The Land:

The Hudson Valley River Camp sits on 80 acres just outside of Gardiner, New York near the corner of Red Mills Road and Steen Road.

The wooded property is less than two hours from New York City and is adjacent to a vineyard, orchard and 800-acre farm and centrally located to many Ulster and Orange County attractions.

Boria and Linda Sax


The Hudson Valley River Camp and the Boria Sax Sanctuary are the creation of Boria and Linda Sax.

The Saxes have have kept this undeveloped 80-acre property in the family for generations. Boria and Linda decided many years ago to keep the land in its natural state as a bird sanctuary, even though this often meant struggling to find ways to cover the property taxes.

During the pandemic, they saw the value of making the land available for minimal-impact camping. This would help cover basic expenses to maintain the property while also giving access to the public on a controlled basis. Their goal has always been to invite nature lovers to enjoy the land while also preserving it for the wildlife.

Boria is a senior lecturer in humanities at Mercy College. He is also the author of more than 20 books on the relationship between humans and animals, including his most recent, Avian Illuminations: A Cultural History of Birds. He is currently working on a new book on the subject of enchanted forests.

Linda spent nearly 30 years teaching intellectually disabled adults. She is now a living history museum teacher, spinner and weaver. She is a program associate at Historic Hudson Valley, a non-profit educational institution that offers historical interpretation at Hudson Valley landmarks like Washington Irving's Sunnyside.

Hudson Valley campground caretakers


Hudson Valley River Camp is managed on a day-to-day basis by Tom and Samantha Christensen.

Nearly seven years ago, Tom requested permission to take wildlife photos on the Sax property, which Boria and Linda graciously allowed. It was the beginning of a friendship based on a mutual love of wildlife and the land.

Tom and Samantha are natives of the suburbs and rural towns of the Midwest but lived nearly 30 years in Brooklyn, New York. While living in the city, they would travel for hours to find isolated camping, mainly in the Adirondacks.

After moving to Wallkill, New York in 2016, they spent many days exploring the Sax property, particularly during the pandemic . Listening to the wind in the trees and the sounds of the river brought peace during some stressful years. They realized that others might appreciate the same, so they worked with the Saxes to develop camping on the property.

Tom and Samantha lived for several years at Watchtower Farms before moving to Walden, New York in 2023. Nowadays, Tom builds live edge furniture and Samantha writes.





bird species