Open Space Institute Protects Access to Mineral Springs Falls, Black Rock Forest

Image Credit: Greg Miller

NEW YORK, NY - 11/29/2001 - Today, the Open Space Institute (OSI) announced a critical one-acre
acquisition located in the Town of Cornwall, Orange County. OSI has been working in conjunction with
the Black Rock Forest Consortium and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference to obtain this property
adjacent to Black Rock Forest. This parcel provides direct public access to the resplendent 90-foot
Mineral Springs Falls, a popular area attraction.

Mineral Springs Falls, which is surrounded by a rare stand of old-growth eastern hemlock trees, is well
known but currently hard to reach. The newly protected property, which is contiguous to Black Rock
Forest, a 3,750-acre scientific and education preserve, contains the most convenient access to the
waterfall and will act as a link connecting public lands in the surrounding area.

“Black Rock Forest is an outstanding resource, and OSI is delighted to improve public access to one of its
finest natural assets,” said Joe Martens, OSI's President.

The acquisition of this property has also created a physical link and trail corridor between the Black Rock
Forest/Storm King Mountain State Park area and the protected lands of Schunnemunk Mountain to the
west. The popular Scenic Trail, which traverses the entirety of Black Rock Forest and connects to Storm
King Mountain, passes over this property as it snakes west toward Schunnemunk Mountain. The 2,200-
acre Schunnemunk Mountain in the Town of Mountainville, was protected by OSI in 1996.

This addition to Black Rock Forest will also provide a much-needed parking area, which is now being
planned, and should be opened in the spring. The NY-NJ Trail Conference is also working to restore an
old half-mile trail leading from the proposed parking lot to the Falls.

“As a result of this purchase and creation of a trailhead, hikers will be able to access the west side of
Black Rock Forest for the first time without parking along neighboring roads. This addition is certainly
welcomed by both hikers and local motorists,” said Edward Goodell, Executive Director of the New YorkNew
Jersey Trail Conference.

“Thanks to Open Space Institute acquiring this parcel, Black Rock Forest and the Trail Conference will be
able to enhance parking and the hiking approach to the Falls making them much more accessible to the
public,” said William Schuster, Director of Black Rock Forest.

This acquisition was made possible with grants from the Lila Acheson and DeWitt Wallace Endowment, a
perpetual endowment held by OSI to further land preservation, and the New York-New Jersey Trail
Conference. The Black Rock Forest Consortium will manage the property and has agreed to construct
the parking area complete with signage and trail information.

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