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DEC Contact: Stephanie Mossey (845) 256-3154

March 22, 2023


Proposed Plan Improves Access to Recreation and Protects the Resource

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that DEC is seeking public comment on an amendment to the proposed Sundown Wild Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP). The proposed amendment aims to improve infrastructure, increase public safety, enhance natural resource protection, and improve visitor experiences in the Peekamoose Valley Riparian Corridor.

“The proposed amendment to the Sundown Wild Forest Unit Management Plan demonstrates DEC's dedication to protecting New York’s natural resources while enhancing visitor access and prioritizing safety,” said DEC Regional Director Kelly Turturro. “DEC encourages the public to review the draft amendment and submit their comments before the April 21 deadline.”  

The Corridor encompasses 275 acres of Forest Preserve land in the approximately 30,000-acre Sundown Wild Forest. This amendment builds upon DEC’s previous efforts to encourage sustainable recreation by alleviating congestion at points of interest, enhancing public safety, and creating an experience that highlights the area’s natural beauty. In addition, the plan proposes changes to the 2019 Long Path reroute. After further evaluation of local forest characteristics, constructing a trail to accommodate the use of snowmobiles on that segment has been removed.

The draft UMP amendment includes:

General Access and Trail Improvements 

  • Construction of an 80-car parking lot in the footprint of the Peekamoose Trailer Field to consolidate the parking to a single location;
  • Closure of eight parking areas throughout the corridor with the use of boulders, barriers, and gates;
  • Construction of an approximately 0.6-mile connector trail from the 80-car parking area to the Peekamoose Blue Hole;
  • Construction of a 60-foot bridge across Bear Hole Brook; and
  • Construction of a foot bridge/retaining wall near the wooded pathway entrance to the Blue Hole between the banks of the Rondout Creek and Peekamoose Road.

Natural Resource Protection

  • Closure of 25 designated campsites throughout the western portion of the corridor due to extreme site degradation and natural resource concerns.

Accessible Projects

  • Construction of two new accessible campsites in locations that minimize natural resource impacts;
  • Construction of an accessible path from the accessible parking area to the entrance of the Blue Hole to accommodate people with mobility impairments; and
  • Developing an accessible photo point for people on the accessible portion of the Blue Hole trail.

Multi-Use Trail Proposal and Changes to the 2019 Long Path Trail Proposals

  • Remove the use of snowmobiling on the proposed trail segment; and
  • Design a trail segment to accommodate recreational opportunities such as hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and skiing as originally identified in the 2019 UMP.

The draft amendment can be found on DEC’s website. Public comments will be accepted through April 21, 2023 and can be submitted by email to r3.ump@dec.ny.gov.


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