One of Ulster County's most beautiful mountain destinations has had its' Forest Preserve lands near its southern terminus (boundary) on Woodstock's Overlook Mountain significantly increased. The newly acquired real estate parcels are contiguous to existing state lands within the Overlook Mountain unit
The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has made a three lot real estate purchase on Overlook Mountain in Woodstock that will help protect the mountain, as well as make it an even more popular attraction for mountain bikers, hikers and nature enthusiasts.
In an announcement on Tuesday made by DEC commissioner, Peter Grannis, the Woodstock NY real estate purchase totaled 330 acres at a price of $784,000.
Peter Grannis went on to talk about the importance as one of the most recognizable escarpments on the Catskill Mountain range looking back from most areas within the Town of Woodstock New York. He also confirmed that the DEC will continue to help protect properties similar to Overlook Mountain throughout the Catskill Forest Preserve.
The acquisitions of these three real estate parcels equates to permanent protection for the lands and increases the Catskill Forest Preserve's Overlook Mountain Wild Forest Unit. The DEC has long been trying to acquire more land on Overlook Mountain indicated as one of the more important goals of the New York State Open Space Conservation Plan of 2006 (PDF).
About the Mountain
Overlook Mountain Wild Forest covers 590 acres, its rocky slopes make for a very interesting day hike. The summit is covered with red oaks (trees usually found on lower slopes and in valleys, not 3,100' above sea level), and some red spruce/balsam fir trees (those typical over 3,300'). In 1871, the Overlook Mountain House opened its doors to guests, joining numerous others in the Catskills. This hotel had the distinction of being the highest, at 2,920'. The Mountain House could house 300 guests and, despite burning down twice, prospered until around the time of the stock market crash. In the following years, it was rebuilt (but never opened to guests) and eventually looted and abandoned, leaving the ruins that can still be seen along the trail.
Also involved in the real estate deal was the Open Space Institute (OSI) and the Woodstock Land Conservancy.
The land acquisitions do enhance and protect the overall integrity of both the Overlook unit and the Overlook corridor.