New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid recently announced a property acquisition along Route 9D in Putnam County as part of plans to construct a relocated trailhead for Brook Trail at Hudson Highlands State Park in Cold Spring.
“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,” Kulleseid said.
There is currently no parking for the Brook Trailhead on Route 9D, necessitating people to walk along and cross the high-speed highway to access the trailhead.
The relocation of the Brook Trail trailhead and associated parking to this location is intended to help with the safety issue. It also provides alternate access into Breakneck Ridge from the south other than the rock scramble.
State Parks recently closed on a $1.71 million sale of the former catering site from the not-for-profit Open Space Institute. Planning will now include how best to create information kiosks and a trailhead to the nearby Brook Trail, as well as provide increased safety with added parking off busy Route 9D.
“OSI is proud to be working to make parks and protected land in the Hudson Highlands more welcoming for the public,” said Kim Elliman, president and CEO of the Open Space Institute.
“The Chalet project, along with our extensive trail improvement and conservation efforts make the spectacular natural resources of this region safer and more accessible for hikers looking for a day-long challenge and families out for an afternoon stroll. We congratulate Commissioner Kulleseid and look forward to our continued partnership with New York State Parks.”
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.
“Relocating this popular trailhead will not only improve access to this great natural attraction but will also drastically improve safety in the area,” said State Senator Sue Serino.
“The pandemic seems to have brought more hikers to our county than ever before, so providing better and safer access to the trails in Hudson Highlands State Park is incredibly important right now,” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell.
This is great news for our residents and for the many visitors who come here to see our region’s stunning views.”
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 Station.