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A New State Park and Empire Trail Expansion Proposed for Kingston and Ulster

Photos by Pierce Johnston, courtesy of ScenicHudson.org

Hudson Valley’s Scenic Hudson is moving forward in gaining support for its newest passion project: securing the Hudson Landing Promenade.

Land, once owned by downstate developer AVR Acquisition Group, is the focal point of a statewide discussion to turn 508 acres along the Hudson River into a state park.

Both in Kingston and Ulster, the land is owned by Scenic Hudson affiliate Quarry Waters LLC who made the purchase in 2019, after its original intention, a housing development, never came about after the 2008 housing crisis.

In part of NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address, the park proposal is under the Restore Mother Nature initiative, which would be funded by a $3 billion bond act that requires support from state voters this upcoming November.

Photo by Pierce Johnston, courtesy of ScenicHudson.org

Hudson specifically takes an interest in a 1.3 mile section of the land, with the hopes of adding it to the Empire State Trail. This 1.3 miles would be added to a pre-existing 750 mile path that runs from New York City to the Canadian border and spans Albany to Buffalo.

Approval for the path was given by the Kingston Planning Board in 2014, but after the changing of hands, the approval requires review. Although Scenic Hudson is in the early stages of public outreach, they know the journey that lies ahead is contingent on engaging with the Kingston community and hearing what ideas the urban population might have for this stretch.

Scenic Hudson Senior Vice President Steve Rosenberg explained that despite the land being highly disturbed, nature is reclaiming its own. “It’s a great example of how Mother Nature can be restored,” he says.

The stretch that Scenic Hudson is focusing on has approximately one mile of river bank, which Rosenberg explains that the spot is rich for educational promise.

The park, Rosenberg believes, could be an opportunity to have public access without disturbing the remaining infrastructure. “This particular area has the potential to show people the impact of ecological resilience during a time of climate crisis.”