The Elk Pens in Harriman State Park is an occasional start / end destination for Harriman Hikers Sunday Hikes. The Elk Pens in Harriman State Park is rich in local history and is conveniently near the Appalachian Trail and other trails used on our hikes.
From Harriman Trails, a Guide and History (First Edition), by William J. Myles:
The first section of the Appalachian Trail was blazed in 1922 from Route 17 over Green Pond Mountain, across the north end of Island Pond to the Crooked Road and through the Lemon Squeezer. There it joined the A-SB (Arden – Sure Bridge Trail) up to the old fire tower. The entire trail through the Park, from Arden to Bear Mountain, was officially opened on October 7, 1923.
In those days, there were about 60 elk in a great enclosure between Southfields and Arden, known as Elk Range. They had been brought from Yellowstone Park in December 1919. They did not thrive and their number gradually decreased until 1942, when the remainder of the herd was sold to a dealer from Hoosick Falls (Commission Minutes, 12/10/42).
Harriman Hikers at Elk Pens, Harriman State Park, NY. Photo by Mary Jockel
A New York – New Jersey Singles Hiking Club, Established 1974