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Stone Church, Dover Plains

#24 of 95 in Trails in New York State
Cave · Hidden Gem · Hiking Trail
"The Dover Stone Church, just west of Dover Plains Village, is also well worth a visit. Here a small stream has worn out a remarkable cavern in the rocks forming a gothic arch for entrance. It lies in a wooded gorge within easy walk from the village. Many years ago the writer of this handbook paid it an afternoon visit, and the picture has remained impressed with wonderful vividness. The archway opens into a solid rock, and a stream of water issues from the threshold. On entering the visitor is confronted by a great boulder, resembling an old-fashioned New England pulpit, reaching half way to the ceiling. The walls are almost perfectly arched, and garnished here and there with green moss and white lichen. A rift in the rocks extends the whole length of the chapel, over which trees hang their green foliage, which, ever rustling and trembling, form a trellis-work with the blue sky, while the spray rising from behind the rock-worn altar seems like the sprinkling of holy incense.

After all these years I still hear the voice of those dashing waters and dream again, as I did that day, of the brook of Cherith where ravens fed the prophet of old. It is said by [Benson John] Lossing, in his booklet on the Dover Stone Church [pub. 1876,] that Sacassas, the mighty sachem of the Pequoid and emperor over many tribes between the Thames and the Hudson River, was compelled after a disastrous battle which annihilated his warriors, to fly for safety, and, driven from point to point, he at last found refuge in this cave...."

-- The Hudson: Three Centuries of History, Romance and Invention, by Wallace Bruce. 1907.

Dover Stone Church: "360"

"Day Tripper: Dover Stone Church," Teja Anderson

(NB: Old Drover's under renovation)
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Stone Church reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
33 reviews
  • Enjoyed about an hour visit to the Stone Church in Dover Plains. Easy walk, not handicapped accessible though. You can go as far up to the cave as you feel comfortable. Hiking shoes are a good idea...  more »
  • I visited this site several times The hike is very good and at the end you get to see a beautiful geological feature which has a great historical past  more »
  • The walk to the stone Church is very easy, peaceful, and relaxing. While it can be very busy with other hikers, is a nice attraction. Take the time to go up to lookout point. Do not be afraid if the black rat snakes at the top.
  • Great time. Really a Gem in the Hudson Valley. The trails were manageable for my little children.

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