scenic hudson

walk bike alliance road

Putnam and Dutchess County citizen groups and governmental agencies continue to work together to develop the Hudson Fjord Hike/Bike Trail – a separated multi-use 9-mile trail linking Constitution Island in Cold Spring to the City of Beacon Train Station.  The riverfront towns of Philipstown and Fishkill, the City of Beacon and the Village of Cold Spring, Dutchess and Putnam counties, Scenic Hudson, Hudson Highlands Land Trust, The Open Space Institute and elected officials are working collaboratively with NYS Department of Transportation, NYS Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation, and Metro-North Railroad. The project has also been featured in both the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Plan and the Mid-Hudson Sustainability Plan.

First reported on in the July 2008 issue of NYNJ Trail Conference Trailwalker, the goal of the project is to transform a portion of State Route 9D in the heart of the Hudson Highlands from a high speed thoroughfare into a multi-use, user-friendly recreational, tourism-oriented parkway that provides people with a stronger visual and physical connection with the Hudson River.  This section of Route 9D links two of the region’s most significant historic communities, the Village of Cold Spring and the City of Beacon, and connects a number of important public resources, including Hudson Highlands State Park, Little Stony Point, and Mt. Beacon, all of which offer outstanding views of the Hudson River, Storm King Mountain and Bannerman’s Castle.

The road is heavily used in all seasons by people seeking to access some of the most outstanding outdoor recreational opportunities in New York State.  In fact, the area has been named by Newsweek magazine as among the top ten best hiking destinations in the nation and the Breakneck Ridge trail currently ranks as the number one day hike in an online poll conducted by  Yet due to the road’s design, the public—particularly bicyclists and pedestrians—cannot safely access these places from which to enjoy river views.  The corridor is used by vehicles traveling along the highway at or above the 55 mph speed limit as well as by large numbers of hikers parking and walking along the unimproved shoulder.

At the northern section of the corridor, lies Beacon, which is rapidly emerging as a Hudson River artist hotspot.  Cold Spring, deep in the heart of the Highlands, has a variety of antique, outdoor recreation, specialty shops, and cafes that attract many visitors from the NYC area. There will be important economic benefits of improved access and use of the Trail to local communities. In addition, Cold Spring boasts a rich history in a scenic setting nestled between the mountains and river that draws history buffs from around the nation.

With both communities well-served by Metro North rail service, the centers of population will have a green connection between them, and visitors will use it to connect to the communities and to nature. The Trail will accommodate all: hikers, bikers, seniors, those with disabilities. The area is already a destination for international travelers, and the Trail will make their trip easier and safer.

Add your name to our email list to learn more about how you can help support the Hudson Fjord Trail and regional bike and walking trails.


stone ridge orchard 2013 juice

We are pleased to announce that Equity Trust, Scenic Hudson and the Open Space Institute have all provisionally agreed to provide various levels of funding and support for the acquisition and long term conservation of Stone Ridge Orchard.

We are still seeking one or more funding partners so that we can finalize our purchase of Stone Ridge Orchard by the end of the year. These funders can be private individuals or foundations.  

We are still seeking some funds so that we may have a timely funding by the end of the year. Please contact Elizabeth Ryan by text at 845-453-0242 or by email at [email protected] 


hudson mead kit 2013

More good news: We were featured in this month's Bon Appetit as one of the top gifts of the year!!


From our friends at Scenic Hudson:

On August 9 the New Jersey judge in charge of the lawsuit challenging Englewood Cliffs' variance allowing a 143-foot-high building in a zone with a 35-foot height limit issued a ruling in favor of LG, the international electronics manufacturer planning to build its new headquarters tower over the historic Palisades Park. Scenic Hudson and the other public interest litigants will appeal the decision. We remain determined to persuade LG to bring the height of its building below the tree line.

Earlier this week, two important newspapers, The New Jersey Star Ledger and the New York Daily News, have called for LG to lower the height of their proposed building, notwithstanding the court ruling. Yesterday, NYS Sen. Jeff Klein, U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel and other elected officials joined Scenic Hudson and fellow members of Protect the Palisades at a press conference held in Riverdale, NY to raise awareness about LG's plan and urge the company to revise the design of the building so that it doesn't mar the iconic Palisades landscape.

The court's August 9 ruling was widely reported in the media, but it is important to remember that in no way is this the final word on the matter. It was a local decision that considered only local circumstances in a single municipality. It took no account of the national interest in preserving the grand sweep of the Palisades, a National Historic Landmark and National Natural Landmark.

Ultimately, the issue may well be decided in the court of public opinion. We seek to intensify our campaign, spreading the word in the press, via social media and with elected officials ever more widely. We enlist and thank you for your support in this effort.


TZ_bridge_ggnWorked to strike best deal possible for the river

Governor Cuomo announced that New York State has reached anagreement with Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson on the terms of a critical New York State permit for construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge. This permit is one of the last certifications the state needs in order to move forward with construction, and a critical one as it sets out enforceable requirements for protecting water quality and vulnerable fish species like Atlantic Sturgeon in the Hudson.

Riverkeeper has been collaborating with partner organization Scenic Hudson and New York State to ensure that the new bridge is built with the least impacts to the river and its ecosystem as possible. In addition to incorporating Riverkeeper’s suggestions to strengthen the permit, there is a significant reduction in dredging and the use of smaller pilings making the project more environmentally-friendly. The DEC permit also contains $11.5 million of mitigation and restoration funding to protect the Hudson River and minimize environmental impacts from construction.

In addition, the state has agreed to give Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson a seat at the table in monitoring the construction as the project moves forward.

Since Governor Cuomo announced plans to build a new Tappan Zee Bridge replacement in 2011, Riverkeeper has been a vocal advocate for a project that will best safeguard the Hudson River while providing communities with the transportation they need. The agreement announced today strikes the best possible deal for the river.

Key elements of the agreement include:

  • DEC Clean Water Act permit that contains strict, publicly enforceable prohibitions against violations of water quality standards related to dredging and other in-river construction, requires an Independent Environmental Compliance Monitor, and establishes $10 million in funding for mitigation and restoration projects in the river, including; restoring oyster reefs, fish spawning habitat and tidal wetlands.
  • Formal Memorandum of Understanding between Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson, DEC and the NYS Thruway Authority, which commits Thruway to hold regular meetings and site visits with Riverkeeper during construction and mitigation planning, immediate notification when reports and monitoring data are prepared pursuant to the state permit, and an additional $1.5 million in mitigation funding for waterfront related improvements, such as restoring natural shorelines or acquiring land for parks in the communities affected by bridge construction.

Riverkeeper will continue to provide updates on the status of the project as it moves forward and will be actively monitoring the construction process, and working with the state to make sure the $11.5 million of mitigation and restoration funding is used in the best possible way for the Hudson.

New NY Bridge Memorandum of Understanding and Settlement Agreement 3-22-13

Oil Tanks on the Highland WaterfrontDismantling the oil tanks at Highland Landing, July Dan McLaughlin
By Scenic Hudson Director of Land Use Advocacy J. Jeffrey Anzevino, AICP
In 1994, Highland resident Matt Smith saw a small, barely used oil terminal at the river's edge and envisioned a park. A self-described "river rat," Matt knew that a park—especially one with a dock—could create economic opportunity for the struggling Ulster County hamlet just up the hill. He also realized that while the surrounding Town of Lloyd contains nearly nine miles of Hudson waterfront, the railroad runs the entire length of its shoreline, meaning this spot held the only potential for offering a place to fish, launch a boat or picnic by the water. However, tiny Highland Landing already was the site of a restaurant, marina and the oil terminal.
Over the next 15 years, Scenic Hudson, the town, Matt and other committed residents, and the state worked together to provide the town's only riverfront access. The 1.7-acre site was purchased by Lloyd in 2008 for $650,000. This cost was offset by $275,000 from Scenic Hudson, $250,000 from the State of New York OPRHP Environmental Protection Fund and $125,000 in Federal Community Development Block Grant funding.

Securing title to the site was just the first step. Once the oil tanks were removed, town residents rolled up their sleeves and began the physical work of creating the park. Matt and his cadre of devoted volunteers—incorporated as the Highland Landing Park Association—spent thousands of hours clearing the land, laying down fill and topsoil, and planting grass. Over $1 million in building materials, architecture and landscape design work, construction equipment, and even cash was provided by local residents and businesses as in-kind donations used to offset matching grants.
Even now, three years after the opening of Bob Shepard Highland Landing Park (named in memory of the former town supervisor who championed the park's creation), this is still clearly a work in progress. However that has not stopped hundreds of people each week from using the park for fishing, launching kayaks and canoes, picnicking, or simply enjoying outstanding river views. It's also become a popular place for holding events, including free Tai Chi classes, a community yard sale and concerts.
Visitors enjoy Highland Landing ParkPeople fishing and enjoying the views from Bob Shepard Highland Landing Jeff Anzevino

This summer, thanks to a NYS DOS Local Waterfront Revitalization Program Grant funded through the Environmental Protection Fund, the park will receive a major facelift. A crumbing concrete wall will be replaced by a marine-grade steel pile bulkhead. New amenities will include an 850-foot-long riverwalk made of stamped concrete, a pavilion and a dock that will accommodate tour boats. The brick building that once housed the oil terminal's office has been redesigned with raised electrical and heating systems and special sheetrock that will resist damage from occasional flooding; it will open soon as an environmental education center. It's hoped that future funding will enable construction of a trailered boat launch—the only one along the west shore between Port Ewen and Newburgh, a distance of more than 30 miles.

Clearly it took cooperation, hard work and a shared vision to make this transformation possible. Thanks to the leadership of Matt Smith, the Highland Landing Park Association and its many volunteers, and the initiative's funding partners, a silk purse of a park has been created from the sow's ear of an oil tank farm. The results will provide recreation and economic opportunity for Lloyd and its residents for years to come.
Oil Tanks on the Highland WaterfrontBob Shepard Highland Landing Park is now the site of waterfront festivalsphoto: Dan McLaughlin

hudson_river_slide_showWalkway Over The Hudson hosts the worlds longest Hokey Pokey dance.

The park is already a world class creative use of structure park. Thinking outside the box from concept to managing has always been at the core of this beautiful Hudson Valley asset. Now brilliant, communal, viral, fun promotion is what they are up to.

Of the 2,569 dancers ranging up to 102 in age the 5 minute dance was the usuall, "You put your left foot in" sort of an afair, but far more meaningful and deep.

Ask youself: What if the Hoey Pokey is and that's what it's all about?

What if miles of people gathering on an old bridge to dance and set a world record is a valuable use of a Saturday afternoon. What if all those people found something they could gather around, be part of, a community of people who want to set the hokey Pokey record? What is they went away from the experience with something interesting to talk about with their freinds and neighbors?  Can sustainable community be this simple?

Thanks to Jeff Anzevino of Scenic Hudson for bringing this to our attrention!  It's an amazing and creative way to bring people together and bring focus to a park. 

A line of 2,569 people danced the Hokey Pokey for more than five minutes at Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park on Saturday, June 9th establishing a new Guinness World Record. Their line stretched more than a mile across the world's longest elevated pedestrian park, a diverse array of dancers came from al over the country to participate in the fundraiser supporting the nonprofit group, Walkway Over the Hudson.

"We did it! This wonderful event has brought together people from the Hudson Valley, the region and beyond," said Walkway Executive Director Elizabeth Waldstein-Hart. "Once again this special park and our remarkable organization have demonstrated that anything is possible." She also thanked participants, volunteers, staff, and sponsors for their collective accomplishment.

Enjoy the Record On LIne story and the Go Big Or Go Home article


scenic_hudson_steel_hudsonBy Scenic Hudson 

On Thursday, Jan. 12, almost a hundred government officials, planning professionals and environmentalists came to the Steel House restaurant on the Kingston waterfront for "Revitalizing Hudson Riverfronts: Opportunities in an Era of Global Climate Change." The all-day forum focused on rising temperatures and water levels and how they relate to Hudson Valley planning and infrastructure. Speakers included Steve Rosenberg, Jeff Anzevino and Sacha Spector from Scenic Hudson, Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo, Kristin Marcell of the NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program and Ulster County planning director Dennis Doyle. Following the speaker presentations, the audience broke up into smaller group for practical workshops and a mapping exercise.
Additional details including links to videos of several presentations can be found in this Midhudson Messenger report.

What is Sacha Spector saying about this event?


boat_for_scenic_hudsonBy Scenic Hudson:

On Tuesday, Jan. 24, the Cold Spring Village Board unanimously endorsed all six principles for riverfront development that are detailed in Scenic Hudson's Revitalizing Hudson Riverfronts handbook and agreed that the principles should be reflected in the newly adopted village comprehensive plan. According to, Cold Spring intends "to support mixed-use development that is compact and is site-sensitive in building design; in close proximity to transportation hubs where infrastructure exists; is publicly accessible; preserves open space, scenic views and critical environmental areas; and develops a sense of place."

"We're delighted that Cold Spring has joined the City of Beacon in formally embracing the principles in the guide," said Scenic Hudson Director of Land Use Advocacy Jeff Anzevino. "And we're eager to work with other riverfront communities as they plan for a prosperous, sustainable future."

First published in 2010, Revitalizing Hudson Riverfronts illustrates specific conservation and development strategies for creating environmentally and economically healthy communities along the Hudson. Electronic copies of the guide are available as a free download (PDF, 6.1MB).



Spanning both shores of the Hudson River, Scenic Hudson’s “emerald necklace” of parks offers 5,500 acres of outdoor thrills—opportunities to explore nature, admire breathtaking views, launch a kayak and learn about local history.

Each gem tells a story of determination, from forests and meadows saved from sprawling development to industrial waterfronts transformed into exciting places to experience the river’s power. The parks exist because citizens, communities and other partners joined Scenic Hudson to protect and restore these world-class landscapes and make them available to all. Plan your next walk with

Scenic Hudson's Interactive Parks Map

Photo: Robert Rodriguez, Jr.

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