kakiat county park
Best birding in the spring, and best butterflying throughout the summer.
Kakiat is a minimally developed Rockland County park with diverse topography, including: flat wetlands, open meadows, rolling hills, and steep mountainsides. The Mahwah River flows in a SW direction through the park. After heavy rains, there may be considerable flooding along the stream. A footbridge crosses the river where brown trout are stocked annual. Several utility easements criss-cross the park. The Algonquin Gas Transmission Easement, in particular, cuts a swath through the woods creating the narrow meadow favored by butterflies. A planned expansion of this pipeline in 2003 may, at least temporarily, destroy this habitat.
Kakiat Farm, as the parcel has been known in the past, was formerly the home of the Blauvelt family. The family owned and farmed the land for over 200 years growing apples, peaches and cherries. The remains of the Blauvelt mill can still be seen along the Mahwah River by following the Old Mill Trail (Blue). The property officially became county parkland in 1972.
The open field across from the footbridge is an excellent viewing location for displaying woodcocks at dusk beginning in mid-March. During spring, yellow-billed cuckoo may sometimes be found in the apple trees at the parking area.
During the spring and summer months, be observant when hiking. Both timber rattlesnakes and copperhead are known to occur in the area. Also, ticks are common and they may carry Lyme disease.