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Location: Orak Mansion Ruins, Harriman State Park, Rockland county
RuinsOld foundations / ruins / lost historyWoodland TrailsWoodland TrailsWalkRequires excessive walkingDog friendlyDog frienldy, bring a leash

The Orak Ruins was once a mansion built in 1923 by George Briggs Buchanan, once the V.P. of the Corn Products Refining Co., which manufactured Karo syrup. (Orak is Karo spelled backwards!) After Buchanan passed in 1939, his heirs sold the mansion to the park and it was demolished in 1973.

To get to the ruins, take the Palisades South to exit 14 and follow route 98 West. There is a parking area on both sides of the road before and after a small bridge crossing Minisceongo Creek. The trail starts up a gated paved road for a short distance. Follow the yellow blazes of the Suffern-Bear Mountain (S-BM) Trail. In a quarter of a mile, the S-BM Trail bears left onto a woods road and soon reaches the stone ruins of the Orak ruins.

Itís a beautiful area but there isnít much to photograph here. There is one foundation with an old greenhouse frame attached and another wall with a stone archway which may have been part of another foundation. There is also a small gate-house which is pretty much intact with a roof that is starting to cave in.

This makes a good side trip while exploring other places in the area but probably not worth the trip for this alone unless you plan to spend the day hiking the trails. Another ruin is to the North but I donít have information on that one. It is noted on the NY/NJ trail map of Sothern Harriman.

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