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Restored Hudson River Habitat►
Esopus Meadows Preserve is a Scenic Hudson park. Scenic Hudson is a conservation group, formed by six people in 1963. They stopped commercial development from destroying Storm King Mountain.
The Esopus Meadows Preserve protects one of the largest tidal flats in the Hudson River estuary. Native Americans fished here. Later, famers grazed their cattle along the shore at low tide on water celery.
By the late 1990s, a deteriorating brick building and brick wall along the shoreline impeded the ecosystem. Scenic Hudson acquired the land, using funds from restitution Exxon paid for polluting the Hudson River.
The group removed the crumbling structures, planted vegetation, and restored the area to a more natural state. Today the park has three marked hiking trails through woodlands and along the river.
We stopped at Esopus Meadows Preserve on our return from Vermont. We took the blue trail which was easy and a great place for the dogs to stretch their legs.
On the river front, there are great views of the historic Esopus Lighthouse. This lighthouse dates back to 1871. It stands on top of piles in the middle of the Hudson River and is the last remaining wooden lighthouse on the Hudson.
The Coast Guard managed the lighthouse until 1990. The Save Esopus Lighthouse non-profit group took it over in order to restore it. Today, the only way to see the lighthouse up close is by tour boat. The Hudson River Maritime Museum started bringing tourists out to the lighthouse in 2019. Tours of the interior are currently suspended due to covid.
Location: 257 River Rd, Ulster Park, NY 12487
Designation: Scenic Hudson Park
Date Designated/Established: Late 1990s
Date of my visit: 8/2/2020