West Point Foundry Preserve

West Point Foundry was an ironworks operation in Cold Spring, New York, located north of Manhattan along the right side of the Hudson River. It opened in 1817 and closed in 1911.

A few years ago we decided to hop on train and check it out. We needed a short day trip out of the city especially since I was going stir crazy after being homebound for a month – I busted my leg biking. A train ride along the Hudson is always enjoyable.

The location of Cold Spring was very ideal due to nearby iron ore and timber materials. Margaret’s Brook provided water power for heavy machinery. West Point, the oldest continually operating military post in the US, sits right across the Hudson River. Not only was the area secure, it was conveniently located by the River for easy shipping.

The main purpose of the foundry was to provide military equipment. They also built locomotives, piping for NYC’s water system and sugar mills.

To test artillery, it was fired across the river to Storm King Mountain. Nowadays Storm King is an outdoor arts center. The slopes has to be swept for explosives after some exploded in a fire in 1999.

The decline in demand for iron ore and the rise of steel led to bankruptcy. The foundry closed in 1911. Today you can explore the ruins which have been reinforced and fenced off for safety. West Point Foundry preserve is open for the public to explore, breath in fresh air, and read about Cold Spring’s iron ore days.

It’s really small, you can explore the foundry within 2 hours. It’s easy to get to from Metro-North and also a walk from Cold Spring.



7 thoughts on “West Point Foundry Preserve

  1. I finally found time to come back and comment. 😀

    Given how that used to be an industrial area, it all looks so pretty and pristine now. I wonder if the water in the brook is clean enough to drink. Love the picture of the bunny!

    1. Don’t think it’s clean. It used to be polluted and I think it was cleaned up. There are some hiking areas that used to be Superfund sites that needed major clean up. The Hudson Valley was really and somewhat still polluted but I don’t keep up with that news as much. Gets me depressed.

      I learned from a vacation to Block Island that it isn’t always safe to drink water in the USA. Have no idea why I thought tap was always safe. Their water killed my stomach until I stopped drinking it and took pepto. Now I always check water quality. Have a weak stomach too so if I don’t know – bottled water!

      1. That’s interesting what you heard on Block Island. We once stayed in this gorgeous place called Kellogg in Idaho. Mountains, aspen woods, rushing creeks. The mayor actually invited me to buy a home and live there. Then I found out the area had been a Superfund cleanup site. The place had been trashed by the local silver mining industry, now dead. I didn’t drink the tap water—I tend to prefer bottled water when I travel, except in New York 🙂 —but it freaked me out, thinking all that time we’d been standing on soil so polluted the locals couldn’t grow vegetables there.

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