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Parking Improvements at Mount Beacon Park to Enhance Enjoyment of Popular Hudson Highlands Hiking Destination

Jay Burgess
Director of Communications, Scenic Hudson, Inc.
Tel: (845) 473-4440 x222 Cell: (914) 489-0362 Fax: (845) 473-0740

Lot to close, trailhead to remain open and nearby hikes offer options

HUDSON VALLEY, N.Y.—Parking capacity during peak periods has limited people’s enjoyment of Scenic Hudson’s Mount Beacon Park. And overflow parking was putting additional pressure on adjacent city streets. Now Scenic Hudson is investing in improvements to double the parking availability with only a slight expansion of the parking area’s size. The project will begin soon and is expected to be completed by early summer. Then more people will have access to one of the most beloved hikes in the Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve and experience spectacular summit views of the Hudson River, Hudson Highlands and Catskill Mountains.

Come early summer and busy season, parking lot will make a welcome difference The parking lot will need to close sometime in April, the timing based on weather. Improved parking should open in June, in time for the busy summer season. During construction hikers will be able to use the Mount Beacon Park trailhead and are encouraged to park at one of numerous city lots behind Main Street and ride the G line bus to the trailhead. Alternative mountain hiking experiences are available. Enjoy Storm King Mountain, with access from the Esty & Hellie Stowell Trailhead at 42 Bayview Ave. (Rte. 218), Cornwall-On-Hudson. Visit Mount Taurus from the Washburn Trailhead, 3200 Stearn Road, Cold Spring, or Hudson Highlands Gateway Park, Sprout Brook Road, Cortlandt. Try Bear Mountain State Park (fees for parking begin in mid-May), Rte. 9W, Bear Mountain. Those seeking a change of pace can enjoy a stroll along the Hudson River at Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park at 23 Long Dock Road, just 1.7 miles from Mount Beacon Park.

Scenic Hudson’s improvements at the Mount Beacon Park parking area will maximize parking with minimal impacts to the site. Thirty-seven new spaces will be added, nearly doubling access, for a total of 77 vehicles. Improved traffic flow through the lot will enable more efficient parking. An incorporated bus and trolley stop, bike racks and signage will encourage people to use alternative transit options to get to the trailhead.

Local materials will be used for the redesign—including gravel, white oak for timber guardrails and native trees and shrubs for plantings. The initiative has received positive responses from neighbors and city leaders during planning board presentations.

Scenic Hudson Senior Vice President Steve Rosenberg said, “More and more people are exploring parks, where nature and exercise make them feel better. These places are community assets. Scenic Hudson is pleased to invest in creating parks, maintaining them and making improvements when needed so that the Hudson Valley outdoor experience is shared with all who seek it out. Also, we understand that managing community congestion and being good stewards of nature, wildlife and trails at our parks is important.”

Improvements at Mount Beacon Park help advance congestion management goals of Fjord Trail project

Enhanced access at Mount Beacon Park is part of a larger effort by Scenic Hudson and many partners working on the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail. The Fjord Trail aims to strongly improve current management of vehicle congestion, visitor volume, hiking activity and natural resource protection in the Hudson Highlands region. Facilitating smart additional use of Mount Beacon Park takes pressure off overused places such as Breakneck Ridge.

Scenic Hudson will spend more than $250,000 on the parking work. Local contractors were selected through a competitive bid process, and the work has been awarded to Village Construction Company, Inc. of Salt Point.

About Scenic Hudson

Scenic Hudson helps citizens and communities preserve land and farms and create parks where people experience the outdoors and enjoy the Hudson River. We also bring together people, businesses and government to protect the river and natural resources that are the engines of the valley’s local economies. Started in 1963 by a handful of citizens who cherished the simple pleasures of the outdoors along the Hudson, Scenic Hudson is credited with launching the modern grass-roots environmental movement. Today, in the face of new challenges and the effects of climate change, we are dedicated to making the Hudson Valley a great place to live, work and play. Our focus is on strengthening and maximizing benefits all can enjoy from the region’s great assets—beautiful open spaces, working farms, and vibrant cities and town centers.