"While this property, the former Chalet on the Hudson catering and
event space is only about two acres, it will have a large impact by
allowing State Parks to create a relocated trailhead and amenities for
Hudson Highlands that will help with pedestrian safety on Route 9D,"
said New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid.
The property is also part of a state-designated scenic area that is a
critical viewshed for numerous parks, Revolutionary War historic sites,
and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The site will help
maintain the region's ecological integrity by protecting wildlife
bio-corridors and preserving scenic viewsheds in an area of development
State Sen. Sue Serino said, "Today's announcement is a tremendous win
for visitors and residents alike. Relocating this popular trailhead
will not only improve access to this great natural attraction but will
also drastically improve safety in the area. As even more New Yorkers
were looking for unique ways to get outdoors during the COVID-19
pandemic, popularity of the Hudson Highlands State Park and Breakneck
Ridge Trail only continued to grow. We are grateful to State Parks for
their commitment to preserving and improving this popular destination
and very much look forward to the project's completion."
Assembly Member Sandy Galef said, "The acquisition
of this land near Breakneck Ridge is a tremendous asset to the hikers
that enjoy this area as well as making safer conditions on the roadway."
Hudson Highlands State Park is one of the most-visited Parks in the
Taconic Region, drawing more than 3.1 million visitors over the last
decade. The park's Breakneck Ridge trail is one of the most popular in
the Hudson Valley, and nation, served by its own Metro-North Train
The Open Space Institute protects scenic, natural, and historic
landscapes to provide public enjoyment, conserve habitat and working
lands, and sustain communities. Founded in 1974 to protect significant
landscapes in New York State, OSI has been a partner in the protection
of nearly 2.3 million acres in North America.
In and around the western Hudson Highlands, OSI has protected more
than 26,000 acres, creating additional parkland at Hudson Highlands,
Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park, and Schunnemunk state parks.
Most recently, OSI has partnered Fahnestock State Park to open the new
Big Woods Drive Trailhead. Earlier this year OSI also partnered with the
Unites States Military Academy cadets for the fourth consecutive year
to build new pedestrian trail bridges at Fahnestock State Park, a
partnership that provides cadets engineering majors with real-world
design and build experience while improving the park for the public. In
2020, OSI launched an extensive plan to improve recreational access at
Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park and upgrade overall public
access; provide enhanced wayfinding signs for navigation; better
accommodate new and existing users to the park; and deepen visitor
engagement. In 2014, OSI secured the Hudson Highlands' largest-ever
conservation easement on Black Rock Forest, then donated the easement to
the State of New York, guaranteeing public access to nearly 60 miles of