Saugerties, NY 12477
This splendid, 168-acre slice of Ulster County — part of which runs along the Hudson River — once housed the historic Mulford Ice House. This busy facility operated into the 20th century, storing up to 10,000 tons of frozen river water before shipping it downstate to fill urban iceboxes. In 2011, the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill, who own the land, granted Scenic Hudson an easement allowing public access to part of the site. These two groups then teamed up with the Esopus Creek Conservancy to expand an existing trailway and add more walking areas. The result is Falling Waters Preserve. The site has a wonderful mile-long waterfront trail (there are about three miles of hiking trails in all), a lovely meadow with great views of the Catskills, and soothing waterfalls that give the area its name. The park is available for other nature-oriented fun like bird watching, fishing, and cross-country skiing.