Snapping turtle walk showcases NY’s ‘official reptile’

Posted in the Poughkeepsie Journal, June 7, 2015

Did you know the snapping turtle is New York state’s official reptile? About 1,200 of them live in the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary,just below Boscobel House & Gardens.

Every June, female turtles climb up the steep hill to Boscobel’s lawns to lay their eggs, using the claws on their hind feet to scoop out a nest where they will deposit 20-60 eggs, the size and color of ping-pong balls.

On June 13 at 7:30 a.m. Boscobel will host its 21st annual Snapping Turtle Walk. Members of the Constitution Marsh staff will be on hand to discuss the habits and history of these living fossils and to introduce live specimens to the audience. Snapping turtles can live to be 100 years old, weigh up to 40 pounds and are 12- to 14-inches long.

“In addition to preserving our iconic historic mansion, Boscobel enthusiastically supports the preservation of the landscape in which we are situated,” Steve Miller, Boscobel’s executive director, said in a written statement. “... We are delighted to host not only this amazing act of nature, but also the unique and informative presentation given by the marsh life preservationists at Constitution Marsh Audubon Center & Sanctuary.”

After the discussion, guests are invited to walk Boscobel’s grounds to seek and possibly observe nesting female turtles. Complimentary coffee and doughnuts will be available at 7:30 a.m. Admission is $12 for adults; $8 for children age 6-12; free for children under 6. Friends of Boscobel members receive a 10 percent discount. Purchase tickets online at or at the door. This is a rain or shine event.

Boscobel is on Route 9D in Garrison, just one mile south of Cold Spring and directly across the river from West Point. For more information, visit or call 845-265-3638.