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Sugarloaf Hill (Hudson Highlands)

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Sugarloaf Hill (Hudson Highlands)

For other places with the same name, see Sugarloaf_(disambiguation).
Sugarloaf Hill
Bear Mountain Bridge. The distinctive conical profile of Sugarloaf can be seen at center right.
Elevation 760 ft (232 m)
Location
Location Philipstown, New York, U.S.
Range Hudson Highlands
Coordinates

41°21′39″N 73°56′47″W / 41.36083°N 73.94639°W / 41.36083; -73.94639

Topo map USGS Peekskill
Climbing
Easiest route hiking trail

Sugarloaf Hill is a peak along the Hudson River in Putnam County, New York, part of the Hudson Highlands. It was named by the Dutch for its resemblance in outline to a sugarloaf when sailing up the river towards it.[1]

Topography

Sugarloaf Hill is in fact a ridge, running northeast and southwest, close to the east shore of the Hudson. The peak of Castle Rock lies off the northeast end of the ridge, while NY 9D runs along the west side. A small stream runs along the southeast side and flows into the Hudson, while to the northwest, the ground declines gently to the Hudson.

The hill is about 760 feet (230 m) high at its summit, towards the middle of the ridge. A red-blazed trail climbs its western side, and then runs along the ridge, across the summit, to end at a viewpoint over the Hudson of about 700 feet (210 m) elevation.[2]

Flora

Somewhat unusually, Opuntia humifusa, prickly-pear cactus, can be found growing on ledges atop Sugarloaf Hill. The oceanic warmth brought upstream by the estuarine Hudson and the sunny, exposed rock allows this cactus to grow on the hill, and elsewhere in the Hudson Highlands.[3]

History

Beverley, the house of Col. Beverley Robinson, was built at the foot of the peak in 1758. Robinson, a Tory, lost his house and estates there to confiscation in 1777. It was used as a headquarters by several American generals during the Revolution, and Benedict Arnold chose to dwell there when he took command of West Point in 1780. It was at Beverley that Arnold learned of the capture of John André and the failure of his treason, and fled thence to HMS Vulture.[4]

Beverley later passed into the hands of Hamilton Fish, and was destroyed by a fire in 1892.[5] The hill was donated by the Osborn family to the Taconic State Park Commission in 1974,[6] and now forms part of the Osborn Preserve of Hudson Highlands State Park.[2]

References

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