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New York state

The little Presbyterian church in the big woods

Ten pairs of trail shoes crunch up the carriage road. A dry August has browned trailside grass and prompted some early color amid the maples. Grasshoppers shoot off in all directions. A few monarch butterflies drift by in pursuit of milkweed. We are on our way to Elder’s Grove, an 8-acre stand of old-growth white pines that date to 1675.