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NY DEC Watchable Wildlife

Outdoor Discovery

Hudson Highlands State Park
Description: Just a one-hour car ride north of New York City, this state park preserve consists of a number of separate parcels, including the Audubon Center and Wildlife Sanctuary at Constitution Marsh. The preserve’s several thousand acres are spread across three counties, with terrain that varies from rocky uplands to tidal wetlands on the east shore of the Hudson River. With more than 40 miles of trails, it offers stunning views of the Hudson Highlands and the United States Military Academy at West Point.

At the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, more than 200 species of birds find foraging, nesting and resting habitat, as do scores of fish and other vertebrate and invertebrate species. Cattails, swamp rose mallows, wild rice and other marsh plants harbor a variety of wildlife in the summer and are visited by numerous waterfowl during spring and fall migrations.

Wildlife to Watch: Numerous species of birds occupy the varied habitats of the park. Prairie warblers and field sparrows can be heard singing in fields and brushy areas. Woodland species include several warblers, ovenbirds, veerys and red-eyed vireos. Worm-eating warblers can be found in the forests at lower altitudes.

In winter, bald eagles congregate around open water areas by the river. In summer, turkey and black vultures may be seen soaring above the highlands, while broad-winged hawks and other raptors are visible during spring and fall migration, especially from locations like the summit of Anthony’s Nose.

Special Tips: Hudson Highlands: The park is open from sunrise to sunset, yearround. There is a vehicle entrance fee. Hunting and fishing are allowed in season.

Accessibility is limited; please call ahead.

Hudson Highlands: 845-225-7207, 1498 Route 301, Carmel, NY 10512, www.nysparks.com

Other Activities: Hudson Highlands: More than 40 miles of hiking trails include terrain varying from easy to challenging. The aptly named Breakneck Ridge trail (one of Newsweek’s “ten best day hikes in America”) rises 1,250 feet in only 0.75 mile and is not recommended for beginners. The summits of Mount Taurus and Anthony’s Nose both offer views of the NYC skyline. Trail maps are available at the office of nearby Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park and at key trailheads.

Ownership: Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation 
Size: 7,000 
Closest Town: Becon - Cold Springs

RestroomsParkingFishingHikingPicnic tablesVisitor CenterSmall BoatsDrinking WaterBicycling

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:

Red Fox - Photo by Gerry Lemmo
Please see map link below

Driving Directions:
Hudson Highlands: From I-84 and US-9D in Dutchess County, turn onto US-9D south. Travel about 3.5 miles to the park entrance. From US-9 north in Westchester County, turn onto US-6/202 west. Travel about 3.5 miles to the park entrance.

Map Link

Hudson Highlands State Park : Wildlife Viewing Area