The Roeliff Jansen Park entrance 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, and much more.
In 2002, this 300-acre farm was on the verge of being developed into dozens of building lots (see image 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 Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and managed by the Town of Hillsdale. This arrangement means that the land will never be developed and can remain 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 Roadbed 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 landowner wanted to sell the entire property as a whole, on both sides of Route 22.
An innovative agreement with the Town of Hillsdale was made in 2008:
- The property is owned by NYS OPRHP
- Hillsdale rents the land for one dollar a year
- Hillsdale manages the property for recreational, agricultural, and educational uses
A steering committee developed interim and long-term plans. Those plans are very much in place today and the park serves as a valuable asset - not just for Hillsdale but for the entire Roe Jan Community. The improvements one sees today are a result of the steering committee’s work along with the help of many volunteers and generous donations from foundation grants and private donors.
The park is home to the Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market and Hillsdale's popular summer youth program. The park is also the setting for galas, weddings, community events, and much more.
If you’re interested in planning an event in the RJP, click here.
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: 166 Old Route 22, Hillsdale, NY 12529.
Feel free to call Hillsdale Town Hall (518) 325-5073 x 5 and leave a message for the Town Clerk or email [email protected].
Images Below: (top) The 2003 map below shows dozens of building lots on both sides of Route 22. By 2008, the Town of Hillsdale had secured an arrangement with NYS to use the land as a community park. (below) This photo from a 2008 town-sponsored outing to explore the land (formerly a private farm) invited residents to help imagine possible uses for the land. The community overwhelmingly pressed the Hillsdale Town Board to keep the land in agriculture and to provide safe walking trails for community members.