Bluestone Wild Forest

More Than 200 Acres Added to Bluestone Wild Forest

Image Credit: Greg Miller

TOWN OF KINGSTON, NY (June 24, 2020)—The Open Space Institute (OSI) today announced that 208 acres of forested land has been added to the Catskill Park’s Bluestone Wild Forest, officially creating a link between two previously unconnected sections of the Wild Forest: Jockey Hill to the east and Onteora Lake to the west. Located just five minutes from the NYS Thruway in Kingston, the expansion of the Wild Forest, along with a new multi-use trail created by OSI and local partners, will enhance recreation opportunities in the southeast section of the Catskill Park.

During its ownership, OSI, working with the Woodstock Land Conservancy and Tahawus Trails and in coordination with DEC and bicycle advocacy group Fats in the Cats, constructed the 2-mile “Main Turnpike Trail” on the property. The new trail connects the existing Jockey Hill and Onteora Lake trails within the 3,000-acre Bluestone Wild Forest and establishes a new entry point to the forest via Morey Hill Road.

A visitor enjoys mountain biking at Bluestone Wild Forest Addition.
A visitor enjoys mountain biking at Bluestone Wild Forest Addition.
Image Credit: Greg Miller

Located near the city of Kingston and the town of Woodstock, the Bluestone Wild Forest is a popular outdoor recreation destination. The creation of the trail on the former OSI property is part of a regional effort to establish hubs of destination-quality multi-use trails, diversify recreational use of the Catskill Mountains, and increase economic activity through enhanced year-round recreational opportunities. The protected and enhanced property figures largely in OSI’s efforts to help support Ulster County’s expanding green tourism economy and relieve pressure on wildly popular trailheads and important summits while also protecting and consolidating significant portions of the Catskill Park.

The multi-use trail is now open for hikers, mountain bikers, runners, walkers, and skiers. The gently sloping, family-oriented trails run alongside bluestone outcroppings, creating another fun and relaxing way to enjoy Bluestone Wild Forest.

“This project underscores the power of partnerships,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO. “From the time OSI originally secured this connector property, the vision was to create a new trail amenity. Being able to construct it before transferring the property to the Department of Environmental Conservation greatly accelerated the timing for the trail – which was made possible by the support and partnership of the Woodstock Land Conservancy and Fats in the Cats.”

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