For several years, my 2011 review has been the only Tripadvisor review of this property. Hope we see more now that it was reopened!
Update 2013. Scenic Hudson has completed its overhaul of this nature preserve/industrial archeology site on the south side of Cold Spring, bounded by the Constitution Marsh. The property changed hands many times since the Civil war era but it is most famous for being the site of the West Point Foundry where the famous Parrot Canon was invented. The canon was said by some to have changed the course of the Civil war with its rifling action. Google "The Gun Foundry," by John Ferguson Weir (1866) for a look at what the foundry once looked like.
Currently you can enter the preserve by taking a trail along the Foundry Cove from the east side of the Metro North train platform, or from Main Street by driving or walking down to the end of Kemble Ave. Along Kemble you will pass the Marathon Superfund site, now a large grassy field. If you go in the evening you may see bluebirds or a herd of deer. At one time there was a battery manufacturer there, whose waste dumped onto the property and into the Foundry Cove. What looks now to be a wild and beautiful cove had to be drained 20 years ago, due to the high levels of toxic waste. It was dug out and replanted with native plants.
Follow the gravel road to a clearing, then explore both towards the water (there is a trail in the grass for the birdwatchers) and then into the woods where you will see many developed side trails. Scenic Hudson asks that you stay on trails and keep dogs on leashes, since the entire property is a historical site. You will see the old Foundry headquarters building, a picnic area, and lots of foundation ruins, as well as the stream that powered the foundry.
There are signboards along the trails, but for those of you really interested in history, there is apparently an audio tour that I passed up because I was far more interested in just soaking in the spirit of the autumn day. You may also want to stop into the Putnam History Museum before hiking down the trail into the preserve.
Birdwatchers will discover that the spot by the water (mushy at high tide) is an excellent spot for warblers, herons, ducks, swallows, orioles etc. Right now the leaves are changing and the reds are dramatic against the breakwater backdrop.
The only "service" is a restroom with composting toilets by the parking lot. But the Village is only a walk down the street and there you will find many good restaurants and shops.
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