With its 42 square miles of plush woodlands across the Hamlets of Port Ewen, Rifton, West Park and Ulster Park, the Town of Esopus, NY, has always been a popular Hudson Valley destination, a mere 100 miles north of New York City and 50 miles south of Albany.
Throughout much of the 19th century, Esopus was the summer residence of the wealthiest American families, including the Astors, Rockefellers and Whitneys, who built stately mansions and hunting lodges along the Town’s 10 miles of Hudson River shoreline. In the early 2000s, it became an Upstate haven for popular artists and performers, such as Frances McDormand, Joel Coen and Peter Dinklage.
Named after the native tribe that inhabited the area when Dutch colonists arrived in the 17th century, the Town was established in 1811, from territory taken from the neighboring city now known as Kingston, NY. Sojourner Truth was born here; she would spend her first 32 years in Ulster County, almost all as a slave, before becoming a prominent and influential social justice activist.
Today, Esopus is home to a diverse community of nearly 10,000 residents who frequent the Town’s six parks, five National Historic Places and other attractions across its 12 hamlets.
DID YOU KNOW?
Since 2012, the former Mount St. Alphonsus Seminary in town has been home to the Mount Community of the Bruderhof, a Christian movement that practices community of goods, non-violence and peacemaking.
Total Area: 41.94 square miles
Elevation: 650 feet
Zip Code: 12429
Population (2010): 9,041
Black Bear Trading Post
Black Creek Preserve
Col. Oliver Hazard Payne Estate
The Cumming-Parker House
Esopus Meadows Preserve and Lighthouse
Klyne Esopus Museum
Shaupeneak Ridge Cooperative Recreation Area
Slabsides, the John Burroughs Sanctuary
Photos (L-R): Esopus Meadows – Robert Rodriguez, Jr. | Slabsides, the John Burroughs Sanctuary | Esopus Meadows | Esopus Lighthouse – Jeff Severson