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Franny Reese State Park


Nestled at the western approach to the Mid-Hudson Bridge in Highland, New York, Franny Reese State Park is a wooded oasis situated right in the heart of the Hudson Valley. Named for the late environmentalist Frances "Franny" Reese (1917-2003), this 251 acre park was initially protected (and still operated) by Scenic Hudson, while ownership of the park was transferred to New York State in 2009. Franny Reese Park has about 2.5 miles of trails, but the highlights of the park include ruins of a 19th Century mansion and scenic views of the Mid-Hudson Bridge and neighboring Poughkeepsie. There are two access points in Highland to the park, one from Johnson Iorio Park at the Mid Hudson Bridge (you would cross under the roadway to get to the park) and also at Macks Lane in Highland. I had visited Franny Reese Start Park one late November afternoon and it was a pleasant experience. With that being said, let's explore!

Exploring the park begins by walking under the bridge.

The graceful Mid-Hudson Bridge that is.

The places you will go and the lady you will learn about.
Looking behind me, there is a view of the bridge between the trees.
It can be an uphill climb up the trail at times.
But it will be worth it. Let's go check out the scenic overlook.
You will get a clear view of the Mid-Hudson Bridge from the scenic overlook.
As well as a view of the Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge, which is now the home of the Walkway over the Hudson.

A parting shot of the Mid-Hudson Bridge before exploring more of the park.
That's because there are ruins to be seen around the park grounds, and you can walk right past them on the trails within Franny Reese State Park. The ruins are the remains of a 19th Century estate known as Cedar Glen. The estate was once owned by dentist and chemist Charles H. Roberts of Poughkeepsie, who lived at the estate with his family from 1868 until the earlier part of the 20th century. There are still tall brick chimneys, a dramatic staircase, and grand arched windows that once had a stellar view of the Hudson River and its surroundings. A few remnants of the buildings remain to this day. Hikes around ruins seems to be a common theme in the Hudson Valley, and the ruins at Franny Reese State Park are ripe for admiration, much like the views of the Mid Hudson Bridge.








How to Get There:


Sources and Links:
New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation - Franny Reese State Park
NY NJ Trail Conference - Franny Reese State Park
Scenic Hudson - Franny Reese State Park
Hike the Hudson Valley - Franny Reese State Park
HV1 - Discovering Franny Reese Park
Poughkeepsie Journal - Wealthy dentist created estate that is now park (May 24, 2016)
Abandoned Hudson Valley - Want Ruins? Take a Hike!

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