Photo Credit: Jerry Monkman

Your Environment Podcast

On this week’s Your Environment podcast, OSI’s Erik Kulleseid speaks about one of the best places to go, just 60 miles from New York City: Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park. Every Friday, listen to Your Environment on the Mid-Hudson News website:

Erik Kulleseid on the Environment Podcast Header


August 21, 2015 — If you’re like me, you stayed indoors a lot this week because of the sweltering temperatures. But this weekend one of the best ways to beat the heat is to get outdoors. Today I call your attention to a beautiful Hudson Valley recreation mecca: Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park in Putnam County.

As the 270,000 hikers, swimmers, campers, birders and anglers who visit annually already know, Fahnestock is a wonderful park that offers plenty of options for outdoors enthusiasts. Located less than an hour’s drive from New York City, Fahnestock’s Canopus Lake is a particularly well-loved place to relax and cool off, whether under beach umbrellas or in the cool lake waters.

Visit bustling Fahnestock and it’s obvious how much this park is loved. Now, a new study by the Open Space Institute reveals the full extent of the park’s role as a tourism and economic driver in the Hudson River Valley. The visitor study, funded by the Waletzsky State Parks Fund and the Dyson Foundation, reveals that nearly half of Fahnestock’s visitors originate from the New York City metropolitan area, with 30 percent from the five boroughs or Long Island alone.

Fahnestock Pulse of the Parks CoverThe study also captured the park’s role as an economic catalyst, with an estimated $14.5 million impact on the local and state economy. While the park’s numbers swell during the weekend, local visitors keep Fahnestock abuzz throughout the week, contributing to its popularity and economic impact.

Another finding was the positive role of diversity at the park. People from all walks of life enjoy Fahnestock, while Spanish-speaking visitors in particular keep Fahnestock humming on weekends. When asked why they liked the park so much, many of those surveyed mentioned that there was “so much to do” at Fahnestock. Visitors can find a “one-stop shop” of outdoors adventures, from a stroll in the Butterfly Garden at Hubbard Lodge, a hike along the Appalachian Trail, or a swim and picnic at Canopus Lake.

For us at the Open Space Institute, it is gratifying to hear how appreciated the park has become. Through the years, thanks to our efforts in the area, the park has doubled in size since the early 1990s. Most recently, OSI’s Alliance for New York State Parks program has raised $1.2 million in private funds and grants towards revitalizing Fahnestock’s Canopus Lake visitor complex.

Multi-year investments like these being made in Fahnestock, by OSI, State Parks and our partners, are paying dividends as more and more people grow to love this beautiful place and develop a stake in its future.

Stream and listen to Erik.
























All active news articles

What You Can Do

Donate to support OSI’s work

Become a part of our mission to safeguard at-risk places through your tax-deductible gift.


Subscribe to our newsletter

We get in touch once a month with our most important news, stories, and updates.

Please leave this field empty