Open Space Institute Protects Access to Mineral Springs Falls, Black Rock Forest
NEW YORK, NY - 11/29/2001 - Today, the Open Space Institute (OSI) announced a critical one-acre acquisition located in the Town of Cornwall, Orange County. OSI has been working in conjunction with the Black Rock Forest Consortium and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference to obtain this property adjacent to Black Rock Forest. This parcel provides direct public access to the resplendent 90-foot Mineral Springs Falls, a popular area attraction.
Mineral Springs Falls, which is surrounded by a rare stand of old-growth eastern hemlock trees, is well known but currently hard to reach. The newly protected property, which is contiguous to Black Rock Forest, a 3,750-acre scientific and education preserve, contains the most convenient access to the waterfall and will act as a link connecting public lands in the surrounding area.
“Black Rock Forest is an outstanding resource, and OSI is delighted to improve public access to one of its finest natural assets,” said Joe Martens, OSI's President.
The acquisition of this property has also created a physical link and trail corridor between the Black Rock Forest/Storm King Mountain State Park area and the protected lands of Schunnemunk Mountain to the west. The popular Scenic Trail, which traverses the entirety of Black Rock Forest and connects to Storm King Mountain, passes over this property as it snakes west toward Schunnemunk Mountain. The 2,200-acre Schunnemunk Mountain in the Town of Mountainville, was protected by OSI in 1996.
This addition to Black Rock Forest will also provide a much-needed parking area, which is now being planned, and should be opened in the spring. The NY-NJ Trail Conference is also working to restore an old half-mile trail leading from the proposed parking lot to the Falls.
“As a result of this purchase and creation of a trailhead, hikers will be able to access the west side of Black Rock Forest for the first time without parking along neighboring roads. This addition is certainly welcomed by both hikers and local motorists,” said Edward Goodell, Executive Director of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference.
“Thanks to Open Space Institute acquiring this parcel, Black Rock Forest and the Trail Conference will be able to enhance parking and the hiking approach to the Falls making them much more accessible to the public,” said William Schuster, Director of Black Rock Forest.
This acquisition was made possible with grants from the Lila Acheson and DeWitt Wallace Endowment, a perpetual endowment held by OSI to further land preservation, and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference. The Black Rock Forest Consortium will manage the property and has agreed to construct the parking area complete with signage and trail information.
The Open Space Institute is a non-profit organization that acquires significant recreational, environmental, agricultural and historic properties throughout New York State. Since its inception nearly 25 years ago, OSI's work has added to or created more than 30 parks and preserves and permanently protected more than 70,000 acres stretching from the Palisades to the Adirondacks.
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