The Bizarre History of the Leeds Pond Preserve!

The Bizarre History of the Leeds Pond Preserve!

The Bizarre History of Leeds Pond Preserve

Nestled in Plandome, New York, the Leeds Pond Preserve is a charming sanctuary of tranquillity and beauty. Yet, beneath the serene surface lies a curious past filled with strange tales and fascinating historical tidbits. Let's uncover the bizarre history of this local gem.

The Strange Origin

The Leeds Pond Preserve was once a wasteland. The land was donated to the North Shore Wildlife Sanctuary in the 1960s by the descendants of David Leeds, after whom the preserve was named. Interestingly, the condition of the land at that time was far from pristine. It was only after a concerted rehabilitation effort that it was transformed into the beautiful sanctuary we see today.

The rehabilitation effort was led by a group of local volunteers who worked tirelessly to clean up the land and plant native trees and shrubs. They also built a number of trails and boardwalks, making the preserve accessible to visitors.

The Eerie Nightingale Path

One of the more unusual aspects of the preserve is the so-called Nightingale Path. This narrow trail through the dense woods has been the center of eerie tales for decades, with locals often reporting hearing mysterious bird calls reminiscent of nightingales—a bird not native to the region!

The origin of these mysterious bird calls is unknown, but there are a few theories. Some believe that they are the calls of a rare bird species that has somehow found its way to the preserve. Others believe that the calls are simply the result of echolocation from bats or other nocturnal animals.

Whatever the explanation, the Nightingale Path remains a popular spot for ghost hunters and paranormal enthusiasts. Visitors often report feeling a sense of unease or even fear while walking the trail. Some have even claimed to see apparitions or hear disembodied voices.

The Hermit of Leeds Pond

Perhaps the most bizarre tale associated with the preserve is that of the Leeds Pond Hermit. As the story goes, a reclusive man lived alone in a rudimentary hut by the pond during the early 20th century. Known only as the "Hermit," he became somewhat of a local legend, with his true identity remaining a mystery to this day.

The Hermit's hut was located in a remote area of the preserve, and he rarely interacted with other people. He was said to be a skilled hunter and trapper, and he lived off the land. He also had a reputation for being a bit of a loner, and he was often seen wandering the woods alone.

The Hermit's identity was never revealed, and his true story remains a mystery. However, his legend continues to fascinate visitors to the Leeds Pond Preserve. Some believe that he was a former soldier who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Others believe that he was simply a man who chose to live a simple life in the woods.


From a wasteland to a local hermit, the Leeds Pond Preserve's history is far from ordinary. It's these eccentric narratives that lend an enchanting aura to this otherwise serene locale, making it a truly intriguing piece of Plandome's heritage.

If you're interested in learning more about the Leeds Pond Preserve, I recommend visiting the North Shore Wildlife Sanctuary's website. They have a wealth of information about the preserve, including its history, its wildlife, and its trails.