Ferncliff Forest, Rhinebeck

#4 of 11 in Things to do in Rhinebeck
Ferncliff Forest is located just 2 miles east of the Kingston-Rhinecliff bridge on Mount Rutsen Road, just off Route 9 in Rhinebeck. For more than a century, Ferncliff Forest has been a natural, unspoiled 200-acre preserve and special wildlife niche on the outskirts of the bustling and historic community of Rhinebeck. It has been home to several observation towers over the years and each has served a special purpose. The first known tower was built by the Astor Family. The second tower was erected by the Geodeidic Survey to aid in map-making, A third tower was built by the Army Corp of Engineers during World War II and served as a strategic watch tower to provide early warning of attacks, particularly on President Roosevelt’s home.

A 79' replacement tower was built using an original International Derrick that traveled all the way from Orangeburg, South Carolina, where it had stood since the 1930’s. The General Contractor for the project was Mike Vilegi, from the Lake Placid region. This observation tower is the first tower to be constructed in New York State in over a half a century.

Ferncliff Forest has received support from a small group of friends across the community who have been inspired by the historic significance of teh Forest. The Forest and teh observation tower now stand as a lasting legacy for future generations to enjoy.

Ferncliff Forest counts on community support and donations can be mailed to: Ferncliff Forest , c/o Knick Staley, PO Box, 1, Rhinebeck, New York 12572.

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Ferncliff Forest Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
42 reviews
  • We wanted a Hudson Valley view for the fall colors and we weren’t disappointed once we climbed the tower. If you are looking for a view, the short hike (0.7 miles) to the tower is worth it.  more »
  • There are three trails of varying distances to chose from, the yellow trail being the shortest. A little less than half way on the yellow trail is a fire watch tower you can climb to the top of. The w...  more »
  • Beautiful place. Amazing views from the tower. Dog friendly (always clean up your puppy's mess). Trails are so clean.
  • if you are looking for a nice easy trail that you can have a conversation with the people you are hiking with. this trail is perfect. also perfect for couples. there is a new pavilion at the pond and lean-to's throughout the trails. all great spot to have a chat and bite to eat. and don't forget the bonus of the firetower that gives you a nice 360 view, the Hudson River and Kingston Rhinecliff Bridge. if you just want to see the tower go to you right. went to your left checking out a few ponds and venture on other trails to extend our hike. this would be perfect trail to do with your out of town friends that normally wouldn't hike.

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