Town of Cornwall

First settled in 1685, the Town of Cornwall is now home to over 12,000 residents. The Town includes the hamlets of Mountainville, Firthcliffe Heights, Meadowbrook, Salisbury Mills, West Cornwall, and Orrs Mills; and the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson.  Only 50 miles north of New York City, clean air, open space, outdoor activities, and the sweeping vistas offered by the Hudson Highlands and the Hudson River have attracted tourists since the late 1800s when the Town became a resort town for residents of New York City and New Jersey. The Town boasts over a dozen buildings on the historic register, most dating from the mid-1800s, and many of which were once boardinghouses, taverns, and stores that supported the summer vacationers who flocked to the area. For detailed history of the Town of Cornwall, visit www.cornwallny.com/About-Cornwall/History/History-of-Cornwall.

Storm King Art Center is the largest cultural destination in the Town of Cornwall. Attracting over 150,000 visitors a year, Storm King is proud of its long and close history with the Town of Cornwall.

Storm King Art Center and the Town of Cornwall

Storm King’s founder, Ralph E. Ogden and the first President and Founding Chair, H. Peter Stern, were active participants in the Town. Mr. Ogden moved his manufacturing company, Star Expansion from Bayonne, New Jersey to the hamlet of Mountainville in the Town of Cornwall in the late 1950s after the completion of the New York State Thruway.

Ogden was a significant philanthropist who helped develop the Town as we know it today. He financed the construction of the Mountainville Post Office and Fire House, built the Town’s main ballfield still used by Cornwall Little League (known as Johnny’s Field after his son who died in an accident in his late teens), paid for the Town swimming pool, was a major benefactor of the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum and heavily donated to the  construction of the Boulevard building, funded the construction of the Storm King School’s library in 1958, and along with Mr. Stern, financed construction at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital.  Mr. Ogden was also an early supporter of the preservation of Sands Ring Homestead, funding a new cedar roof on the historic house and museum in the 1960s. Mr. Stern funded many local organization after Ogden’s death through the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation, including many projects at the Museum of the Hudson Highlands and Storm King School and donated to other environmental and cultural organizations. This tradition continues through Odgen’s grandchildren who now run the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation.

In the 1980s, Storm King amended its Charter to encompass open space protection. Working through the Star Expansion Company, and then Storm King Art Center, Mr. Ogden purchased and protected over 2,100 acres of land that were protected and transferred to the Open Space Institute and ultimately became Schunnemunk State Park.

Storm King Art Center and Cornwall Today

Today, Storm King is an international destination for experiencing art in nature, and welcomes over 150,000 visitors each year.  Storm King employs more than 80 people including 25 Town residents, and more than 20 of our volunteer docents are Town residents.  Storm King remains an active participant and supporter of Town activities.

  • Storm King participates in the work of the Greater Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, and is active on the Town Comprehensive Planning Committee and Town Economic Development Advisory Council.
  • Storm King contributes time and sponsors events and activities in the Town including RiverFest (river-fest.com), the Chamber Music at the Park series (cornwallchamber.org/music-at-the-park), the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson movie night , the Sands Ring Homestead (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sands_Ring_Homestead_Museum), the Cornwall Community Foundation (cornwallfoundationny.org/) , and runs joint programs with the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum (hhnm.org) and the Black Rock Forest Consortium (blackrockforest.org).
  • Hundreds of Cornwall residents visit Storm King throughout the season and on our monthly free days and annual Cornwall Day. Storm King is also pleased to support local first responders with an annual Orange County First Responders Weekend (stormking.org/events/communityweekend), and active armed forces services members through the Blue Star Program.
  • Storm King continues to support local municipalities to defend against the potential ecological impact of water withdrawal from the Mountainville wells, including allowing access to Storm King property for monitoring and providing financial support for the monitoring process.
  • Storm King provides free school visits to all Title 1 schools as well as schools in Orange, Putnam, Ulster, Sullivan, Dutchess. Storm King welcomed over 4,000 school children last year, including 140 from Cornwall schools, all who visited for free.
  • Storm King welcomes other organizations working to improve our community by providing retreat and meeting space. In the past year, we are proud to have hosted groups including the Greater Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, the Open Space Institute, the Orange County Citizens Foundation, the Open Space Institute, Horizons on the Hudson, and the Town of Cornwall School Board.

Things to Do in Cornwall

For a full list of restaurants, shops, and activities in Cornwall and around Storm King, visit: stormking.org/visit/local-amenities/.  Cornwall locations are highlighted in yellow.

Some Staff Favorites

Our small Town is packed with things to do! Below are a few Storm King staff favorites, all within about 3 miles of the Art Center.

Strolling and Shopping

What better place to start than Main Street? Head to the Town Hall Parking lot (farmers market on Wednesdays) and park. Relax by the pond in Riverlight Park and cross the road to see the historic Sands Ring Homestead Museum.  Walk west along Main Street passing the Cornwall Yarn Shop, Brid’s Closet, The Shops at 277 Main Street. Stop to eat at Fresh Cornwall, Prima Pizza, Kanda House Thai Kitchen, Fiddlestix Café, or the Canterbury Brook Inn.

Farmers Market. 183 Main Street. facebook.com/pg/townofcornwallfarmersmarket/about/

Riverlight Park; Sands Ring Homestead. 180 Main Street. facebook.com/SandsRing

Cornwall Yarn Shop. 227 Main Street. cornwallyarnshop.com

Brid’s Closet. 282 Main Street. bridscloset.com

The Shops at 277 Main Street. 277 Main Street. facebook.com/Shops277Main/

Prima Pizza. 252 Main Street. pizzaofnewyork.com

Fresh Cornwall. 255 Main Street. freshcornwall.com

Kanda House Thai Kitchen. 304 Main Street. kandahouse.com

Fiddlestix Café. 319 Main Street.  fiddlestixcafe.com

Canterbury Brook Inn. 331 Main Street. canterburybrookinn.com

You will need: some time to wander, an appetite, an eye for some great gifts, and 1-2 hours. Note that some shops are closed Sundays.

Walk More!

If Storm King’s 500 acres isn’t enough, put on your hiking shoes for some great hikes with spectacular views.  The 2,000 acre Storm King State Park features Storm King Mountain (the Art Center’s namesake) and fabulous views of the Hudson River, the Catskills, Bannerman’s Island, and Newburgh Bay.

Want to see Storm King from a different angle? Storm King helped protect the beautiful ridgeline of Schunnemunk State Park (now over 2,700 acres) in the 1980s. With eight marked trails and over 20 miles of hiking, the Jessup Trail takes hikers to three stunning views of Storm King Art Center, the Hudson River, Storm King Mountain, and the Catskills.

Storm King State Park. 185 Mountain Road., Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY 12520. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storm_King_State_Park

Storm King State Park Trail Map: hikethehudsonvalley.com/storm-king/

Schunnemunk Trailhead. 17 Taylor Rd., New Windsor, 12553. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schunemunk_Mountain

Schunnemunk Trail Map: parks.ny.gov/parks/attachments/SchunnemunckTrailMap.pdf

You will need: hiking shoes, bug spray/sunscreen, a sense of adventure, love for amazing views, 2-3 hours

 Apple Cider Donuts and Outdoor Discovery

A short 2 mile drive from Storm King, The Shops at Jones Farm are set on an 100+ acre farm that was recently protected by the Orange County Land Trust and New York State.  The packed gift shop and farm store is second only to the hundreds of freshly baked pastries and newly opened café.  Visitors come from miles around for Grandma Phoebe’s Apple Cider donuts and pies – maybe the best in the Hudson Valley. Opposite Jones Farm is the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum’s Outdoor Discovery Center, the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum is a leading provider of nature education experiences in the Hudson Valley. Featuring kid-friendly nature discovery walking trails, Grasshopper Grove play area, and a Nature Shop.

The Shops at Jones Farm. 190 Angola Road, Cornwall, NY 12518. jonesfarminc.com

Hudson Highlands Nature Museum – Outdoor Discovery Center and Grasshopper Grove Play Area. Across from 174 Angola Road, Cornwall, NY. hhnm.org

Orange County Land Trust. oclt.org

You will need: a sweet tooth (recommended, not required), love of farm shops and nature, 1-2 hours

Waterfront Wanderings

Pick up a parking pass and picnic lunch from Prima Pizza or Fresh Cornwall. Head into the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson and down to Donahue Memorial Park. Enjoy your lunch along the waterfront watching the boats come into the marina, the soaring mountain sides, the trains making their way up and down the river, and majestic views up and down the Hudson. You can also take a kayak ride up the Hudson with Storm King Adventure Tours.

Prima Pizza. 252 Main Street., Cornwall, NY 12518. pizzaofnewyork.com

Fresh Cornwall. 255 Main Street Cornwall, New York 12518. freshcornwall.com

Donahue Memorial Park. 311 Shore Road, Cornwall-on-Hudson 12520.

Storm King Adventure Tours 178 Hudson Street, Cornwall-On-Hudson, NY 12520. (845) 534-7800

You will need: a parking pass (seriously, they ticket), snacks or a picnic, 1+ hours

A Drink and Dinner with a View

The Storm King Golf Club and Tavern (no relation to the Art Center!) is perched high on a hill overlooking Schunnemunk Mountain. Founded in 1894, and open to club members and non-members alike, enjoy a craft beer or cocktail and Chef Scott’s fine fare on the patio from the Tavern with a breathtaking view along the valley. Particularly wonderful in Fall as the hills are alive with oranges, reds, and browns.

Storm King Golf Club and Tavern. 18 Ridge Road, Cornwall, NY 12518. stormkingtavern.com

You will need: a love of long views, some time to relax, 1+ hours

More Cornwall Information