More than 500 acres of forested and former industrial lands along the Hudson River will begin to heal from decades of neglect and ultimately become an oasis for nearby residents and visitors to explore nature, enjoy outdoor recreation and learn about local history. Located in the City of Kingston and Town of Ulster, the property had been slated for a 1,682-unit mixed-use development. Prior to that, it had been the site of a cement mine and processing facility.
This land was acquired on October 29, 2019, by Quarry Waters, LLC, an affiliate of The Scenic Hudson Land Trust. The property features areas of outstanding natural beauty, including 260 acres of undisturbed woodlands, more than a mile of Hudson Riverfront offering sweeping views, a dramatic cliff and ridgeline, and 37 acres of wetlands. In addition to sustaining a broad array of wildlife, the land contains numerous vestiges and structures from the cement industry that will be studied to determine potential risks as well as opportunities for public use and historic interpretation.
The acquisition capitalizes on the development of a dramatic segment of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 750-mile Empire State Trail — also part of Kingston’s Greenline Trail — which will traverse the site’s riverfront, and other economic development investments the governor has prioritized in the area.
Scenic Hudson plans to reach out to various segments of the community to brief them on the acquisition and seek their preliminary input about how it can think about planning for the property’s future use. The land’s varied terrain and challenging conditions mean that whatever plans are ultimately developed will take time to consider and implement. In time, Scenic Hudson also may explore concessions appropriate to the land’s significant conservation values.
The property will remain closed to the public — as it has been for years — until further notice so that Scenic Hudson can take immediate and necessary action to secure the site and ensure public safety.
This acquisition represents Scenic Hudson’s most ambitious undertaking in its history to transform a former industrial site on the Hudson into a community asset in an urban setting. The new park will build on the organization’s past successes in turning similar sites in Beacon, Irvington, Tarrytown and Peekskill into magnificent places to connect with the river’s majesty.