minutes north of NYC and accessible by Metro North’s Harlem Line, is no exception.  Little known to visitors, and to locals as well, is a hidden gem

 

in Dover Plains called the Dover Stone Church.  Here, there are 3.7 miles of pure nature for you to immerse yourself in.  Start out on the lower loop that takes you into the small, cool, rock area of the “stone church.”  There is a natural stone opening that looks like a steeple, hence the name, “Stone Church.”

 

The waterfall flows out the opening and throughout the hike and it’s a photographer’s dream. If the water is high, you can’t enter, but most of the time, if you are wearing the correct shoes, you can hop along the rocks and enter. 

 

Three awesome new trails are well marked.  Lower Loop and Upper Loop are both about one-mile round-trip, and Lookout Point is a mile and a half round trip. Also, in the area is a nice field area by some water for picnics, hanging out, reading or just enjoying nature.  The terrain is mostly flat and relatively easy for young kids to walk.  You can bring your dog on a leash, as well!

 

The Stone Church is also a historic landmark, being a place that supposedly in the 1600’s Pequot Sachem Sassacus and his warriors hid as they fled from the English army.

 

It is worth mentioning that when you visit, you must park at the school across the street or another location nearby because there is no actual parking at the entrance (hence the hidden part of a hidden gem.) Learn more at http://townofdoverny.us/Stone_Church.cfm. And as always, carry in, carry out!

 

Photos & Blog by Laura Uzzilia