Just outside the village of Hancock proper lies a magical world teeming with life. It is located up a rather industrial drive past the New York State Department of Transportation facility at the end of Golf Course Road in the Town of Hancock. If you have a minute — or five hours — to push your pause button, this is the ideal escape.
It’s called the Dewitt Reservoir Picnic Area — a decidedly unromantic name for perhaps one of the most charming natural locations in the surrounding region.
This special little preserve is a wonderland of nature’s finest flora and fauna. The reservoir (which at one time supplied residents with water) is brimming with critters of an aquatic, insectile, and amphibious nature, and the ground is carpeted in lush green ferns with wildflowers, rushes, grasses, and cattails in glorious attendance as well. Surrounding it all is a magnificent canopy of emerald green forest. Firs, hard- and softwoods, and saplings are in abundance, and the tree-dense, mountainous hills behind the pond create a splendid sense of intimate solitude along with a picture-perfect backdrop.
A narrow footpath winds sleepily around the circumference of the pond, permitting a full 360-degree immersive experience of this little emerald gem. Here, the air is infused with a mixture of deep, earthy tones and the tangy sweetness of water that is alive and flourishing. Your encounter with mother nature at the Dewitt Reservoir is sheer poetry.
“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” — John Burroughs
Thanks to the thoughtfulness of the Town of Hancock and the local Eagle Scout troop, the picnic area is outfitted with tables, benches, and a waste receptacle for your benefit and for those who come after. Please do your part to take care of this precious gift from nature. And if you find yourself at the pond without refreshment, just backtrack down the road to the Hancock Golf Course and Lucky 13 Bar and Grill for a sip and a snack while you ponder the date of your next visit to the Dewitt Reservoir!