Hiking

West Level Foundry Protect

July 17, 2020 – Chilly Spring, NY

Problem: Simple

Path miles: Roughly 2 miles (further connecting trails)

Free Internet Map: West Level Foundry Protect Path Map

Purchase Map: East Hudson Trails Map

Brochure and Path Information: WPFP Brochure and Path Information

Trailhead parking: 80 Kemble Ave, Chilly Spring, NY 10516

Facilities: Restrooms on web site

Charges and hours: Entrance and parking is free.  The protect is open year-round, daybreak to nightfall.


Overview:

Positioned on the Hudson River, within the coronary heart of the majestic Hudson Highlands, West Level Foundry Protect encompasses 90 acres of forested land and the deserted web site of a Civil Conflict artillery foundry and ironworks on a tidal marsh in Chilly Spring, New York. The Scenic Hudson Land Belief obtained the positioning in 1996 with a view to forestall growth. Now open to the general public for leisure use as an interpretive park and protect, the property has been remodeled into an outside museum.

West Point Foundry Preserve

West Level Foundry Protect

An in depth map on the Protect’s trailhead kiosk guides guests alongside the exhibit installations and alongside the most important trails of the 90-acre Protect. The map is tailored from an 1853 fireplace insurer’s map of the Foundry and Chilly Spring Village. All through the protect, content material is illustrated with interval images, stereoscopic photographs, and etchings from the Foundry’s personal archives, now housed within the assortment of the Putnam Historical past Museum, positioned adjoining to the positioning.

West Point Foundry Preserve

West Level Foundry Protect

At this time almost 2 miles of trails observe outdated rail beds and cross in depth foundry stays that led to the protect’s inclusion on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations. Interpretive options, together with a full-scale sculptural mannequin of a 36-foot water wheel that tells the positioning’s intriguing story.

Water Wheel - West Point Foundry Preserve

Water Wheel – West Level Foundry Protect

On the heart of the protect is the foundry’s 1865 Workplace Constructing. At this time, it’s the solely constructing remaining on the Foundry grounds.

1865 Office Building - West Point Foundry Preserve

1865 Workplace Constructing – West Level Foundry Protect

Two miles of further trails cross extra foundry ruins and take guests to associated websites in Chilly Spring, together with Scenic Hudson’s Foundry Dock Park. Guests can discover the foundry’s historical past, its position within the Civil Conflict and the land’s exceptional ecological renewal.

Scenic Hudson periodically affords free guided foundry excursions, name 845-473-4440 for extra data.

The protect is free and there’s loads of parking within the giant gravel lot.

West Point Foundry Preserve

West Level Foundry Protect

Restrooms can be found on web site.

West Point Foundry Preserve

West Level Foundry Protect


Historical past:

Established in 1818 in Chilly Spring, New York by Gouverneur Kemble and others, the West Level Foundry grew to become one of many main industrial websites in the US manufacturing iron merchandise. Its most notable interval was through the Civil Conflict, when it produced the Parrott cannon designed by Robert Parker Parrott. The foundry closed in 1911.

The foundry was busiest through the American Civil Conflict attributable to navy orders. At the moment it had a workforce of 1,400 individuals and produced 2,000 cannons and three million shells. Parrott additionally invented an incendiary shell which was utilized in an 8-inch Parrott rifle cannon (the “Swamp Angel”) to bombard Charleston. The significance of the foundry for the conflict effort might be measured by the truth that President Abraham Lincoln visited and inspected it in June of 1862.

With the appearance of metal, iron rapidly fell out of favor, and The West Level Foundry floundered and died within the early twentieth century. Fallen to ruins and reclaimed by nature, it sat largely unappreciated, besides by day-trippers who typically hiked among the many fairly environment.

A plant making batteries near the previous ironworks contaminated the world by dumping poisonous waste into close by Foundry Cove. The cove was declared a Superfund web site by the U.S. Environmental Safety Company in 1989, however the ensuing cleanup succeeded in making what Scenic Hudson describes as a “exceptional ecological renewal.”

In 1996, Scenic Hudson, a Hudson Valley environmental-preservation group, bought the property and in 2006, started a $3.6 million renovation. The trouble included making an attempt to protect and stabilize the foundry ruins, wetland scientists, preservation architects, exhibit designers and engineers. Scenic Hudson additionally commissioned Michigan Technological College’s industrial archaeology program to conduct a seven-year research of the ruins to establish how the foundry operated.

In 2013, The West Level Foundry Protect opened to the general public. Most of the foundry’s ruins have been stabilized, interpretive signage was put in, and audiovisual excursions can be found. An simply accessible half-mile path connects the protect on to the Metro-North practice station at Chilly Spring.

In 2010, The West Level Foundry Protect was added to Nationwide Register of Historic Locations.

West Point Foundry Preserve

West Level Foundry Protect

In 2019, it was designated a Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark.

West Point Foundry Preserve

West Level Foundry Protect


Trails Overview:

Trails observe outdated rail beds and cross the stays of foundry buildings and interpretive options that inform the story of the positioning’s contribution to the Industrial Revolution and the Civil Conflict, in addition to the land’s astonishing ecological renewal. The Blue Path hyperlinks the protect to the Chilly Spring Metro-North station and the Village of Chilly Spring.

West Point Foundry Preserve Trail Map

West Level Foundry Protect Path Map

The paths are a mixture of properly groomed, large strolling paths and rougher footpaths that weave their approach via the property. The three official trails are marked with Scenic Hudson spherical plastic discs of various colours.

Scenic Hudson trail marker

Scenic Hudson path marker

Yellow Foundry Path~ This yellow-blazed path is a loop that takes guests to most of the protect’s key websites. The path is flippantly graded. The path begins on the southeast finish of the car parking zone, close to the informational kiosk, makes its well beyond a number of factors of curiosity and climbs stairs earlier than making its approach again to the parking space.

Yellow Foundry Trail - West Point Foundry Preserve

Yellow Foundry Path – West Level Foundry Protect

Yellow Foundry Trail - West Point Foundry Preserve

Yellow Foundry Path – West Level Foundry Protect

Yellow Foundry Trail - West Point Foundry Preserve

Yellow Foundry Path – West Level Foundry Protect

Yellow Foundry Trail - West Point Foundry Preserve

Yellow Foundry Path – West Level Foundry Protect

  • Purple Path~ is just not one steady path, as a substitute it has a number of legs all branching off of the Yellow Path in several areas. It heads upstream from the boring mill and water wheel, resulting in further foundry ruins in addition to associated websites in Chilly Spring. It follows a steeper elevation; particular care ought to be taken round unstabilized archaeological ruins.
Red Trail - West Point Foundry Preserve

Purple Path – West Level Foundry Protect

Red Trail - West Point Foundry Preserve

Purple Path – West Level Foundry Protect

Red Trail - West Point Foundry Preserve

Purple Path – West Level Foundry Protect

  • Blue Marsh Path~ This path begins on the southwest finish of the protect and heads in a westerly path alongside Foundry Cove, passing benches and stairs that result in the Kemble Bluff Overlook viewing platform. Previous the steps, it hyperlinks the protect to the Chilly Spring Metro-North station. The trail additionally connects with the close by Foundry Dock Park and Chilly Spring’s waterfront district.
Blue Marsh Trail - West Point Foundry Preserve

Blue Marsh Path – West Level Foundry Protect

Blue Marsh Trail - West Point Foundry Preserve

Blue Marsh Path – West Level Foundry Protect

Blue Marsh Trail - West Point Foundry Preserve

Blue Marsh Path – West Level Foundry Protect


Factors of Curiosity:

Listed beneath are among the sights that you will see all through the protect.

Certainly one of a number of distinctive interpretive parts is the gun platform, a 32-foot-high wooden construction that sits on a raised promontory overlooking the marsh. Through the foundry’s heyday, every Parrott gun was examined from the hanging gantry of the unique three-story-high gun platform for velocity, accuracy, and affect. An interpretive panel on the hoist describes the platform’s historical past and the marsh’s newer Superfund cleanup, and an ornamental roof construction with wood-cut-like illustrations of the positioning’s wildlife.

Gun Testing Platform - West Point Foundry Preserve

Gun Testing Platform – West Level Foundry Protect

The gun testing platform was a crucial operational space of the West Level Foundry through the Civil Conflict, offering the means to show the biggest fashions of Parrott weapons (100 to 300 pounder fashions) on web site, previous to supply to the Military or Navy. President Abraham Lincoln himself noticed the testing platform in June 1862 following an official go to to close by West Level. The Foundry examined ordnance items by firing a number of rounds from it, aiming at targets arrange on the almost vertical southeast face of Crow’s Nest, a mountain roughly 1.25 miles to the west-northwest, reverse Chilly Spring on the west facet of the Hudson River.

Gun Testing Platform – West Point Foundry Preserve

Gun Testing Platform – West Level Foundry Protect

A 12-ft.-long chrome steel silhouette of the 300-pound Parrott gun is inscribed with a Civil Conflict-era article from The New York Occasions describing the foundry and its armaments.

Gun Testing Platform - West Point Foundry Preserve

Gun Testing Platform – West Level Foundry Protect

Gun Testing Platform - West Point Foundry Preserve

Gun Testing Platform – West Level Foundry Protect

In 1865, Robert P. Parrott ordered a stately workplace constructing be constructed as an emblem of the West Level Foundry’s nationwide status and success. As soon as constructed, the brick Italianate Workplace Constructing’s distinctive cupola was simply seen from varied locations within the panorama, together with places all through the manufacturing facility, the employee and administration housing on Mount Rascal, and from West Level and ships passing on the Hudson River.

1865 Office Building - West Point Foundry Preserve

1865 Workplace Constructing – West Level Foundry Protect

In 2015, Scenic Hudson reinstalled the 5,000-pound, 21-foot-tall cupola atop the historic Workplace Constructing. Southgate Steeplejacks of Barre, Vermont, restored the cupola, which was eliminated in 1998. Under: how the constructing regarded in 2015 previous to the reinstallation of the cupola.

1865 Office Building - January 2, 2015

1865 Workplace Constructing – January 2, 2015

Within the nineteenth century, Waterpower was energy. Foundry Brook (initially named Margaret Brook), was channelized into an intricate community of flumes, raceways and storage ponds that powered operations and controlled water circulate via the positioning. Water descended from Foundry Brook to Battery Pond, then by elevated flume into a large water wheel that turned the foundry’s gears and cranes, feeding air to the new furnace fires.

Foundry Brook Falls – West Point Foundry Preserve

Foundry Brook Falls – West Level Foundry Protect

At its higher attain, beneath the Predominant Dam, Foundry Brook cascades over falls of boulders and cleaved bedrock, descending via a collection of swimming pools because it follows the toe of the adjoining slope to the east. Within the late summer season, the circulate of Foundry Brook sometimes reduces to little greater than a rivulet, whereas within the spring, the stream can overflow its banks with water from snow soften.

Foundry Brook Falls - West Point Foundry Preserve

Foundry Brook Falls – West Level Foundry Protect

Foundry Brook – West Point Foundry Preserve

Foundry Brook – West Level Foundry Protect

Foundry Brook – West Point Foundry Preserve

Foundry Brook – West Level Foundry Protect

The boring mill’s operations have been pushed by the highly effective, 36-foot diameter water wheel housed adjoining to the principle construction. The duplicate you see at this time depicts a piece of the wheel at its authentic scale, positioned precisely the place it stood through the foundry’s heyday. Right here the 36-foot-diameter water wheel powered equipment for drilling out the weapons’ inside. Parrott weapons featured a rifled bore, spiraling grooves that triggered projectiles to spin when fired, enhancing their accuracy.

Water Wheel - West Point Foundry Preserve

Water Wheel – West Level Foundry Protect

A hive of exercise, the boring mill was crammed with geared cranes, whirring lathes and different heavy equipment pushed by a large water wheel and leather-based belting system. The water that powered them got here from an intricate collection of headraces fed by Foundry Brook. Cannons, steam boilers, church bells and industrial {hardware} for cotton and sugar plantations within the U.S. and Caribbean have been produced right here in nice numbers – setting the stage for America’s emergence as a serious industrial energy.

Water Wheel - West Point Foundry Preserve

Water Wheel – West Level Foundry Protect

The Tuyere Arch is all that continues to be of the blast furnace. To realize temperatures upwards of 2200°F, a blast furnace required a gentle quantity of air blown in via the tuyeres on the base of the furnace stack. The blast maintained a excessive combustion charge of gasoline close to the tuyeres, creating the best warmth inside the furnace.

Tuyere Arch - West Point Foundry Preserve

Tuyere Arch – West Level Foundry Protect

Expert laborers within the foundry’s sample store crafted exacting wood replicas (or patterns) of the Parrott weapons, which ranged in measurement from 10 to 300 kilos, in keeping with the load of projectile they shot. Patterns helped type molds that have been then crammed with molten iron.

Pattern Shop - West Point Foundry Preserve

Sample Store – West Level Foundry Protect

There are quite a few basis ruins and partial brick and stone partitions all through the positioning.

Carpentry Shop - West Point Foundry Preserve

Carpentry Store – West Level Foundry Protect

The staircase bridges two elevations, the reveals lining the forest and Foundry Street, a well-worn path alongside the ravine that staff traveled on their approach residence from the foundry. Textual content and historic photographs mounted onto cast-aluminum panels have been hooked up to the stair risers in order that, as pedestrians ascend the steps, they will find out how water was pumped from Foundry Brook to drive the Boring Mill waterwheel and different manufacturing facility equipment.

The Staircase - West Point Foundry Preserve

The Staircase – West Level Foundry Protect

The Staircase additionally doubles because the Boring Mill Overlook with an informational signal that particulars the use and historical past of the Boring Mill and Water Wheel.

Boring Mill Overlook - West Point Foundry Preserve

Boring Mill Overlook – West Level Foundry Protect

A metal staircase ascends the bluff from the blue-blazed Marsh Path. 5 outsized landings on the staircase accommodate benches for resting and taking within the views. Small interpretive panels on the landings will clarify the historical past of the Kemble property and its connections to the West Level Foundry.

Kemble Overlook - West Point Foundry Preserve

Kemble Overlook – West Level Foundry Protect

Kemble Overlook - West Point Foundry Preserve

Kemble Overlook – West Level Foundry Protect

There are views from the staircase of Foundry Cove and the Hudson Highlands.

Kemble Overlook - West Point Foundry Preserve

Kemble Overlook – West Level Foundry Protect

Kemble Overlook - West Point Foundry Preserve

Kemble Overlook – West Level Foundry Protect

A stone mud path on the high of the staircase results in a 15-by-32-foot wood deck. The steps, path and deck have been added in 2017.

Kemble Overlook - West Point Foundry Preserve

Kemble Overlook – West Level Foundry Protect

Kemble Overlook - West Point Foundry Preserve

Kemble Overlook – West Level Foundry Protect

The overlook affords views of Foundry Cove, Structure Island, West Level and elements of the Hudson Highlands. The view is significantly better throughout leaf-off season.

Kemble Overlook - July 17, 2021

Kemble Overlook – July 17, 2021

Similar view in winter.

Kemble Overlook - January 2, 2021

Kemble Overlook – January 2, 2021

Kemble Overlook - January 2, 2021

Kemble Overlook – January 2, 2021


Assessment:

A properly stored protect that’s steeped in Hudson River Valley historical past. There may be a lot to see and study right here. A fantastic place to go to for a leisurely stroll close to the Hudson River and a historical past lesson besides.

Execs:

Historic options, Foundary Brook, ruins, properly maintained protect.

Cons:

None.


Take a hike!

West Point Foundry Preserve

West Level Foundry Protect


Sources:




Related Articles

Back to top button