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Hudson River
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A new state park with "remarkable views" is coming to New York

It will be named after African American abolitionist and suffragist Sojourner Truth.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

Governor Kathy Hochul just made a pretty exciting announcement, revealing that the first state park to open in New York since 2019—and the first one in the city of Kingston!—is already in the works.

New park upstate
Photograph: Tyler Wilcox/New York State Parks

Covering over 500 acres of former industrial property along the Hudson River shoreline in Ulster County, the destination will be named after African American abolitionist and suffragist Sojourner Truth.

"It is fitting such a magnificent property with its cliffs and Hudson shoreline bears the name of a remarkable woman who started life right here in Ulster County," Hochul said in an official statement. "New York is committed to reflecting the diverse stories of its people, such as Sojourner Truth and her message of freedom and equality, that have influenced our state's inspiring history."

This isn't the first time that state officials have honored the iconic historical figure. Back in August of 2020, a statue of Turth was installed at the western entrance to the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park in Highland. It was dedicated to the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage during a ceremony that one of Truth's descendants was able to attend.

Some time later, State Parks actually partnered with Scenic Hudson, a nonprofit enviromental group, to "identify and protect land for this new park that earlier had been slated for a large-scale private development," according to an official press release about the matter. The cost? $13.5 million, provided through the state Environmental Protection Fund.

"In addition to bringing her story to visitors, this park also will allow for interpretation of the site's industrial and indigenous history and will help protect the ecology of the Hudson River," said Erik Kulleseid, the State Parks commissioner. "The new park will support the ongoing economic revitalization of Kingston and the regional recreational tourism economy. It will benefit the quality of life for residents throughout the year, as well as provide a major new Hudson Valley attraction for users of the Empire State Trail."

Expect limited parking and hiking trails to be up and running by this spring—a pretty quick turnaround that will allow visitors to access the area immediately.

In addition to honoring Truth—who was born enslaved in Ulster County, freed herself in 1826 and went on to become of the country's leading advocates for abolition and suffrage—the ew park will pay tribute to the history of the Esopus tribe of the Lenape, who were residents of the area until European colonists displaced them in the 1600s. 

It's safe to say that the new green space will be an important ecological and historical achievement.

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