"...provide leadership in the translation, interpretation and explanation of the history and evolution of New York State's land and inhbitants to create excitement in discovery and learning."
- From the Vision Statement of the New York State Museum

Inspired by the excitement and momentum of a broad new exhibit program (see concept drawing from the 1999 Master Plan to the left) the State Museum is taking a new look at a statewide mission focused on research, collections and heritage tourism. Field laboratories where teachers, scientists, educators, historians, students, and the public can jointly explore a real environment together, can see formations millions of years old, or can stand in the footsteps of people who helped form our Nation, are rare places to be treasured.

The Stark's Knob Scientific Reservation was created over 84 years ago for this very reason. It has been, unfortunately, more potential than realization for many of those 84 years. But now we have an opportunity to actualize the goals and intent of those who worked to create this place at the beginning of the last century.

The goals of the current project are pretty much the goals set forth by the Saratoga County Historian in 1973:

Establish definitive boundaries
Until the boundaries of the State Reservation are re-established, no project can effectively take place. The definition of public property is at the core of the entire rehabilitation effort.

Establish rights of way
Access has always been problematic, both in terms of parking and in terms of entry. Both of these obstructions to easy public use of the site will be addressed.

Firmly differentiate the area from surrounding land
Persons using the site need to know when they have reached the limits of the public property, and owners of adjacent private lands need to have a clear indication of their own areas of usage. The concept of fencing has always figured in discussions of this site, and establishment of a perimeter fence is a priority.

Remove brush and noxious weeds
Brush and weeds have been a perpetual problem, both limiting safe access and obscuring the features people come to see. Selective clearing of intrusive growth is proposed to not only increase visibility and ease of movement, but to provide for other recreational uses of the site.

Install directional signs
From the very first year it was opened, Stark's Knob has suffered from a lack of sufficient and accurate directional signage. Route 32 is becoming a heritage tourism corridor, and visitors need to be directed to the site and to appropriate use areas within the site with clear and well situated signs and markers.

Install a permanent description of the past
While most of the repeat visitors to Stark's Knob are already familiar with the history and geology of the site, many first time visitors may be unaware of the rich natural and cultural history represented here. Informational panels and small field exhibits would help to interpret in more detail the features present, and provide an experience of more depth and interest.

A coalition of interested and motivated local people and regional organizations has been created to assist in the rehabilitation of the Stark's Knob Scientific Reservation. Clearly, no project of this scope can succeed without such a community-based partnership and local organization.

If you would like to participate in this venture, you may contact this group through Marlene Bissell at

You must complete a Volunteer Application before participating in volunteer projects on this property.

Follow these links to some interesting websites relating to the Hudson/Champlain heritage corridor:

The Champlain Canal Byway
A Revolutionary Day Along Historical US Route 4


The New York State Geological Survey (NYSGS) is a bureau of
the New York State Museum in the New York State Education Department.