Opus 40 was the vision of Harvey Fite, one of the founders of the Bard College Fine Arts Department. In 1938 he purchased an abandoned bluestone quarry in the town of Saugerties, NY, in Ulster County, about 100 miles north of New York City.
Working by himself, over a period of 37 years, Fite transformed the 6½-acre quarry into a labyrinthine bluestone sculpture of finely fitted stone, swirling with ramps and terraces constructed around pools and trees and fountains, rising out of bedrock a half mile deep. It’s a magical place and well worth a visit.
Opus 40 is a short drive to Woodstock and Saugerties, NY, so we decided to visit both. We had a an early dinner in Saugerties at the The Tavern at Diamond Mills overlooking the falls of Espous Creek . The highlight of our visit to Saugerties was a short hike to the Saugerties lighthouse on the banks of the Hudson River. We plan to return and spend a night in the lighthouse, which is now a bed and breakfast.
Woodstock and Saugerties are places I have driven by many times on my way to backpacking and hiking trips in the Catskills, but I never stopped. But both are really fun towns to visit. Woodstock is filled with shops and restaurants and if you want to purchase some tie-dyed hippie gear, this is the place. Saugerties is less touristy and you can easily spend a few hours hanging out visting shops, the bookstore or a local bar or cafe. You can also indulge your sweet tooth at Lucky Chocolates in Saugerties- one example of how creative, artistic people are remaking these towns into destination worthy sites.