There's almost a fairytale set of ruins hidden on the side of a mountain in Putnam County, NY, in the Hudson Highlands State Park Reserve. Known as the Cornish Estate Ruins, after the second owners and first inhabitants of the estate and mansion, these ruins are easily accessible along a short trail, off of Rt 9W.
In 1917, seeking an escape from New York City, Edward J. and Selina Cornish purchased the 650 acre estate from a diamond merchant Sigmud Stern. Sadly, Stern had been building the estate to share with his wife, Dove. When she died in 1915, just three years after construction had begun, he lost interest in the place, and started looking for a buyer.
Together they furnished a grand estate, which consisting of a mansion, swimming pool, sunken gardens, an outdoor theater, stables and barns for livestock, and other outbuildings.
The couple lived in the mansion for 20 years, frequently filling the mansion with their friends, before dying within two weeks of one another. The mansion was not lived in regularly after that. In 1958, the mansion burned down, leaving the ruins we can see today.
Today those ruins are overgrown; soon the forest will succeed in reclaiming these fairytale ruins.
The trail head is located right across the street from the Hudson Highlands State Park visitors center. The trail initially starts off as a fairly narrow and muddy path, partly shaded, before turning a sharp right, and joining the expansive driveway the Cornish's had built leading up to the mansion; which is almost entirely shaded in the summer. This is the part where you climb up the side of the mountain, although elevation gain is just under 200 feet.
Looking for other daytrip ideas within the area? Check out the following articles!
- Five Locks Walk at the D&H Canal
- Foundry Park
- Hudson Highlands State Park (Cornish Ruins Hike)
- Madam Brett Park
- Minnewaska State Park Preserve Rainbow Falls Hike
- Sojourner Truth Driving Tour
- Shawangunk Scenic Drive
- Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Site
- Widow Jane Mine
Or head to New York Daytrip Destinations to find other great things to see and do in New York!
|Someone fancies themselves an artist! This graffiti was on one of the ruins.|