History…nature…ruins…THREE state parks in FOUR miles, do I have your attention yet? Let’s begin down in the Hudson Valley at Staatsburgh State Historic Site [75 Mills Mansion 6 Road, Staatsburg, NY 12580]. So you’ve entered through the fancy gate and parked in the lot. You’ll find some historical information and a trail map at the kiosk if you want to hone your knowledge historically or geographically.
However, if you want to be carefree – the way is really quite simple. Follow the blue trail towards the river.
You’ve started at the Staatsburge State Historic Site, you will pass through Ogden & Ruth Livingston Mills State Park, and finally Margaret Lewis Norrie State Park before your time is through, but before we get ahead of ourselves – look at that view!
The shining Hudson and the Esopus Meadows Lighthouse sitting pretty in the middle. We’re off to a good start. So the key here is to just follow the river out and back, when you’re ready to return. Quite quickly we noticed a great lawn and a grandiose abode on our left, there was the Mills Mansion! You can pay to take a tour of the 79 room Gilded Age estate to learn more about the Mills family, or simply stroll about the premises for free.
Continuing on with the river always on your right, take the blue path down until you find a junction with the white trail. Before you head onto the white (for the duration of your hike), you may want to take the spur leading to some abandoned buildings in the Hoyt House complex.
Walking around here was pretty neat, just be careful during your urban exploration for rusty nails and thorny bushes. The birds love it in this area! When you’re ready head back down to the river and up on the white trail on the cliffs along the Hudson.
The riverside rolling hills are ever so lovely. Along the way there was so much to see. The sparkling river was of course a highlight, but keep your eyes peeled for other treasures! We noticed another castle-like structure across the way,
a geodetic survey marker in a bit of a strange location,
and that somebody had some fun with river-glass and pebbles.
Soon we made it to the picnic tables at Norrie Park and basked in the sunshine. There was a cute dribble of a waterfall,
and a bunch of really cool little seedlings.
If you shake inside the seeds they made a noise, however when we cracked them open (which was really hard to do!) we found nothing. Strange…Does anyone know what tree they come from? Anyhow, If you make the picnic tables at Norrie Park your turn around point, you’ll have taken a nice 4 mile round trip hike, and that’s just what we did. So back the way we came…all the way back down the white trail, now with the river on our left…back to the blue…up the hill and to the car! I was tempted to grab a blanket and join the others catching rays on the lawn of the mansion overlooking the river, what an interesting and beautiful spot to post up for the day!