Clark Reservation, as a public park, had its beginning in 1915, when Mary Clark Thompson of New York City purchased the 108 acres surrounding the lake.
Mrs. Thompson believed in the park’s preservation because of its scenic beauty and geological interest. She donated the
land to the people of New York as a memorial to her father,Myron Clark, who had been governor of New York from
1855 to 1857. Clark Reservation officially became a state park in 1926.
The Native Plant Garden showcases almost 60 of the 300+ native plant species found at Clark Reservation. The “glade” area (near the water fountain) contains plants typical of the shady, moist woodlands at Clark Reservation; the "meadow” area includes plant species that are normally found at the forest’s edge and in open areas.
Choose from one of a dozen trails to explore the 365-acre Clark Reservation State Park! This park has been described as a geologic wonder of the last ice age and a botanist’s paradise. A highlight to hike to in the park is Glacier Lake, a meromictic lake. Geologists believe that, at the end of the area’s last ice age 10,000 years ago, an enormous waterfall formed as the glacier was receding. The waterfall’s “plunge pool” eroded a large depression that is now filled by Glacier Lake.
During the last glacial period, as recently as 25,000 years ago, a one-mile thick ice sheet extended all the way from Canada to Pennsylvania. Clark Reservation is home to some of the spectacular features created by the glacier recession. These include the glacier plunge basin of Glacier Lake and the intricate system of limestone amphitheaters, basins, channels, ravines, and cave-like features.