Land along the Hudson River once used for cement production, brick making, and ice harvesting will soon become New York’s newest state park.
The 500-acre parcel in Ulster County will be named after African American abolitionist and suffragist Sojourner Truth. It will be the state’s first new park to open in 3 years.
“It is fitting such a magnificent property with its cliffs and Hudson shoreline bears the name of a remarkable woman who started life right here in Ulster County,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “New York is committed to reflecting the diverse stories of its people, such as Sojourner Truth and her message of freedom and equality, that have influenced our state’s inspiring history.”
The state’s parks department had partnered with Scenic Hudson, an environmental group, to protect the land from a planned large-scale private development. More than $13.5 million in funding was used from the Environmental Protection Fund to purchase the land.
The park will be located about 2 hours north of New York City and will be part of the Empire State Trail. It already includes the Hudson River Brickyard Trail on the property.
The land features spectacular views of the Hudson River and 150-foot cliffs of limestone and sandstone.
“The new park will support the ongoing economic revitalization of Kingston and the regional recreational tourism economy,” State Parks Commission Erik Kulleseid said. “It will benefit the quality of life for residents throughout the year, as well as provide a major new Hudson Valley attraction for users of the Empire State Trail.”
Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan deferred any credit for saving the park to elected officials, instead focusing on the benefits the park will bring to the community and the state.
“Adding this to the New York park system is truly a visionary step, and we salute their partnership in this conservation action,” Sullivan said. “With its unique combination of natural beauty and history, I have no doubt Sojourner Truth State Park will quickly become one of the region’s premier recreational destinations.”
The majority of the property is located in the city of Kingston, and its mayor is thrilled with the park’s expected impact on the region.
“After years of sitting neglected, this unique urban property will, for the first time, be open for Kingston residents to access its breathtaking views, incredible trails, and beautiful Hudson River waterfront,” Mayor Steve Noble said. “We are looking forward to working with all of our partners to make this a world class park that is accessible to each and every resident of Kingston and our surrounding communities.”
Prior to its purchase by Scenic Hudson and the state, plans had been drawn up for more than 1,600 homes on the property.
No timeline has been given for the development of the site.