The Lakeville-Ironworks Trail

The Lakeville-Ironworks Trail is open! See the Sterling Forest State Park calendar of events for ranger-led educational hikes and other educational opportunities related to the mining facilities and history of the park.


The Highlands province of NY, NJ, PA and CT was one of the principal sources of iron ore for the American colonies beginning in about 1730 and lasting through the early republic and the Civil War. Across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut there were hundreds of iron mines, providing ore and wrought iron to supply the American forces during the Revolution, and the early railroad industry.

At Sterling Lake, many of the structures used to mine iron from the bedrock are still standing and in good condition. The remains include a restored furnace and a stone cable house. They are easily accessible from the nearby parking areas, and students can easily walk from the exhibits in the Visitor's Center to the remains of the structures, which are just a mile away.

In 2007, HEnRI and its partners - working through a grant from the Dorr Foundation - completed a new 3/4-mile long educational trail loop to highlight these structures and provide context through outdoor interpretive signs. In 2009, HEnRI was honored with two awards for their work on the trail: the Barnabas McHenry Award from the Open Space Institute and the Greater Hudson Heritage Network's Award Toward Excellence. The OSI award allowed us to create a self-guided tour and teacher packet.

For more information, please contact Matthew Shook, HEnRI's Assistant Director.

Cable house