FISHKILL, N.Y. (AP) — Popular ridgetop hiking trails and forest habitat will be preserved with the acquisition of a tract in the Hudson Highlands that's prominently visible from the Hudson River and many public areas including the Newburgh waterfront.

The 1,178-acre property comprises most of the Scofield Ridge in Putnam and Dutchess counties. It sits between the northern and southern sections of the 8,000-acre Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve and will preserve trails connecting Breakneck Ridge and Mount Beacon, two of the Hudson Valley's most popular hiking spots.

Slopeline, an affiliate of Scenic Hudson, acquired the land last week for $12 million. Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan says the tract has been the group's top conservation priority in the Hudson Highlands for many years.

The acquisition also protects the water supplies of six communities.

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