New York property adds to "wilderness" walk

A prominent forested property on the Shawangunk Ridge in New York’s Catskill Mountains is now permanently protected thanks to a recent purchase by the Open Space Institute. The 228-acre property in the town of Mamakating, the former site of a well-known Catskills resort known as “Shawanga Lodge,” was once planned for a casino development. OSI’s $1.7 million acquisition is adjacent to five popular recreational trail systems and to the 3,300-acre Bashakill Wildlife Management Area.

By Kirsten Ferguson April 14

The newly protected land, highly visible from several vantage points in western Orange County, advances an effort by OSI and partners to create a regional hiking trail spanning the entire 73-mile length of the Shawangunk Ridge from the New Jersey border north to the Rosendale Trestle, which OSI permanently protected in 2009 and restored in 2013. The acquisition presents an opportunity to re-route a portion of the proposed Shawangunk Ridge Trail to an off-road location, creating a “wilderness” walk and safer conditions for recreational users. The Shawangunk Ridge Trail is now nearly complete, with over 67 miles of the 73-mile-long trail permanently protected.

“With this latest acquisition, OSI continues to forge a lasting conservation legacy in the Southern Shawangunks by expanding recreational opportunities for visitors and protecting scenic and forested landscapes from development,” says Kim Elliman, OSI president and CEO.