Things to do:
- Swimming (Memorial Day to Labor Day)
- Fishing (children 16 and under)
- Ice Skating
- Cross Country Skiing
- Adult fitness equipment
- Veteran’s Museum (hours vary)
Location: 201 Gipsy Trail Road Carmel, New York
Park Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
(Memorial Day to Labor Day)
10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
(Fall, Winter and Spring)
Park Office: – open during park hours
Information, application forms and maps for all Putnam County Parks and Conservation Areas including Tilly Foster Community Gardens available here
$5.00 Day pass (Veterans enter for free)
$40.00 Annual Vehicle Permit
$20.00 2nd Vehicle Permit
$20.00 Senior Citizen Vehicle Permit
$15.00 2nd Senior Citizen Permit
$85.00 Non County Resident Vehicle Permit
$100.00/day Group Use Permit
$50.00/ ½ Day Group Use Permit
$100.00 Lower Park Pavilion Rental (additional parking fee required)
$50.00 Vendor Permit
$1000.00 Wedding Rental Fee
Lower Pavilion: The lower pavilion can be rented out for the whole day. People have rented it out for birthday celebrations, graduation parties, and family functions. The pavilion holds approximately 75 people and has electric and a barbeque pit available. Bathrooms and the playground area are also close by. The pavilion costs $100 for the day and each car costs $5 for admittance which can be paid by the renter or individually.
Upper Park: The upper park pavilion is also available for rental. This pavilion can hold approximately 200 people and requires a group use permit. The pavilion also has electricity.
The park is also home to a veteran’s museum honoring all men and women who have served in the armed forces. The museum has a large selection of authentic memorabilia spanning from before the American Civil War to present day military operations. The museum is open on Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and by appointment. Call the park office at 845-808-1994 for appointments.
Memorials located at the Park:
Putnam County Veteran’s Memorial
Dedicated “to honor all men and women of Putnam County, NY who answered our nation’s call to duty and service in time of war and time of peace. Always keep them in your heart and prayers. For all gave some – some gave all.” Dedicated August 2nd, 1997.
This is a round red brick memorial with 7 vertical stone pillars and flags, each of them re-presenting one branch of the US Armed Forces and the Putnam County Joint Veterans Council.
The horizontal bricks contain the names of veterans of the US Armed Forces.
New bricks can be purchased and dedicated at Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park.
Gold Star Mother’s Monument
Dedicated to all mothers who lost a child serving our country.
Dedicated June 2006. This is a bronze statue of a grieving mother on a black granite pedestal with 5 granite benches around it. There is a red brick walkway leading to the monument from the main parking lot.
Blue Star Memorial By-Way
“A Tribute to the Armed Forces of America” Donated by the Ninth District F.G.C.NYS, National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc. This is a 3’x3’ square stone with a plaque surrounded by landscaping located across from the M60 Tank.
Boy Scout Memorial
“To all Scouts that served in the Armed Forces” Dedicated in Spring of 2007.
This is a 3’x4’ round stone with a plaque surrounded by landscaping located across from the M60 Tank.
To honor all Veterans.
Donated by The Buddhist Association of the United States.
These are 3 gardens located directly behind the Putnam County Veterans Memorial.
Putnam County’s First Park Memorial
Dedicated in 1971.
This is a 4’x5’ round stone surrounded by a flower garden with a plaque containing the names of the members of the Board of Supervisors and Park and Recreation Advisory Committee as well as an acknowledgement of businesses and organizations who made contributions to the park. Located near the playground.
Cobra AH-IG/S/F Helicopter
This Cobra 318 was purchased by the US Army in 1967. It served in the Vietnam War from February 1968 thru November 1969. In May 2001 the helicopter was moth-balled at Fort Drum, NY and arrived at Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park in October 2002. The pole-mounted helicopter is located to the left of the Veterans Memorial.
US Navy Anchors
These are 2 crossed anchors off Navy ships to represent this branch of the US Armed Forces. This memorial is located between the M60 Tank and the Veterans Memorial.
M60A3 Series Tank (Patton Series)
This tank saw action with the Israeli forces during the Yom Kippur War in both the Sinai and the Golan Heights. Two members of the Armed Forces who served using this tank were present at the dedication ceremony at the park. This memorial is located to the right of the Veterans Memorial.
Angel of Hope
Dedicated to parents who lost a child.
This is a bronze statue of an angel on a stone pedestal located near the lake.
The Tilly Foster Conservation Area is owned by Putnam County.
The Tilly Foster Farm museum is a preservation, farming and educational endeavor of The Society for the Preservation of Putnam County Antiquities and Greenways, Inc. (aka Preserve Putnam County) a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, and its founder, George Whipple.
The goals of Preserve Putnam County are to keep Tilly Foster Farm free and open to the people of Putnam County; Make the farm self-sufficient to reduce burden on the taxpayer; build a world class farm museum exhibiting rare and endangered early American farm animals; and finally, to educate the public about farming, local history and animal husbandry.
Location: 100 Route 312 Brewster, New York
It is said that Tilly Foster got its name from a nearby iron mine owned by Mr. Tillingham Foster back in the 19th century. His nickname was Tilly, and so the village surrounding the mine became Tilly Foster.
In 1943 Mr. E.E. Benedict purchased what had been a small dairy farm with 75 head of cattle from Mr. Rundell Bloomer.
After the acquisition of several other small farms in the immediate area Benedict Farms quickly grew to a large dairy operation with 375 head of cattle capable of producing over 500,000 quarts of milk per year. This milk was used by Borden Milk Company as well as the rest of the community.
The farm also raised chickens and hogs.
With the decline of dairy farming in New York State the Benedicts looked for a different source of income and found it in the breeding of racehorses.
Tilly Foster Farm actually was one of the leading thoroughbred farms in New York State. It has produced many champion horses like 1969’s Silent Scream and 1997 DelMar Derby winner Anet, to name a few. The farm had also been providing other breeders with knowledge and care as a breeding facility.
Putnam County purchased the land in 2002 using public money from New York City Watershed funds.
Things to do:
- Gardening in the Tilly Foster Farm Organic Community Garden
- Watch the farm animals – no touching or feeding, please!
- Hike the nature trails – kiosks with maps are located next to farm parking lot and across Rt.312 in garden parking lot
- Picnicking and barbecuing – barbecues are near the lake
- Enjoy the beautiful scenery
- Photography / Painting
- Fishing – please follow NY State fishing regulations
- Ice skating – weather permitting
- Cross country skiing and sledding- weather permitting
- Dog walking—on a leash and on hiking trails only – away from farm animals
Rules and Regulations for Tilly Foster Farm and Conservation Area:
- Farm Hours Daily: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00p.m.
- Pets are not allowed except in designated areas.
- Boats are not allowed.
- Garbage must be placed in trash containers.
- Fishing is permitted. NYS DEC Regulations Apply.
- Organized groups may not use farm without permission.
- Alcoholic beverages may not be brought onto the property.
- Vehicles are not permitted on the lawns.
More info can be found at http://www.tillyfosterfarm.org/
Garden plots are available for spring and summer gardening. Contact the Putnam County Park office for more details on available plots.
Location: First right on Prospect Hill Rd. Across the road from the farm entrance.
This conservation area consists of over 800 acres and is Putnam County’s largest. The property was once owned by Walter G. Merritt. It was previously known as Merritt Park, and consisted of around 600 acres.
Wildlife abounds in this conservation area. One may see deer, turkey, bobcat, bear, along with various songbirds and small mammals.
One of the most popular spots is the great gorge waterfall. This is located just north of the old Merritt campsite.
We are always trying to improve the trail system in this conservation area. If you have any suggestions or concerns please call 845-808-1994.
Location: There are two trailheads with parking areas on Stage Coach Road in Patterson and a larger parking area on Haviland Hollow Rd.
Conservation Area Rules:
- Please enjoy your time here.
- Respect nature and others.
- Please have your dog/s under control at all times.
- NYS DEC regulations have to be followed when fishing.
- No littering! Please leave only your footsteps behind.
Hunters Wear Orange
So Should You
For your safety during
Visitors on these lands
Should wear orange
Be Safe – Be Seen
- Various hunting seasons in New York State run from September through March & May 1st to May 31st.
- Horseback riding is permitted on trails only.
- Mountain-biking is permitted on trails only, with the exception of the blue trail.
- Please do not leave valuables in your car; if you must, leave them locked in the trunk.
About Michael Ciaiola
Michael Thomas Ciaiola was well known as President of the Putnam County Land Trust and for his work with FROGS (Friends of the Great Swamp). Former County Executive Robert Bondi remembered Mr. Ciaiola as part of a “dedicated group of stewards of the Earth.” Michael and a handful of other activists drafted the most important piece of legislation ever to be passed by the Putnam Legislature – Resolution 555 of the year 1984-1985 – adopted a policy for the preservation of open spaces in Putnam County. Michael was frequently consulted to develop lake management studies, stream improvement projects and community environmental protection plans throughout the county.
Legislative Resolution #135 of 2002 – recognized the great impact the Michael Ciaiola had on Putnam County and officially changed the name of “Walter G. Merritt Conservation Area” to the “Michael Ciaiola Conservation Area”.
About George C. Cain
George C. Cain, a New York City firefighter who died at the World Trade Center on 9/11/01, was a resident of the Town of Patterson in Putnam County. George and his friends would run, hike, cross-country ski and mountain bike the many beautiful trails of Putnam County. George was always interested in improving any trail he used. He would pick up any litter he found on his hikes and he always had an idea on how to improve the trails for better use.
Legislative Resolution 238 of 2001, proclaimed a trail loop as “The George C. Cain Memorial Trail”. The George C. Cain trail (orange trail ) is also marked with a Maltese cross to remind users of the sacrifice that George gave to his Country.
Fred L. Dill
Fred L. Dill came to Carmel in 1933 after graduating with an Accounting Degree from Bentley College in Boston, Massachusetts. His father, Carl Dill, trained and drove trotting horses and had moved his family from Goshen, NY to work at the horse racing track which was part of Putnam County Fairgrounds located on a portion of this property. A faint outline of the old race track is still visible and is labeled “old racetrack” on the park map.
Upon completion of his first summer “swiping” horses and “mucking out” horse stalls, Fred decided the horse business was not for him. His dream was to be in business for himself. When working as office manager for American Oil in Carmel, he had the opportunity to manage Dain Supply and within three years was a partner in Dain and Dill. Eventually, Dain and Dill
became Lloyd Lumber, a cash and carry lumber yard which grew into a chain of 21 stores in NY and CT.
Fred had achieved his dream of becoming a successful businessman, and he enjoyed using his financial success to benefit the Putnam County Community. The Fred Dill Wildlife Sanctuary and Outdoor Education Center is the last project Fred worked on before his death in 2004 at the age of 91. This property brought Fred to Putnam County and it gave him great pleasure to think of the many people who would walk the trails, enjoy the tranquil woods, and learn about our local wildlife and history.
Location: Parking is located behind the Putnam Family and Community Sevices building and there is a trailhead on Fair Street just after the Hamlet of Carmel.
The Cornerstone Park concept is based on the renovation of a central square – often the gas station – in the historic downtown of our older communities, reviving these centers and creating much needed green spaces and tourism related services. It is designed to enhance economic revitalization efforts with aesthetic improvements and by creating public space in a downtown area.
In 2002, Preserve Putnam County collaborated with Putnam County to design and develop a public park with welcome center and historical museum at the corner of Fair Street and Route 52 in downtown Carmel. The property, a former gasoline and service station, was donated to Preserve Putnam County by the Spain family for the purpose of creating a park. This public/private partnership sets a precedent for transforming a gasoline station into a center for cultural activities and creating a new green space in a business district. The park opened to the public on September 17, 2004.
A memorial honoring Putnam County’s 911 Heroes was unveiled on November 16, 2002. The names of eight residents who were killed at the World Trade Center on September 11th are inscribed in black granite and was made possible through donations from many local organizations, businesses and individuals.
Location: Fair Street, Carmel, NY 10512
Dixon Lake Conservation Area is a small lake that provides fishing and boat access.
Please follow New York State Fishing Regulations when fishing. No gas engine boats allowed on the lake.
Location: Turn North onto Crane Road off of Route 6. Crane road turns into Long Pond Road. Turn right onto Dixon Lake Road. At stop sign turn left onto Valley Court. Dixon Lake Conservation Area will be on your right.
The Donald B. Smith Conservation area is a small (1.2 acre) property that sits along the East Branch Croton River, offering fishing and canoe access. There is a picnic table in case you want to bring lunch.
Location: 684 North ends and narrows to become Route 22 continue on 22 for 3.1 miles. Turn right onto Doansburg Road and go 1.8 miles, then make a right onto Gage Road. Go 6/10th of a mile and bear right to go onto Old Doansburg Lane. In about 3/10ths of a mile, the road will end in a loop. The park is at the end of the loop.
The Lake Gleneida Trail is a short walking trail that goes around the North and West sides of the lake.
Location: The trailhead is located off of 301 across from Fowler Avenue and Ridge Road.