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Stony Point Battlefield & Lighthouse

Sometimes it's a quiet almost contemplative place that can be the most impressive. Great and important events transported them selves through the rolling hills centuries before. Since then, people have come to revere and honor the location, not so much because there is anything actually overly special about the physical location or because there is anything monumental and in itself awe inspiring to stand and gaze at, (although both of these aren't true here). Rather, the place takes on a growing stature because of the human history that took place there and because the place itself has been a formative focus of our history.

And it really doesn't hurt if a couple time a day a deafening boom resounds from a cannon!

Stony Point Battlefield Historic Site is a quiet little out of the way park created to preserve and interpret the final major battle in the American Revolution fought in the Hudson Valley. In the early hours of July 16, 1779, General Anthony Wayne led his troops against a strongly held British position on the heights of Stony Point. In the dark of the night General Wayne's troops crept up the flanks of Stony Point overwhelming the British and taking the fortifications. The battle was intense though extremely short taking less than an hour from start to victory. The site was important to the British as it is a high rocky peninsula jutting out into the river commanded the Hudson River south of the South Gate to the Highlands. From here the British could control river traffic preventing the Colonials from descending the river toward Manhattan.

Shortly after the battle, General Washington inspected the captured fortifications and determined he had insufficient men to spare to occupy and defend the position. So on July 18th the Continental Armies abandoned the position which within two days was reoccupied by the British. In possession again, they reinforced the fortifications and dug in, but even their fortunes were about to change. Expected reinforcements never arrived and in October of 1779 the British abandoned the high peninsula and never again threatened the Hudson Highlands. Stony Point proved to be a costly lesson to the British and began to teach them about the limits of their abilities.

Out on the far end of Stony Point, a lighthouse was constructed in 1826 marking the dangerous peninsula for shipping as well as warning of the entrance to the Hudson Highlands just to the north. Today it is the oldest lighthouse on the Hudson River. Now fully restored and open to the public for tours, the lighthouse provides an amazing platform for a spectacular panoramic view of the Hudson as it flows south out of the Hudson Highlands. Pyramidal in shape and constructed of stone and rubble, this early lighthouse is a fascinating glimpse back into the early technology of lighthouses.

Visiting the Battlefield and Lighthouse is both a pleasure and a lot of fun. There is an excellent museum at the site documenting the battle and providing interesting three dimensional displays of the battlefield and armaments of the time. An excellent short film offers an historical perspective of the battle and out on the peninsula itself, a well designed and developed series of graphic and text plaques explain the fortifications, the lay out, the action and give you a sense of the people involved. On most summer weekends there are activities and reenactments taking place. And always, there are demonstrations of the cannon making the loudest noise you've ever heard!

Visiting the Battlefield & Lighthouse

The Soldier's Camp is open on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. staffing and weather permitting.

The grounds are open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 5:00 p.m.; gate closes at 5:00 p.m.

Lighthouse tours can be arranged by advance reservation Wednesday through Sunday, weather and staffing permiting, from 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call the site office at 845-786-2521.

Artillery demonstrations presented on Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. weather and staffing permitting.

Picnic tables are available near the parking area and in the pavilion in the fort, but please observe our CARRY-IN - CARRY-OUT trash policy, and take your trash home with you. Fires are not permitted.

 
Specifics on visiting the Stony Point Battlefield & Lighthouse were correct at time of publication. We would suggest that you confirm dates and times prior to your visit.
 
 
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