Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

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Palisades Region

On the west side of the Hudson River, the Palisades region is rich in history, diverse habitat, and jaw-dropping views.

Visitors to the beloved Bear Mountain State Park enjoy panoramic vistas from Perkins Memorial Tower, go boating, visit the zoo, fish, swim, hike, bike, ice skate, ride the merry-go-round, stay at the Bear Mountain Inn or simply enjoy the many trails or picnic in leafy groves. At Harriman State Park, hike through highlands and forests and along waterfronts. Swim, boat, camp or fish and enjoy family picnics, group outings and special events.

Rock climbers are welcome at Minnewaska State Park Preserve's sheer ledges of the Shawangunk Mountain ridge that rises more than 2,000 feet above sea level. Explore the park on foot, by bike, on horseback or cross-country skis along a 50-mile network of carriageways and trails.

Explore the exhibits and ruins at Fort Montgomery State Historic Site and learn why this fort was considered a key component of the American defenses early in the war. A visit to Washington's Headquarters State Historic Site is a must. As the nation's first state-owned historic site, it's where Gen. Washington brought the Revolutionary War to a close and helped shape a new republic. Nearby, tour the visitor's center and see costumed interpreters at New Windsor Cantonment where visitors will gain insight into to the weaponry, activities and atmosphere of life as a Continental soldier. The site serves as home to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.

Sterling Forest State Park, a park of nearly pristine natural refuge is just 60 minutes northwest of New York City. A tremendous outdoor recreation area this park's hiking trails feature dense woodlands, lakes, marshes, and dazzling views of the New York-New Jersey Highlands. For a quick escape try Rockland Lake State Park for its picnic groves, lakeside trail, swimming and golf.  Hike and horseback ride amidst the solitude and dramatic scenery of the region's undeveloped parks such as Goosepond Mountain, Blauvelt and Highland Lakes State Parks.

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