“Whether hiking, mountain biking, trail running, skiing, birding or just the quiet enjoyment of nature, the property and its new trails have become a valued resource for people in the neighborhoods and communities surrounding Bluestone,” said Maxanne Resnick, Executive Director of Woodstock Land Conservancy. “Destination-quality trail systems are important components of sustainable, economic development and promote healthy, active lifestyles and communities. We have successfully collaborated with OSI on several area projects and are greatly appreciative of their passion for and recognition of the Catskills extraordinary beauty as well as its importance to locals and tourists alike. In the future we envision linking these trails to the Ashokan Rail Trail, enhancing further this multi-use trail system for many.”
Consisting of forested slopes, wetlands, and remnants of the area’s bluestone quarry history, the property includes the northern portion of a high-quality body of water known as Pickerel Pond. This coordinated effort to enhance the Bluestone Wild Forest has been achieved at the same time that local officials continue to review plans to construct a steel and precast concrete manufacturing operation directly adjacent to the former OSI-owned land. OSI has weighed in on the proposed project, raising both environmental and procedural concerns about the plant, and continues to advocate for the completion of an environmental impact statement to ensure the protection of the surrounding land and water.
First purchased by OSI in February 2019 from the Aldulaimi family, the property has now been transferred to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Before its protection, the land was listed as one of the most important inholdings in the Onteora Lake region by the Bluestone Wild Forest Land Protection Initiative. OSI’s acquisition of the property also fulfilled New York State’s Open Space Plan goal of consolidating Bluestone Wild Forest between Route 28 and Sawkill Road.