High Tor State Park, NY
For many years, PIPC had kept a watchful eye on High Tor, in Haverstraw. Like Tallman or Hook Mountain, this chunk of South Mountain was, by virtue of its trap rock composition, faced with the threat of destruction by quarrying. On numerous occasions, quarry operators sought to buy the property from its owner, Elmer Van Orden. While Van Orden always refused to sell, his death in 1942 revived fears that High Tor might end up defaced by quarrying.
The lofty Tor was too precious to abandon to that fate. One of Rockland County's most beautiful sites, it had inspired countless poets, artists, and even playwrights – among them Maxwell Anderson, whose well-known 1937 play, High Tor, is the basis of a 1956 movie with Bing Cosby and Julie Andrews. Among the highest points in the county, High Tor was used by the colonists as a signaling post during the Revolutionary War.
At Van Orden's death, the Commission immediately sought to acquire the property. A campaign led by the Hudson River Conservation Society and the Rockland County Conservation Association, and supported by dozens of groups and individuals, raised sufficient funds to purchase the property, which was transferred to the Commission in April, 1943. At the same time, Archer Huntington decided to donate his own 470-acre estate, which included Little Tor.
The park is open year-round. For more information, please call (845) 634-8074.