Opus 40 Sculpture Park, Saugerties, NY

Opus 40 Saugerties New York

A friend recently told me about Opus 40, and while exploring the Catskills area, we decided to stop and visit this interesting sculpture park.  Opus 40 is located in Saugerties, NY (also near Woodstock).

We used Google Maps to get to Opus 40.  However, another sign out on the road directed us to Opus 40, so we took a different road in.  I felt a little like we were off-roading in the minivan, but the road took us to a very full parking lot.

Opus 40 Saugerties NY

We had no idea there was a music event going on at Opus 40 (which meant it was technically closed to the public), but we were able to park, pay, and explore the property.  If I were to go again, we would use the main entrance.  Also, check their website to makes sure there isn’t an event going on.

Opus 40 Saugerties NY

Opus 40 is like nothing I’ve seen before.  It is sort of like an interactive sculpture and winding labyrinth.

In 1938, Harvey Fite, one of the founders of the Bard College Fine Arts Department, purchased an abandoned quarry in the town of Saugerties, NY, in Ulster County, about 100 miles north of New York City.  During a period of 37 years, he created the monumental world-acclaimed 6½-acre bluestone sculpture now known as Opus 40. Over time he acquired additional land (70+ acres today) and built several structures, including a beautiful large wood and stone home, a studio, garage, blacksmith shop and the Quarryman’s Museum, which houses his unique collection of indigenous tools.  Constructed by this one man, using dry-key stone masonry techniques inspired by his work in restoring the Mayan civilization at Copan, refined by experiment, trial and error, Opus 40 is a labyrinthine world of finely fitted stone, swirling with ramps and terraces constructed around pools and trees and fountains, rising out of bedrock a half mile deep. (https://www.opus40.org/)

Opus 40 Saugerties NY

It is amazing to see all the work put into creating Opus 40, and all by one person.  The curved walls and smooth lines are very impressive.  There are places where water collects and there is duckweed on top, making it even more visually interesting.  I love how it looks like a green carpet and almost like you could step on it.

Opus 40 Saugerties NY

The kids had fun exploring the grounds, checking out cairns, passageways, and more (and were excited to see a water snake and a bunch of frogs!).

Opus 40 Saugerties NY

While the main area isn’t very large, it was interesting to explore and spend some time walking around.

Opus 40 Saugerties NY

Opus 40 Saugerties NY

The museum wasn’t open when we went (because of the event being held there), but there were still some interesting things to see outside.  When we got home I read through the website to learn more about the history of Opus 40.

Opus 40 Admissions

Opus 40 Saugerties NY

This was definitely an interesting place to visit.  I would recommend planning a little picnic lunch while you are there so that you can take your time and enjoy the sights.  This would be gorgeous in the fall when leaves are changing colors!

We visited Woodstock afterwards, but be prepared because the town can be very crowded, especially in the summertime.

Opus 40 Saugerties NY

Visit Opus 40 at https://www.opus40.org/

 

Check out the other places we have visited in the area:
Big Deep & Little Deep Swimming Holes, Woodstock, NY
Falling Waters Preserve, Saugerties, NY
Overlook Mountain, Catskills, NY
Saugerties Lighthouse, NY

By | 2018-08-07T00:12:42+00:00 August 5th, 2018|Travel|20 Comments

About the Author:

Busy blogger and mom of two girls! We love traveling and the great outdoors, and are always looking for our next adventure!

20 Comments

  1. Richard Brandt August 6, 2018 at 4:53 am - Reply

    Amazing that this was all built by hand by one man, and the connection to Mayan architecture is fascinating.

  2. wendy August 6, 2018 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    Wow that place looks very scenic and historic. What a cool place to get out for a little hike.

  3. valmg @ Mom Knows It All August 6, 2018 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    I hadn’t heard of this site before. It sounds interesting, and it looks like it has some terrific sky and scenery for a backdrop.

  4. Glenda Cates August 6, 2018 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    These are the types of places I love visiting with my son as he likes to hike and find hidden treasures so I plan on adding it to our Bucket List of places to visit in the future.

  5. robin rue August 6, 2018 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    That is CRAZY that it was built by one man!!! How ind blowing! I would love to go visit there with my family!

  6. Tomi C August 6, 2018 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    WOW!!! I’ve never heard of Opus 40 and it looks absolutely stunning. His vision was truly ahead of it’s time. It would make sure a great venue for an outdoor wedding don’t you think?

  7. Jeanette August 6, 2018 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    I love exploring places like this. It’s the imagination going and you get to see how other people think and interpret art. It looks like someplace I could spend hours.

  8. Terri Steffes August 6, 2018 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    Even though it is “new” it is obviously well constructed to look like a part of the landscape. I think it is so gorgeous. Sharing with a MA friend who will love this.

  9. Jenn @ EngineerMommy August 6, 2018 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    We drove through Saugerties a few weeks ago on vacation. This looks like such a beautiful scenic destination! I love upstate NY.

  10. Tasheena August 6, 2018 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    This looks like such a stunning place to visit. I can’t wait to check it out the next time I visit New York.

  11. Amber Myers August 6, 2018 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    This would be pretty cool to see. I like to explore places like this. It looks to be a great place to take photos!

  12. Lisa August 6, 2018 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    How amazing that one man built all that. It looks like it was a great place to visit. So beautiful.

  13. Sara Welch August 6, 2018 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    This is a really neat park! I would love to visit sometime.

  14. Kita Bryant August 6, 2018 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    How cool is this park. The kids would have fun here.

  15. Janet W. August 6, 2018 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    That looks so amazing and I bet even better to see in person!

  16. NYC Single Mom August 7, 2018 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Wow we are always looking for something to do when we go to woodstock!! I am so going on our next trip!!

  17. Maddy August 7, 2018 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    Wow! This is beautiful! We live in Manhattan and this looks like a great little getaway!

  18. Chubskulit Rose August 7, 2018 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    I’m okay with frogs but definitely scared of any kind of snakes. This place really look like a fun and educational spot to go to.

  19. Rachel August 7, 2018 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    This is a very nice place would be great to go see everything

  20. GiGi Eats August 9, 2018 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    What a fun place to go get lost in!!

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