NY Parks Department To Buy 1,200 Acres In Hudson Valley To Expand Hiking

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The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is teaming up with Scenic Hudson on an agreement to add roughly 1,250 acres of open space. Photo Credit: Courtesy New York State Parks

YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is teaming up with Scenic Hudson on an agreement to add roughly 1,250 acres of open space in the Hudson Valley region. 

The new open space is set to run from Dutchess County to Hudson Highlands State Park. The agreement builds on the 63 acres added to Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park, "expanding popular hiking opportunities and open space protection in the Hudson Highlands," State Parks representatives said in a release. 

"The Hudson Highlands are a nationally important scenic landscape, providing tremendous recreational opportunities and contributing to clean air and water, and protection of these lands strengthen Gov. Andrew Cuomo's outstanding conservation legacy," State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said in the release. "I am grateful to our partners for their work in securing these spectacular lands for the public, and that New York is able to draw on resources such as the Highlands Conservation Act (HCA) funding and the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) to preserve our state's wonderful places and improve our park system."

Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan also extended his thanks for the new project. 

"This project demonstrates the benefits of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's economic development strategy—recognizing that protecting the state's fabulous natural resources and job creation go hand-in-hand. This is a foundation of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council and its ‘green circle' strategy to focus resources on the Hudson Valley's great natural, historic and cultural treasures," said Sullivan in the release. "Great thanks also to State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey for her leadership and understanding of how much enjoyment and inspiration this landscape will give to residents and visitors alike. The preserve is close to an urban center and mass transit but offers a true wilderness experience. Scenic Hudson is honored to be part of this important conservation agreement."

The agreement calls for State Parks to purchase the Fishkill Ridge acreage from Scenic Hudson with about $1.8 million in HCA funding and $250,000 from the EPF, according to the release. Scenic Hudson is also donating more than $1.8 million worth of land value toward the sale. 

"Fishkill Ridge is one of the Hudson Valley's iconic landscapes, visible from miles around and offering the public some of the best hiking in the region. Throughout the year, people come from New York City and all over to enjoy this remarkable resource, which also is contributing to the economic vitality of nearby communities such as Beacon and Cold Spring," said Steve Rosenberg, executive director of The Scenic Hudson Land Trust, in the release.

For more information, call 518-474-0456 or visit the State Parks website.

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