The Turtle Walk is Back - Saturday, May 7, 10 am – 12:00 pm, rain or shine

Following a two-year hiatus, we are privileged again this year to host the 12th Eastern Box Turtle Walk, a free event led by naturalists Joe Bridges and Beth Herr on the privately-owned conservation easement in Gardiner belonging formerly to Anne and Ray Smith. Since 2005 Anne Smith, until her recent passing, aided by biologist Joe Bridges, monitored the box turtles’ migrations, hibernation habits, and reproductive success, distinguishing individual turtles by the distinctive fingerprint-like orange and black rosette patterns on their domed shells. Following a brief discussion, participants will be invited to assist in locating, identifying, and documenting turtles in the field. This significant 57-acre property was preserved in perpetuity in 2019 under the stewardship of the WVLT as critical habitat for over 100 individually documented eastern box turtles and other wildlife. It is also considered an important scenic and historic viewshed from Mohonk Preserve and Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Anne and her tracking dogs have written a book, The Silence of the Bell: Monitoring Eastern Box Turtles with Australian Cattle Dogs, available on Amazon ( The location for this private event will be provided upon registration.