Stone Church, Dover Plains

#27 of 108 in Trails in New York State
"The Dover Stone Church, just west of Dover Plains Village, is also well worth a visit. Here a small stream has worn out a remarkable cavern in the rocks forming a gothic arch for entrance. It lies in a wooded gorge within easy walk from the village. Many years ago the writer of this handbook paid it an afternoon visit, and the picture has remained impressed with wonderful vividness. The archway opens into a solid rock, and a stream of water issues from the threshold. On entering the visitor is confronted by a great boulder, resembling an old-fashioned New England pulpit, reaching half way to the ceiling. The walls are almost perfectly arched, and garnished here and there with green moss and white lichen. A rift in the rocks extends the whole length of the chapel, over which trees hang their green foliage, which, ever rustling and trembling, form a trellis-work with the blue sky, while the spray rising from behind the rock-worn altar seems like the sprinkling of holy incense.

After all these years I still hear the voice of those dashing waters and dream again, as I did that day, of the brook of Cherith where ravens fed the prophet of old. It is said by [Benson John] Lossing, in his booklet on the Dover Stone Church [pub. 1876,] that Sacassas, the mighty sachem of the Pequoid and emperor over many tribes between the Thames and the Hudson River, was compelled after a disastrous battle which annihilated his warriors, to fly for safety, and, driven from point to point, he at last found refuge in this cave, where undiscovered he subsisted for a few days on berries, until at last he made his way through the territory of his enemies, the Mahican, to the land of the Mohawks."

-- The Hudson: Three Centuries of History, Romance and Invention, by Wallace Bruce. 1907.

Dover Stone Church: "360"

"Day Tripper: Dover Stone Church," Teja Anderson

(NB: Old Drover's under renovation)
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Stone Church Reviews
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31 reviews
  • Had a lot of fun climbing up to the cave. The water cascading through was delightful. I'd love to have climbed into the cave but I didn't have waterproof boots on.We then went up to to the lookout. It...  more »
  • It is an extremely easy hike to get up to where you can see Stone Church. The only big hill is the first set of stairs at the beginning. Once you get close to it along the stream, the trail becomes mo...  more »
  • Short, picturesque hike. Definitely not handicapped accessible. Depending on the time of year, and if you don't mind getting your ankles wet, you can make it all the way into the "church." Parking is not an issue, just adds a minute or two to the walk.
  • Lovely easy walk leading to a cave with a waterfall inside. We love this place. Park at the elementary school and walk in.
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