On Sunday, Sept. 12, over 40 hikers defied gathering clouds and met at Cat Rock, Garrison, for a Hudson Highlands Land Trust-sponsored Take-A-Hike!
The group enjoyed the view of the Hudson River and witnessed first-hand the process behind preservation and conservation of historic homes and estates. The family is allowing films, photo shoots and limited short-term events rentals at Cat Rock to directly support the historic preservation of the house.
Castle Rock, built in 1881 by railroad magnate William H. Osborn, is visible from West Point and from Route 9D in Garrison. It has become one of the most recognizable landmarks of the Hudson Highlands. Caretaker Chip Marks touched on the main points of the structure’s history, including the persistent local legend that the building inspired the witch’s castle in L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz. Visitors were thrilled to get a rare peek inside the iconic Hudson Highlands structure.
Fred Osborn spoke to his guests about the design and construction of Cat Rock, built in 1919 by Frederick H. Osborn, who took great care in the placement of the home. This is evidenced by the way the setting sun illuminates certain parts of it during the longest and shortest days of the year. “Unfortunately,” Fred added, “these delightful light shows can only be enjoyed twice a year. And only if the weather is clear.”
Three Take-A-Hike! programs remain this season: Family Ropes Challenge on Sept. 19, Spooky—Not Scary—Stories on the Hudson on Oct. 22 (please note the date change), and Fortress West Point Historic Walk on Oct. 23. There is no cost to join a hike, and those wishing more information may contact the Hudson Highlands Land Trust at 845-424-3358 or visit www.hhlt.org.
The Hudson Highlands Land Trust is a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the natural resources, rural character, and scenic beauty of the Hudson Highlands. It sponsors hikes to give people the opportunity to experience the beauty, history and ecology of the Hudson Highlands. (Photo courtesy of HHLT.)