Less than an hour from New York City in the Hudson Valley, Clarence Fahnestock State Park offers protected forests, lakes, and streams for locals or those who long for a weekend escape from the city.
Every year more than 300,000 people come to this spectacular location to hike a stretch of the Appalachian Trail, stake out a prime observation spot in the Bird Conservation Area, take a dip in Canopus Lake, or gear up for the rugged Breakneck Ridge trail nearby the Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve.
Through several large-scale land acquisitions, we have helped to build and protect Fahnestock State Park and its underlying watersheds, creating a precious metropolitan greenbelt.
Doubling a park
In 1929, Dr. Ernest Fahnestock donated the park’s original 2,400 acres as a memorial to his brother Clarence, an avid outdoorsman killed in action during World War I.
Since the 1990s, working in partnership with the State of New York, we have doubled the size of Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park, making it a recreational mecca in the Hudson River Valley. Today, Fahnestock is now more than 14,000 acres of protected woodlands, valleys, and plateaus.
New central trailhead and park access
In 2020, OSI announced an extensive plan to improve recreational access at Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park. The plan will upgrade overall public access to Fahnestock; provide enhanced wayfinding signs for navigation; better accommodate new and existing users to the park; and deepen visitor engagement.
Undertaken as a series of projects, OSI’s Fahnestock Improvement Plan
will make major upgrades to the trails between Hubbard Lodge and East
Mountain Road, markedly improve access to OSI-protected lands in the
northern section of Fahnestock State Park, and help transform State
Route 301 into a true park drive.
Revitalizing Canopus Lake Beach
As the park has grown, so has the number of people who use it. While we continue to expand the park, we are also responding to its evolving needs.
In 2016, spurred by our mission of improving public parks, we realized that Fahnestock’s deteriorating and outdated recreational facilities were diminishing the visitor experience.
With our Campaign to Revitalize Canopus Lake Beach, we led the efforts to make critically needed repairs and improvements to Fahnestock, so that future generations can continue to enjoy it, too.
As the park continues to grow in popularity, we are redoubling our efforts to support Fahnestock.