ALBANY – The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYS Parks), the Open Space Institute (OSI), and the Taconic Regional Commission today announced the opening of the Hubbard Newly renovated Perkins Loop Trail. The Hubbard Perkins Loop Trail is part of a series of OSI-led park improvement projects aimed at making Fahnestock State Park more welcoming to visitors by improving access to OSI protected lands. at the north end of the park.
The two-year, $1.5 million project overhauled 9.5 miles of multi-use trails in the popular park to better accommodate walkers, hikers, runners, cyclists, snowshoers, cross-country skiers and recreational users. equestrian.
“Fahnestock State Park is a remarkable destination, offering incredible views and vast open spaces – and quality park trails are key to the park experience,” said the State Parks Commissioner. , Erik Kulleseid. “I am grateful to the Open Space Institute, the United States Military Academy and project supporters for these improvements to the Hubbard Perkins Loop Trail that will help visitors explore what Fahnestock has to offer.”
“OSI’s work in the northwest section of Fahnestock makes a largely inaccessible section of this incredible park a true showpiece,” said OSI President and CEO Kim Elliman. “As we build on our heritage of more than doubling the size of Fahnestock, we are proud that our park improvement work here ensures that the lands protected by OSI are open and welcoming to the public.”
This trail project crowns a public-private partnership between New York State Parks and OSI to increase public access and improve accessibility to an underused area of the park. Over the past eight years, OSI has raised over $9 million, with lead support from Lucy R. Waletzky for trail improvements, signage upgrades, safety upgrades and new public facilities at the park’s Canopus Lake.
“The Hubbard-Perkins Loop Trail is another beautiful reminder of the importance of public-private partnerships to the success of our state parks,” said Lucy Waletzky, longtime supporter of OSI’s work in Fahnestock and former chair of the Taconic Regional Commission and the New York State Parks Board. “The substantial renovations OSI has made to this area of Fahnestock State Park will be enjoyed and enjoyed by park visitors for decades to come.”
Components of the park improvement project included the restoration and realignment of existing trails and the construction of fourteen new pedestrian bridges and trail crossings, four of which were completed through an ongoing partnership with the U.S. Military Academy West Point . The project also created new sections of trail, rerouted sections of trail to avoid sensitive wildlife habitat areas, and included the installation of new wayfinding signs and an information kiosk near Hubbard Lodge.
For four years, OSI has partnered with New York State Parks and United States Military Academy Cadets at West Point to replace four trail bridges at Fahnestock as part of the larger Hubbard Perkins project. Loop Trail. The partnership allows cadets to use the skills and knowledge they have acquired during their year-long Civil Engineering Design course and apply those skills to the execution of a project that benefits the community.
“West Point cadets and faculty are committed to supporting state parks and the Open Space Institute by creating bridges that provide easy access to the trail. As a flagship educational event, cadets partnered with Parks to design and build these bridges, some in remote locations, learning lessons that only real-world experiences can teach. I absolutely believe that these unique and beautiful bridges blend well with their surroundings, providing a memorable and safe experience for users. We couldn’t be prouder,” said Dr. Led Klosky, professor of civil engineering at the US Military Academy at West Point.
In addition to the physical improvements made to the site, NYS Parks and OSI also unveiled a new logo (click here for logo) to celebrate the Hubbard Perkins Loop Trail’s network of bridge crossings, which is incorporated into new trail signage. .
“The new Hubbard Perkins Trail System is a great and welcome addition to Fahnestock State Park,” said Edgar Masters, Taconic Regional Commission Chairman. “Not only will it provide new outdoor adventure experiences, but it will also help to better disperse visitors in a previously underused section of the park. I am proud of the work of the Commission and grateful to everyone who contributed to this great public-private project.
The project was planned, funded, and built by OSI through a generous gift from Lucy R. Waletzky, with major support from Chris Buck & Hara Schwartz, Judy & Leonard Lauder, The Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund, and Jennifer P. Speers; and additional support from Wendy & Bob Bickford, William Burback & Peter Hofmann, Mary R. Morgan, and Norman Selby & Melissa Vail. The project was also carried out with the support of the New York State Environmental Protection Fund.
Other completed projects outlined in OSI’s multi-phase Fahnestock improvement plan include the creation of the new Big Woods trailhead and 25-car parking area off Highway 301, a second new trailhead and a 15-car parking area that provides direct access to the Appalachian Trail; and installing park entrance and wayfinding signs on Route 9 and the Taconic State Parkway.
Over the past decade, more than three million people have visited Fahnestock State Park, which spans more than 14,000 acres in Putnam and Dutchess counties. Annual visitation to the park has increased by more than 38% during this period. Fahnestock State Park has over 62 miles of hiking trails, as well as 10 miles of the Appalachian Trail, which stretches approximately 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine.