Historic records indicate Karner blue butterflies were once found on this property. As woody vegetation took root and grew, it shaded out the butterfly’s host plant, the wild blue lupine. Eventually, the butterfly disappeared. Proposed for subdivision several times, a partnership of the Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park, The Nature Conservancy, and the Town of Wilton, along with a grant from the Saratoga County Open Space Protection Program, succeeded in protecting this 89-acre parcel in 2005. The Nature Conservancy owns the Fox parcel. In 2010, a second County Open Space grant was used to purchase an additional 68 acres from the Frawley family. This extends the protected land all the way to Ruggles Road. The new property is being prepared for habitat restoration with a clearing operation taking place in 2015. Habitat is planned to be planted in 2016.
The Fox parcel offers an interesting and visually dynamic combination of sandy uplands and pine barren vernal ponds, a designated rare community in New York State. Across the Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park, almost 150 acres of the sandy uplands have been restored to early successional habitat, which allows for the recolonization of the Karner blue butterfly.
Trail surfaces are mowed. Terrain is gently rolling. Wet areas are common. Download a map of the trails (PDF).
The Fox parcel is owned by New York State and is open to the public from dawn to dusk. Unleashed dogs, dumping, unauthorized vehicles, unauthorized fires, camping, horseback riding are prohibited. Hunting and trapping are permitted in season.
- View on Google Maps
- GPS: 43.145356, -73.692304
- From the north: Take the I-87 South to Exit 16. Take a left onto Ballard Road and drive for 2.1 miles. At the traffic light, make a right onto Route 50 and drive 0.7 miles. Make a left across the street from the “U” shaped parking lot marked as “Saratoga Sandplains”. The Fox Parcel parking lots is rectangular shaped and across Route 50 from the Old Gick Farm Trail.
- From the south: From the Wilton Mall (Exit 15 on I-87), go north on Route 50 for about 4.7 miles. Make a right across the street from the “U” shaped parking lot marked as “Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park”. The Fox Parcel parking lots is rectangular shaped and across Route 50 from the Old Gick Farm Trail.