A fitting tribute to an inspirational woman.

HIGHLAND, Ulster County (251 acres) — It makes perfect sense we named this preserve after Scenic Hudson’s guiding spirit, Frances “Franny” Reese (1917-2003), who dedicated much of her life to protecting the Hudson Valley’s natural and historic treasures. After all, we conserved this magnificent bluff-top forest to prevent a massive residential development from destroying it.

Scenic Hudson conserved, created and manages Franny Reese State Park, which is owned by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Trails follow a historic carriage road that passes ruins of a 19th-century estate, while an overlook affords superb views of the Mid-Hudson Bridge and Walkway Over the Hudson. A link connects the park to the Walkway Loop Trail.

Free and open year-round, sunrise to sunset.

IMPORTANT COVID-19 SAFETY UPDATES

The safety of our park visitors is our top priority. Due to COVID-19, we continue to require that all group visits be pre-approved (please fill out this form and email Anthony Coneski to coordinate a group visit).

Starting Monday, May 24, Scenic Hudson is adopting outdoor safety guidelines that align with the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Presentation (CDC) and New York State:

  • Vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear a mask in most settings, but we do recommend that everyone wear masks in large public groups. 
  • Unvaccinated individuals, under both CDC and NYS guidance, must wear masks in all public settings.

Activities

  • Access via train
  • Dog walking on leash
  • Hiking
  • Mountain biking
  • Picnicking
  • Walkway Loop Trail link
  • Wildlife watching
  • X-country skiing & snowshoeing
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More to explore

Reap the bounty at one of the myriad u-pick farms in Highland and surrounding communities. Across the river in Poughkeepsie, attractions include Locust Grove, the 200-acre estate of telegraph inventor Samuel Morse, and a superb collection of Hudson River School paintings at Vassar College’s art museum.