Vischer Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve is a 600-acre preserve which includes the area between Riverview Road and the Mohawk River in the Town of Clifton Park. The Preserve has three areas of interest: a wetland ecosystem, the remains of the Erie Canal, and the site of the town’s first settlement.
A segment of the original 1825 Erie Canal and Towpath, a segment and a number of structures of the 1842 Enlarged Erie Canal, and the current NY State Barge Canal are accessible within the preserve. The entrance to the preserve includes a restored 1862 Whipple Truss Bridge, a design used widely to bridge the canal during the latter half of the 19th century.
Located through the preserve, there are historical markers providing information dating back to the early 1900’s. This wetland provides an excellent habitat for many species of birds and plants. Former Governor George E. Pataki, through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation designated the preserve as a “Bird Conservation Area” in 2006.
Primary Access Points And Trail Heads
There are several points of entry:
Clutes Dry Dock site on Riverview Road
Ferry Drive in Vischer Ferry off of Riverview Road
Main entrance: There is a small parking lot at the Whipple Bridge at the intersection of VanVranken and Riverview Road .
Wildlife Species Often Seen
Great Blue Heron; teals; coots; loons; pintails; various species of ducks; various species of hawks; osprey; warblers; opossum; woodchucks; weasels, red foxes; muskrat; various turtles; spotted salamander; red efts; bullfrogs and much more.
Best Seasons And Times For Viewing
Don’t Miss This When Visiting
Lock 19, Clutes Dry Dock, Whipple Bridge, Forts Ferry remains, sightings of the Great Blue Heron (Not to be missed! They are magnificent!)
Identify And Describe The Management Organization
New York State Canal Corporation owns the property. The Town of Clifton Park maintains the Nature Preserve's trail and recreation system under permit. The Town of Clifton Park Water Authority leases most of the property for subsurface water development rights.
Tours Are Offered
Site is Child-friendly
Site is Pet-friendly