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Robert G. Wehle state park, Henderson NY.

Posted by Bill Hill,
North Country explorer from Edwards NY
April 27, 2020

A favorite destination during sunny & windy days is the Robert G. Wehle state park in Henderson NY. During the spring and winter months, this is a perfect place to practice social distancing. (We saw only three people that day).
This park is on the shores of Lake Ontario and has an interesting history.

From 1895 to 1947, it was used as the Stony Point rifle range. The area was a training facility for Madison Barracks (Sacket’s Harbor), Pine camp (now Fort Drum), and Fort Ontario (Oswego). Not only was it used for rifle training, but it also anti-aircraft and artillery training. You can still find pillboxes along the shore and a huge cement and earthen berm used at the rifle range.

In 1947, the property changed hands and was purchased by Louis A. Wehle, owner of the Genesee Brewing Company, and Thomas Nagle- a Rochester car dealer. The property was used as a Hereford cattle ranch.

1968 saw Wehle’s son, Robert took ownership of the property. An avid sportsman, conservationist, sculptor, and breeder of English Pointers soon transformed to property to incorporate all of his passions. The park features several of his dog sculptures as well as a dog cemetery. He named the establishment Elhew (Wehle spelled backward) Kennels. The property served the family as a summer home as well.

Wehle died in 2002 but arranged the sale of the property to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation prior to his passing. The park was officially opened to the public in 2004.

There are plenty of trails to enjoy on the 1,067-acre park. Right now, some of the facilities are closed due to the COVID 19 crisis, but the trails remain open for recreation (all social distancing and PAUSE rules apply). The Snakefoot Trail (yellow) is my favorite. If you follow that to its southernmost point, three pillboxes are a bit further south on the lakeshore.

For more details on the park and a PDF map, follow this link-