Don’t let the name of the West Point Foundry Preserve fool you. It’s across the Hudson River from West Point, and it’s one of Scenic Hudson’s parks located in Cold Spring. This 90 acre preserve is an outdoor museum, showcasing the remnants of the ironworks and machine shop that operated from 1818 to approximately 1911.
Don’t expect a strenuous hike when you visit the West Point Foundry Preserve. There are several historical exhibits that you can view while enjoying more of a leisurely stroll. You can listen to an audiovisual tour of the Foundry as you walk to learn more about the sites.
The yellow-marked “Foundry Trail” is approximately one mile in length. The first stop on the trail is a recreation of the Foundry’s gun platform. This is the site where each cannon was tested prior to delivery to the military. The target was Storm King Mountain across the other side of the river. Unexploded ordinance was still being cleared off the mountain as recently as 1999.
There is a metal pathway for smooth, flat walking. We were fairly surprised to find this path right in the woods
The next point of interest on the path is the 1865 Office Building. The Civil War was the busiest time for the West Point Foundry, as it produced thousands of cannons and millions of shells for the military. It used to be a massive complex including railways, shops and offices. However, the only structure remaining is this office building. Work has been done to preserve this building, but it is not open to the public. It’s believed that the building is in fairly good shape since it was built just prior to the sharp decline in foundry business following the Civil War. It didn’t get a lot of heavy use.
The Boring Mill Water Wheel onsite is a partial replica, to scale, of the original wheel that helped power some of the machinery that produced various products the Foundry made.
As you pass the Boring Mill overlook, you take the staircase up to the hiking path. From here, the trail splits and you can go left to finish the yellow trail or go right to link up to the red trail.
We opted to continue on the yellow trail which then brings you back to the parking lot. We highly recommend continuing past the parking lot to the blue “Cold Spring and Foundry Cove” trail. This trail will take you into the town of Cold Spring.
However, we walked this trail just to the overlook. The staircase leads up to a viewing platform of Foundry Cove. There are several benches available to sit and enjoy the views. Unfortunately, we visited on a pretty cloudy day. I can see myself coming here in the future with a book and some snacks to enjoy some time in nature and to soak up the scenery. With some sun and some more fall foliage and this view will be spectacular!
West Point Foundry Preserve
68 Kemble Ave.
Cold Spring, NY 10516
Parking: Free in parking lot
Hours: Open daily, dawn to dusk
*There is a restroom onsite
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