Saugerties moves forward with new Hudson River park, but nesting endangered bats delay construction

Saugerties is a step closer to outdoor amenities at Bristol Beach, according to town supervisor Fred Costello. Primitive hiking trails and an access point from Route 9W are on the horizon for this year.

At its April 18 meeting, the Saugerties town board approved tasking Barton and Loguidice D.P.C. with the administration of Hudson River Valley Greenway grants and the NYSDEC estuary grant for improving Bristol Beach. “We’ve been working with B&L over the last year and a half,” said councilmember Leanne Thornton. “What we’ll be doing now is getting permission from the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, which basically begins the feasibility of access to the site with the road off the 9W corridor.” With B&L’s help, Thornton was confident all the paperwork would be filed in a timely manner and construction would begin in the not-too-distant future.

There are plans eventually to establish multiple access routes to the beachfront, Costello said. For now, a pre-existing curve cut on the northern end of the property will be utilized, ultimately connecting to a stone parking lot that will be built. This parking lot will serve as a trailhead, and will connect with an existing ATV trail. 


“We are waiting for the Palisades Park,” said Costello. “We’re obligated to tell them what improvements we’re making. We’re expecting it to be welcome because it’s consistent with what they thought many years ago. We’re going to be moving some trees and we need to do it when it’s allowable.”

Due to nesting Indiana bats in the area, construction will be delayed a few months. Now, at least, a plan is in place. “It won’t be on a scale that we think is the potential of the park, but this walking opportunity won’t disrupt any of the habitat situations and gives people an opportunity to enjoy hiking,” explained Costello. “That’s a big step in making this park a reality.”