Hollyhock Hollow Sanctuary was formerly the home and property of Robert and Leona (Train) Rienow. As a State University at Albany Professor, Robert Rienow was the author of numerous books about the environment, government and civic involvement. Leona Train Rienow was also an author who produced several children’s books. Together, the Rienow’s wrote or co-authored numerous books, including The Year of the Last Eagle and their best-known A Moment in the Sun, which was the first book to focus public attention on the condition of America’s environment. This book was the inspiration for the first Earth Day. Upon his death in 1988, the sanctuary was bequeathed to the Audubon Society of New York State and transitioned from what the Rienow’s called Hollyhock Hollow Farm to Hollyhock
Hollow Sanctuary. Today the sanctuary is open as a public-use area for passive recreation.
With over 140 acres of natural beauty, hiking trails, and distinctive geology carved out by the Onesquethaw Creek, Hollyhock Hollow Sanctuary is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Several miles of hiking trails traverse the sanctuaries woods with visitors being able to pass through several distinctive habitat types as well as being witness to some historical evidence of long-past human activity. This includes numerous stone walls and even remnants of a small stone quarry where it is said that some of the stones for the building of the Brooklyn Bridge came from.
I had the pleasure of knowing Robert Rienow and it was our friendship that led him to bequeath Hollyhock Hollow to the Audubon Society of New York State, where I served as President and CEO for 25 years. That organization was headquartered at Hollyhock Hollow until my retirement and they have since relocated to Renessalear County, NY. I am happy
that one of my sons, Kelly Dodson and his company Audubon Landscape Services has been retained by Audubon to maintain the landscapes of Hollyhock Hallow however.
Dr. Rienow always kept his property open for public use and enjoyment. In that tradition, Hollyhock Hollow Sanctuary is also open and free for public use. Historically significant and really a place where the environmental movement was born, Hollyhock Hollow Sanctuary is a true treasure in the Capital Region of New York.
About twelve miles from Albany, NY, the sanctuary serves as an outdoor classroom for the nearby schools, as well as a recreational space for cross country skiers, spelunkers, artists, and scout groups. Whether you are planning to explore the unique features of the area or are simply looking to take a long, quiet walk, visitors are welcome every day from dawn until dusk.
From I-87, the NYS Thruway, take exit 22 for NY-144 toward NY-396/Selkirk. Turn right onto NY-144 S/River Road. Take the first right onto NY-396 W/Maple Avenue Keep right at the fork and continue to follow NY-396 W for about four miles. Turn right onto Co Rd 102/Old Quarry Road. Take the second left onto Rarick Road and continue for a third of a mile.
From Albany, take US-9W S and merge onto NY-32 S/Delmar Bypass via the ramp to Delmar. Follow NY-32 S for about three miles. At the third traffic light, turn left onto Co Rd 102/Old Quarry Road and continue for three miles. Turn right onto Rarick Road and continue for a third of a mile.