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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Montgomery Place(Annandale-on-Hudson)

Built all the way back in 1802, Montgomery Place is one of the original grand estates located on the east side of the Hudson River and is a National Historic Landmark and park.  The grounds are owned and managed by Historic Hudson Valley and can be accessed off of River Road(Dutchess County 103).  A fee is charged for tours of the mansion, but use of the grounds is free and open to the public.
A gravel road leads a little under half a mile to the visitor center and parking lot.  There are informational boards and maps available at the visitor center.  Easy to follow trails wind through the grounds, making for pleasant walking.
 The Saw Kill Trail's entrance is found across open fields and is well marked.
 I followed the Saw Kill Trail to a fork, where I initially turned right to a Bath House and "lake".  The "lake" is really just a small pond that formed from the damming of the Saw Kill.
 After returning to the fork, I took the left that leads downhill to the shores of the Saw Kill and a nice view of beautiful waterfalls.
The trail provides up close views of the Saw Kill's cool waters.
 A view back upstream.
 A rustic foot bridge near the lower falls in the north woods.
 I followed the Saw Kill trail up the steep banks away from the stream and towards the mansion and west lawn.  From there, a wide foot trail winds through the west lawn, providing sensational views over the Hudson and towards the Catskills.
 The great west facing views from the west lawn.
 Continuing along the west lawn trail, I arrived at the bottom of the lawn, directly below the mansion's western facade.
A small pond is found at the bottom of the west lawn. 
 Crossing the lawn and just uphill from the pond, I arrived at the walkway steps leading up to the mansion.

 A great spot to relax and soak in the river views.
 The beautiful western facade of the mansion.
 Enjoying multiple views of the mansion.
Back steps and west portico.
 The walkway leading away from the mansion to the west lawn amongst locust trees.
 The back porch.
 An interesting tree near the front of the mansion.
 The old carriage roads wind peacefully through the grounds.
 The front of the mansion, which was built over 200 years ago by Janet Livingston Montgomery.
The entrance.
 The front door.
 An outdoor entertaining area was added in 1844.
 I was amazed by the incredible trees all throughout the property.  Many still stand from the time the mansion was built.
 I wandered the grounds, enjoying the manicured landscape and gardens.
 The formal garden area.
An old stand by.
 The entrance to the formal garden.
 Near the front of the property is an orchard, with many apple trees all about.  This orchard has been an integral part of the landscape here, since the estate was built all the way back in 1802.
Fully explored the grounds admiring the landscape and history.  Probably walked a bit over a mile, but there was so much to see and enjoy that it took a little while to soak it all in.

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