Hudson Highlands State Park and the Cornish Estate Ruins revisited
Cold Spring Travel Blog› entry 921 of 1090 › view all entries
One of the first real hikes I made during my expatship was on the 13th of July 2008, in Hudson Highland State Park, near Cold Spring. See here! This is one of the highest parts of the Hudson Valley, a truly beautiful area. Apart from great trails, amazing views and beautiful nature the hike offers some serious up and down movements and, some abandoned sites. The majority of the trails are located on Bull Mountain. One of the highest but (compared to its neighbors Storm King and Breakneck Ridge) less popular mountains in the state park. Bull Mountain was named after an out of control bull that used to terrorize the mountain and was finally killed here.
I decided to re-do this hike since the previous time I did not have my GPS yet and I was curious how the "ghost" sites had developed (deteriorated) in the past five years.
The first "ghost" site is the old quarry of the Hudson River Stone Corporation. It was in use from 1931 to 1967, long enough to make a huge scar on Bull Mountain. I visited both the floor of the quarry as well as the 80-meter (266-ft) higher top edge. The remainder of the hike offered great views on Cold Spring, the Hudson and Storm King Mountain.
After climbing 333 meters (1093 ft) the trail took me down 190 meters (623 ft) to the base of Breakneck Ridge. And then it feasted me on another ascent of 220 meters (722 ft) during which I had to move quickly near a steep rock wall from which icicles were falling down, making my way between the falling ice lumps.
After a long descend I arrived at the abandoned Cornish Dairy Farm, located between the two mountains. The ruins of the farm still looked as I recalled it from 5 years ago. But a nearby item had changed significantly, a whole artificial lake had disappeared. The dam had been demolished in 2011.
The last ghost item was the Cornish Estate, also know as Northgate. This once beautiful mansion was owned by the industrial Edward Cornish. The huge house featured a swimming pool, a green house, and a garage. The dairy farm was also part of the estate. After Cornish's death the estate was not occupied anymore and a fire in 1959 destroyed all its grandeur. Only the stone walls, chimneys, and foundations survived the fire and the years of decay, leaving a very mysterious ruin complex in the middle of the re-grown forest.
Some old photos of the mansion have been discovered by Robert Yasinsac. See these at his site here!
As a desert I hiked another 1.6 km (1 mile) on Little Stony Point a peninsula created by the quarry activities. Now a state park, it offered some last great views on Storm King Mountain.
More pictures below!