When I was a kid, my friends and I would sneak off anywhere and everywhere. We would wander through nearby wooded areas and trails, we would look for small caves, hell, we even explored the old Hudson Valley Psychiatric Center a number of times! (What's the statute of limitations on trespassing? I hope I didn't just sign my ticket to jail!).

If my friends and I ever discovered a small bunker that looked like something we would have found in one of our fantasy video games, you know for sure that it would be hard to ever drag us out of it.

The Stone Chambers of Mead Farm


Come on! Look at this! This looks like some hidden cavern that you're supposed to find in The Legend of Zelda. I hope if I went in there that I would retrieve the Master Sword or something.

Above is one of three mysterious stone chambers located on NYC watershed lands in Carmel Hamlet, New York. Were they colonial constructions, ancient sacred sites, or were they even UFO bases? That's the thing, these chambers are of unknown origin or date of construction.

One common theory was that they were root cellars for colonial farmers. In a more religious sense, there are others who believe these structures have some religious significance to pre-Columbian Celts, Vikings, Iberians, Carthaginians or Native Americans. One thing that can be agreed on is that they are manmade. The chambers are more than 30 feet long and up to 10 feet wide. Their stone walls were built without mortar and are "corbelled," or curved inward towards the ceilings that can exceed six feet in height. According to The New York Times, the chambers have never been seriously studied "because nobody has ever produced any evidence of anything but colonial origin."

You can have the chance to hike the trails that lead you there and check out the Putnam History Museum's History Hike: The Stone Chambers of Mead Farm tour. The hike will be led by David A Steinberg, author of "Hiking the Road to Ruins."

Hiking the Road to Ruins

"Hiking the Road to Ruins" is a guidebook that details more than twenty unusual landmarks and hard-to-find destinations all within a two-hour drive of New York City. This book is geared towards the experienced hiker or camping adventurer. The book includes hikes to a variety of urban ruins, including a World War II-era air force base. a vacant dairy farm, pine plantations, abandoned quarries, tunnels, cemeteries and iron mines. Each chapter gives detailed directions, hand-drawn maps, suggestions on the best seasons to visit, and GPS coordinates to specific sites.

Putnam History Museum

The mission of the Putnam History Museum is to collect, preserve, interpret, and present the history of Putnam County, Philipstown, the West Point Foundry, and the Hudson Highlands. Through exhibitions, programs, and events, the museum uses its collections to engage the community with the vibrant history of the region, and to foster greater understanding of the role it has played on the growth of the nation.

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