Roeliff Jansen Park
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The Roeliff Jansen Park is located on Route 22, one half-mile south of the Hillsdale light on the east side of the road. The park includes multiple trails, access to the Roeliff Jansen Kill, several picnic areas, a dog run, a farmers market, a summer youth program, special events, and much more.
In 2002, this 300-acre farm was on the verge of being developed (see map at bottom of this page). Today the land is still leased out to farmers but owned by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation (OPRHP) and managed by the Town of Hillsdale. This arrangement means that the land will never have houses constructed on it and can remain beautiful, open land for a variety of recreational and agricultural purposes.
How this land came to be owned by the State and managed by Hillsdale is a one-of-a kind story. The OPRHP was interested in purchasing sections of the abandoned Harlem Valley Rail Road bed in Columbia County to link it with the existing Harlem Valley Rail Trail (www.hvrt.org) in Dutchess County. As the park map illustrates, the western boundary of the park runs along the old rail bed. The former land owner wanted to sell the entire property as a whole, on both sides of Route 22.
An innovative agreement with Hillsdale was made in 2008: the OPRHP owns the land and Hillsdale rents the land for one dollar a year and MANAGES IT FOR RECREATIONAL, AGRICULTURAL AND EDUCATIONAL USES. The Town quickly appointed a steering committee to help oversee the park and develop interim and long-term plans. The improvements one sees today are a result of the Park Steering Committee’s work with the help of many volunteers and generous donations from foundation grants and private donors.
The park is located on Route 22, about 1/2 mile south of the intersection of Routes 22 and 23 in Hillsdale, New York. Look for our entrance sign on the east side of Route 22, just below small bridge that crosses the Roeliff Jansen Kill. Driving address: 9140 Route 22, HIllsdale, NY 12529.