The Trails at Clermont State Historic Site
Clermont is home to five miles of marked nature trails and three miles of marked bridle trails, all of which are open daily 8:30 AM until dusk.
In the 1840's, noted landscape designer A.J. Downing described the “level or gently undulating lawn. . . the rich native woods, and the long vistas of planted avenues, added to [Clermont’s] fine water view” that captured the imagination of visitors then. Today, Clermont has five miles of marked trails, all of which were developed as carriage or farm roads and as recreational trails for the enjoyment of the Livingstons and their guests.
Clermont has several notable trails:
CHANCELLOR’S TRAIL · This trail winds through the Chancellor’s park east of the ruins of his residence, later known as Arryl House. The forests on this trail were once pleasure gardens and fields cultivated with hay and clover. The foundation and remnants of the walls of Arryl House are visible at the entrance to this trail. RIVERSIDE TRAIL · One of Clermont’s most popular trails, running along the avenue of Locust trees and past the Arryl House ruins, offers views of the Saugerties Light House. The gentler part of these slopes was once cultivated with wheat fields, on which the Chancellor experimented with gypsum and lime fertilizers.
FARM ROAD TRAIL · Clermont was a working farm from the 1720s until the Great Depression. This trail takes visitors by the Cow Barn, and by the Sylvan and Gardener’s Cottages. Both cottages have original sections dating from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries; in 2012, the Gardener's Cottage was renovated and is now called Clermont Cottage.
ROSE ALBA TRAIL · A section of this trail was treasured by members of the Livingston family who often used it for Sunday strolls. In the 1840s, Montgomery Livingston built a racetrack that circled this area for exercising his trotters and pacers. FORMAL GARDEN TRAIL · The garden trail meanders past gardens once meticulously cared for by Alice Livingston, including the Walled Garden and the Wilderness Garden. The Walled Garden is based on the design of 1920s Italian gardens and the Wilderness Garden is reminiscent of rural English gardens.
BRIDLE TRAIL · This trail follows sections of the trails that were used by several generations of Livingstons for horseback riding.