I love road trips. We love trying to find something cool to see, great coffee or a fabulous place to eat. This past weekend, we set out on a road trip with the hopes of finding a cool spot to photograph and a fun first hike of the year.
We decided on Hudson Highlands State Park because I heard there were lots of great trails and the remains of a beautiful estate. Perfect for hiking and perfect for photographing...my idea of a perfect day. We entered the trails from Route 9D in Cold Spring. We hiked a short (probably a bit overgrown in summer) trail about a quarter of a mile to the driveway path of the old estate. We followed the driveway path as it meandered up the mountain. I had doubts that we would really find the remains of the estate, but it was a beautiful day and a scenic hike, so we were happy regardless. We finally came around a bend in the path and saw chimneys and stone walls standing up among the trees. It was beautiful.
The estate was more magical than I had hoped it would be. Stone walls, giant chimneys with fireplaces stacked on top of each other, this place must have been amazing. We spent some time just wandering through the remains, trying to imagine what it must have looked like years ago. The windows were huge and overlooked the Hudson. We could still see some of the details in the beautiful tiles that were left on the fireplaces.
Curious for details on the history, we searched the internet and found the following. Built in the early 20th century by Sigmund Stern, it was sold to Edward Joel Cornish in 1917 after the death of Stern's wife. The estate was named North Gate, but often called the Cornish Estate, after Edward Cornish. After Cornish died in 1938, the estate was maintained until the 1950's (http://www.hudsonvalleyruins.org/yasinsac/cornish/cornish1.html).
The trails continue on over Mount Taurus and include waterfalls and views of Bannerman Island. Some trails are more difficult than others; please check the trail map here (http://nysparks.com/parks/9/maps.aspx). Also, be sure to bring drinking water and use appropriate tick protection.
For more pictures of this amazing estate, please visit http://jessicacollinsphotography.blogspot.com.