COLD SPRING, N.Y. - Scenic Hudson has launched an online mobile tour that allows visitors exploring the trails at its West Point Foundry Preserve in Cold Spring—or anyone browsing the Web—to experience the sights and sounds of the important 19th-century ironworks that filled this now-tranquil ravine.
Available at www.foundrytour.org, the tour brings to life the West Point Foundry, a pioneer of America’s Industrial Revolution that manufactured some of the nation’s first steam engines, locomotives and Parrott guns—cannons credited with winning the Civil War. It complements new interpretive features at the preserve, which reopened last October following a 15-month, $3.6-million construction project.
Featuring thrilling sound effects and videos, engaging narration and historic photographs, the tour makes 15 stops within West Point Foundry Preserve and at nearby locations, including Scenic Hudson’s Foundry Dock Park, site of the foundry’s Hudson River loading dock. Stops within the 87-acre park, which Scenic Hudson acquired in 1996 to protect the substantial remains of foundry buildings, explain the step-by-step process of transforming iron ore into finished goods. Visitors also learn about the daily lives of the largely immigrant workforce and the land’s remarkable ecological renewal since the foundry’s 1911 closure.
“With the West Point Foundry Preserve mobile tour, Scenic Hudson once again embraced the latest technology, a hallmark of all of our work. By connecting visitors to the foundry in compelling ways, it’s an important component of our new ‘outdoor museum.’ It will help attract visitors from around the nation and the world, boosting the economy of Cold Spring and the region,” said Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan.
The tour was funded by Steven L. Holley and developed by 4274 Design Workshop of Germantown, Columbia County. It is available free of charge on any phone or tablet with internet access. To fully experience its audio effects, headphones are recommended.
Open daily free of charge from dawn to dusk, West Point Foundry Preserve is located at 68 Kemble Ave. in Cold Spring. It is also accessible from the village’s Metro-North train station via a universally accessible trail that begins at the southern end of the northbound platform.
Reed Sparling is a writer for Scenic Hudson.