Sterling Iron Works: Sterling Forest State Park

Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!

The Sterling Iron Works mined iron ore in what is now Sterling Forest State Park from 1761 to 1842. Peter Townsend ran the company which was the first to manufacture steel and iron in Colonial America. General William Alexander, also known as Lord Stirling, owned the land and the Iron Works were named in his honor.

Sterling Iron Works forged the famous Hudson River Chain. The Americans drew this chain across the Hudson to keep the British Navy from reaching West Point during the Revolutionary War. Each link of this chain weighed 140 pounds. Links of the original chain are on display at the Military Academy at West Point.

I explored this park with Take A Hike NJ at the end of March. Before hiking the Sterling Lake Loop, we walked the shorter Lakeville Ironworks Trail. This trail winds through the ruins of the Lakeville Iron Workers community and the reconstructed furnace from the 1700s.

The Lautenberg Visitor Center has models of the village as it appeared in its prime as well descriptions of how the furnace worked.

Location: 116 Old Forge Rd, Tuxedo Park, NY 10987
Designation: State Park
Date designated/established: 1998
Date of my visit: March 27, 2021

8 thoughts on “Sterling Iron Works: Sterling Forest State Park

  1. I love a good walk alongside history. It should make us all appreciate how easy we have it now. Thanks for sharing T. Hope all is well with you. Allan

  2. I can’t believe how many of these there were in Northern New Jersey/Southern New York. This is an area that is generally quite beautiful, but in the 19th century there must have been black smoke billowing everywhere.

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