May 18, 2022
Seven WellsThe DLC expands the beloved Dover Stone Church Preserve with the addition of the Seven Wells property.
Ensuring that it will be forever protected, the DLC partnered with the Town of Dover, Dutchess County, and Scenic Hudson to preserve 155 acres wrapping around the southren and western boundaries of the Dover Stone Church Preserve, an area locally and affectionately known as Seven Wells. "Any time we can create contiguous blocks of preserved land, it is exciting," said DLC President Becky Thornton. "Seven Wells, with its incredible naturally formed 'wells' and waterfalls, historic and cultural significance, and long-identified importance to the community and beyond, made it even more critical."

Located on the eastern slope of West Mountain, the property contains some 3,000 feet of frontage along the Wells Brook. The brook cuts deep within a winding, rocky ravine, and has, over time, carved a series of deep, naturally formed geologic pools. The water flows from pool to pool over beautiful waterfalls as it makes its way to the Stone Church Brook, and from there into the Ten Mile River, a large tributary of the Housatonic River. "The stream supports a niche habitat known as 'cool ravine,' characterized by a stream corridor of steep, rocky walls, shaded by a mix of conifer trees, which together creates an unusually cool and moist microclimate that supports rare species of plants and animals," explained DLC Director of Conservation Erin Hoagland.

The Town of Dover will own and care for the Seven Wells property, which will ultimately provide an incredible trail extension for visitors to the Dover Stone Church Preserve with viewpoints overlooking the Harlem Valley. The combination of Seven Wells, the Dover Stone Church, and the Nellie Hill Preserve portion of the Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge will also provide a hilltop buffer to the hamlet of Dover Plains.