Home — Driving Itineraries: Hudson Highlands Art
Two Centuries of Revolutionary Art
in the Hudson Highlands
Driving Itinerary

(and just a little Revolutionary History too!)
What You’ll See and Experience — #1
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On this trip we take you to three of the most spectacular attractions and through the most awe inspiring scenery in the Hudson Valley. We travel through time from the roots of America in the 18th & 190th centuries all the way up to the latest expressions of the most contemporary art of the 21st century.

We start at Dia:Beacon, the most important museum of contemporary art from the 60’s thru the 90’s in America. Long a fixture in Manhattain, Dia has opened a monumental museum in Beacon housing pieces from its permanent collection.

At Boscobel, you’ll discover the art of the late 18th and early 19th century and wander in a landscape that superlatives cannot reach. Boscobel is simply the most extraordinary collection of Federal art, design and furniture to be found in the US. It’s filled with master-works of furniture and domestic furnishings, and is situated atop a bluff overlooking West Point and the Hudson as it cuts its path through the Highlands.

The Thayer Hotel
Every weekend there's a reason to get away to the Thayer Hotel.

Across the river you’ll stop at Fort Montgomery for a quick dip into the Revolutionary History that the Hudson Valley is steeped in. Up the road from atop the mountain you’ll take in a breathtaking panoramic view of West Point and the River.

Fast forward to post WWII art at your last stop, Storm King Art Center, the largest sculpture park in America, its 500 acres are scattered with master-works of late 20th century monumental sculpture, many created specific to their site.

It’s a long day, get an early start and don’t dawdle. We start you at Dia:Beacon as its hours are the most restricted. Try to arrange your trip on one of the Saturdays that Storm King stays open until 8. Dusk amongst the sculpture is an experience not to be missed. Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes as you are going gallery strolling, trail wandering and lawn meandering.

Using this Itinerary [Printer Friendly Version]

All of HV/Net’s Driving Itineraries are broken into five distinct sections. Each has a purpose and each supports the other.

The first, this section, gives you a quick look at what you will be seeing and experiencing. We give you a quick overview and approximate time for the trip.

We then provide you with a map showing the locations of the sites we are directing you to visit and the major roads you will be traveling on.

The third section introduces you to each of the sites you will be visiting. We provide you with information on what you will be experiencing, seeing and enjoying. We let you know of the hours of operation, entrance fees and other amenities and restrictions you will encounter.

The fourth section is a detailed set of driving instructions. These are very detailed so that you won’t get lost as you wend your way thru the Valley.

The last section is where we provide you with alternatives, suggested stops for food and shopping and alternative “Detours” that highlight points of interest. Depending on your driving speed, traffic and so on, these detours could be incorporated into your day trip, or can be the centerpiece for a return trip into the Hudson Valley.

Driving Map — #2
Places You’ll Visit On Your Trip — #3
Bannerman Castle
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Where to Go, Play, Stay & Eat Nearby!
Once an uninhabited place, accessibly only by boat, Pollepel Island, commonly known as Bannerman Island, was considered haunted by some Native Americans and became a refuge for those trying to escape hostile tribes.

Francis Bannerman, born in Dundee, Scotland in 1851, came to the United States at the age fo three. His father took up the business of selling goods at Navy auction. At the end of the Civil War they increased their wares by buying surplus stock at government auction. After the Spanish-American War, the Bannerman family purchased so much surplus equipment and ammunition from the US government that the laws of New York City forced them to seek out storage somewhere other than the former Bannerman store in downtown Brooklyn.

The Bannermans purchased Pollepel Island in 1900 to construct a safe storage site for their military goods. Mr. Bannerman designed and began constructing a warehouse in the style of a Scotish castle and a simple residence in 1901.

Many tales both serious and comic, have been told about the island over the years. Frank's grandson Charles wrote prophetically in 1962 - five years before Pollepel Island was donated to the Taconic Parks Commission, and seven years before the great fire that damaged the castle:

"No one can tell what associations and incidents will involve the island in the future. Time, the elements, and maybe even the goblins of the island will take their toll as some of the turrets and towers, and perhaps even the castle itself, but the little island will always have its place in history and in legend, and will be forever a jewel in its Highland setting."

The fanciful castle and residence now lie in ruins on Pollepel Island, looming high above the river spreading age old myths and legends about the ghosts and spirits of the island and creating new ones. Special boat tours to the island depart from Newburgh in season taking you out and onto the island

1601 Route 9D
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Where to Go, Play, Stay & Eat Nearby!

Boscobel is situated on the east bank of the Hudson River opposite the United States Military Academy at West Point. The mansion and surrounding grounds have panoramic views of the Hudson Highlands and the river.

The mansion dates from the early nineteenth century and contains one of the nation's leading collections of furniture and decorative arts from the Federal period, much of it made by premier New York cabinetmakers such as Duncan Phyfe and Michael Allison.

Take a guided tour of the mansion (tours begin at 10 a.m., and the last tour begins at 4:15 p.m. April through October, 3:15 p.m. in November and December; tours last approximately 45 minutes), and enjoy a self-guided tour of the magnificent rose garden, orangery, herb garden, sprighouse, gatehouse, and the Woodland Trail with its rustic cedar structures and glorious scenery. There is also a fascinating exhibition on the rescue and restoration of Boscobel in the Visitors' Center.

Boscobel is open every day except Tuesdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The museum and grounds are closed during January, February, and March. Admission is: Adults: $10. Seniors (62 or older): $9, Children (6-14): $7, Grounds Only: $7. Children under 6 are admitted at no charge. There are different admission charges for some special events. Please check the calendar listings for the proper charge


3 Beekman Street
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Where to Go, Play, Stay & Eat Nearby!
On May 18, 2003, Dia Art Foundation, one of the world’s preeminent contemporary art institutions, opened Dia:Beacon, a new museum to house its renowned but rarely seen permanent collection, comprising major works of art from the 1960s to the present. Dia:Beacon occupies a nearly 300,000-square-foot historic printing factory.

Since its founding in 1974, Dia has been dedicated to supporting individual artists and to providing long-term, in-depth presentations of their art. The Beacon museum’s expansive galleries have been specifically designed for the display of the artworks to which Dia is committed, many of which, because of their character or scale, could not be easily accommodated by more conventional museums.

Works range from Andy Warhol’s 1978 Shadows (a single work comprising multiple canvases); to three of Richard Serra’s monumental sculptures in the Torqued Ellipses, Walter De Maria's Equal Area Series; "monuments" for V. Tatlin, a series of fluorescent light works by Dan Flavin; several mixed-media installations by Joseph Beuys; Agnes Martin’s 1999 paintings Innocent Love; to Hanne Darboven’s nearly 1,600-panel Kulturgeschichte 1880–1983, among others.

In keeping with Dia’s history of single-artist, site-related installations, each artist’s work is installed in galleries renovated specifically for it.

Dia:Beacon is open to visitors from 11am to 6pm Thursday through Monday mid-April to mid-October and until 4pm the rest of the year. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for students and seniors 65+ and free to children under 12. Advance tickets are not necessary, but parking is very limited.


Fort Montgomery State Historic Site
Route 9W
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Where to Go, Play, Stay & Eat Nearby!
Begun in February 1776 Fort Montgomery had three landward redoubts and river batteries while Fort Clinton (August 1776) had a battery and two redoubts. On October 6, 1777, in a diversion to draw off American forces opposing General John Burgoyne's expedition into New York from Canada, General Sir Henry Clinton led 2,100 Loyalists, Hessians, and Regulars from King's Ferry against the landward approaches of Forts Montgomery and Clinton. American Brigadier Generals Governor George and James Clinton had to defend the two forts with a garrison of fewer than 700 men. On the river five American warships protected an iron chain on wooden rafts and boom of ships' hawsers. Despite the gallant American efforts, the undermanned twin forts fell to overwhelming British attack by nightfall. While British forces won the battles of Forts Clinton and Montgomery, these fortifications disrupted Sir Henry Clinton's timetable, complicating any attempts to relieve Burgoyne's trapped army.

Fort Montgomery comprises some twenty-five archeologically significant features on 14.42 acres of land owned since 1914 by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission. The ramparts of the irregularly shaped fortification follow the contours of the bluffs overlooking the Hudson River and Popolopen Creek and connect three landward redoubts-South, Round Hill, and North--and three river batteries-Grand, Putnam's, and River. Foundations of structures in the fort include the guard house, the powder magazine, the main barracks, officers' commissary, officers' barracks, storehouse, bake house, soldiers' necessary, provision stores, soldiers' hut and an additional barracks. A trail and interpretive signs tell the story of the fort and the battle. Fort Clinton has a museum with artifacts and exhibits describing the forts and the battles as well as the remarkably well-preserved Outer Redoubt.

Storm King Art Center
Old Pleasant Hill Road
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Where to Go, Play, Stay & Eat Nearby!
Storm King Art Center is a museum that celebrates the relationship between sculpture and nature. Five hundred acres of landscaped lawns, fields and woodlands provide the site for postwar sculptures by internationally renowned artists. At Storm King, the exhibition space is defined by sky and land. Unencumbered by walls, the subtly created flow of space is punctuated by modern sculpture. The grounds are surrounded by the undulating profiles of the Hudson Highlands, a dramatic panorama integral to the viewing experience. The sculptures are affected by changes in light and weather, so no two visits are the same.

At Storm King, visitors are encouraged to enjoy nature as well as art, to meander on trails and discover sculptures, or to traverse the fields to walk among monumental works. The grounds are under a carefully supervised program of maintenance and change. Recently the Art Center has developed the North Trail and a wooded grove with sculptures, and has restored several walking paths. Please enjoy a picnic in our beautifully landscaped picnic area located adjacent to our North Parking Area.

Storm King Art Center is open Wednesday to Sundays from 11am to 5:30pm, April thru October. On most Saturdays from June thru August Storm King remains open until 8pm, check with them to make sure you are visiting on one of these days.

Admission: $10 Adults , $9 seniors & students with Ids, $7 Students (K-12), children under 5 free.

Guided and self guided tours of Storm King Art Center are available at the visitor center. Docent guided “Highlights of the Collection” tours begin daily at 2pm at the Visitor Center and last about 1 hour. Self Guided Tram Tours begin daily at noon and are free with your admission. Disembark the tram, walk around and re-board at designated locations. Acousti-Guided Tours are available to rent at the Museum Shop. Enjoy an audio tour with commentary from experts. Rental fees are $5.

Detailed Driving Instructions — #4

The Thayer Hotel
Every weekend there's a reason to get away to the Thayer Hotel.

To begin your trip we are recommending you start by traveling up either the New York State Thruway exiting at Newburgh and picking up I-84 crossing the river to Beacon or taking the Taconic State Parkway north through Westchester to I-84 and exiting at Beacon.

Either way, your trip starts at the traffic light on the end of the exit ramp from I-84 at Route 9D. We are taking you from here to Dia:Beacon, then down the east bank of the Hudson stopping to see Bannerman’s Castle. We’ll then stop at Boscobel for a tour and a walk then down the river some more to the Bear Mountain Bridge. We’ll cross here and make a visit to the American Revolutionary Fort Montgomery to investigate the roots of our country.

We’ll then head up over the mountains that make this landscape sop special, stopping atop Storm King Mountain to gaze down at West Point, the mighty Hudson cutting through the gorge and Constitution Island across the river.

After that you’ll come back down off the spine of the Appalachian’s, through Cornwall and take a back road over to Storm King Art Center.

You’ll start and end your day in the midst of the cutting edge of contemporary art sandwiching an excursion back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Quite a trip through time, quite a trip through our cultural history.

Mile 0.0 - Traffic light at end of exit ramp of Interstate 84 at Route 9D. (if traveling across the river from the Thruway, Route 9D is the first exit after the bridge. Stay to the far right as the ramp is immediately after the toll booths. From either the east or west, Route 9D is Exit #11 – Wappinger Falls).

Mile 0.7 - right onto Beekman St. (follow sign for Dia).

Mile 1.3 - Entrance to Dia is on right. Limited parking is available.

Mile 1.65 - Back to stop sign, at entrance/exit for Dia, turn right, up hill to next stop sign, bear right onto Wolcott Avenue (Route 9D).

Mile 2.4 - Cross Fishkill Creek.

Mile 3.0 - Flashing yellow light, Route 9D bears right.

Mile 5.6 - Dutchess Manor Catering on right

Just past Dutchess Manor Catering, Route 9D begins its descent to the bank of the Hudson River. You can see the river immediately before you with Storm King Mountain in the background. Care should be taken as when you reach the bottom of the hill Route 9D makes a left turn. Our next stop is just at the end of this curve.

Mile 6.3 - Parking pull-offs on left, immediately after curve ends.

If you have slowly approached the end of the curve, enter the first parking area, there are two additional parking areas further along in case you are not prepared. You are now near the path for the pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks. Entrance to the path is slightly behind you, on the river-side of the road, at the northern end of the guard rail. Proceed with some caution walking the side of the road, enter the path, go over the bridge and follow the path to the Bannerman Island Overlook.

Mile 6.9 - Enter tunnel under Breakneck Ridge.

Mile 7.1 - Enter Putnam County, great view of Storm King Mountain on right.

Mile 8.2 - Little Stony Point, parking on left and right. Great location for a picnic or walk out to the river for the view.

Mile 8.4 - Entering Village of Cold Spring.

Mile 9.0 - Traffic light at intersection of Route 9D and 301, Main Street of Village of Cold Spring. Cold Spring is a perfect location for lunch if you are driving thru at the right time.

Mile 9.2 - Foundry Museum on right.

Mile 10.1 - Entrance to Boscobel on right.

Mile 10.9 - Cross “Indian Brook.” As you drive this section, great views of West Point are available to the right.

Mile 13.2 - Junction of Route 9D & 403. To the right, “Lower Station Road” goes down to Garrison-on-Hudson. As you proceed south on 9D looking up to the left you will have great views of “Castle Rock,” one of the many private estates in the Valley. “Castle Rock Unique Area,” a state property operated by the DEC is on the left, providing hiking access to the nearby area.

Mile 13.7 - Entrance to Castle Rock Unique Area

Mile 13.9 - Historic Marker on right “Arnolds Flight”. Marks the route of Benedict Arnold as he fled before General Washington’s men after his traitorous actions in attempting to hand West Point to the British.

Mile 15.2 - Entrance to Manitoga on left.

Mile 17.5 - Enter Westchester County.

Mile 17.8 - Bear right at yield sign onto Bear Mountain Bridge. As you cross the bridge, on the far bank on the right you will see another bridge. Where that bridge reconnects with land on the right is the site of Fort Montgomery. Where the Bear Mountain Bridge reaches the western bank of the river is the site of Fort Clinton, obliterated with the construction of the bridge. Above and to the left is Bear Mountain with Hessian Lake at its foot.

This stretch of the river is the site of the major battle of the American Revolution for Forts Clinton & Montgomery. This engagement helped stall the British in their attempt to control the Hudson and meet up with General Burgoyne, descending from Canada. Had the British succeeded in taking control of the Hudson, they would have been able to divide the colonies and win the war.

After passing beyond the Toll Booths a crosswalk is plainly visible. This is the first mile of the Appalachian Trail created. From this spot you can hike north to Maine and south to Georgia.

At the western end of the Bear Mountain Bridge you will come upon a traffic circle, bear right and immediately take your first right onto Route 9W for West Point – Newburgh.

Just after the traffic circle you will cross over the Popolopen Creek on the bridge you observed from mid-span on the Bear Mountain Bridge. If you drive slowly, to your right is one of the most spectacular views in the Hudson Highlands. You will be looking back through the Bear Mountain Bridge seeing the Hudson River as it passes out of the Highlands through the “South Gate” into Peekskill Bay.

At the end of the bridge, on your right, is the Fort Montgomery Historic Sight. If you are early in the day, it is worth taking a little time and visiting this site, one of the most historically important locations in the Highlands. Parking for the site is further along Route 9W, on your right, at the old Trading Post. It is badly marked, so pay close attention.

Mile 19.1 - Junction with Route 218 on which is the Visitor Center for West Point.

Mile 22.8 - Exit for “Stony Gate” entrance to West Point.

Mile 23.8 - Junction of Route 9W with Routes 218 & 293. If you have checked ahead and the Storm King Highway is open, this is where you turn off to take that road. We do not include that route here as it is frequently closed by rock falls and washouts.

Mile 25.1 - West Point Overlook Pull-Off on right. Make sure to stop here as this is the best place in the Hudson Valley to have an overall view of West Point and its surroundings.

Mile 28.9 - Kendridge Farm, part of Museum of the Hudson Highlands is on left.

Mile 29.5 - Sign on right for Storm King Art Center. Get into right hand lane.

Mile 29.7 - Exit Route 9W for Quaker Road. At end of ramp, turn left onto Quaker Road, Orange County Route 107.

Mile 30.5 - Traffic light at bottom of hill, junction of Angola Road and Route 32. Turn right onto Route 32 following sign for Storm King.

Once you have turned right onto Route 32 you will see immediately before you a green steel arch bridge. On the far end of the bridge is a left turn lane, that is where you want to be next.

Mile 30.7 - Turn left at end of bridge onto Orrs Mills Road following signs to Storm King Art Center.

Mile 31.2 - Follow signes for Storm King Art Center by turning left onto Old Pleasant Hill Road.

Mile 31.4 - entrance to Storm King Art Center is on left.

Mile 32.4 - back at Old Pleasant Hill Road after visit to Storm King Art Center. Turn right.

Mile 32.7 - Stop sign at Orrs Mills Road. Turn right onto Orrs Mills Road.

Mile 33.2 - Stop sign at junction of Orrs Mills Road with Route 32. Turn right onto Route 32.

Mile 34.2 - Enter Hamlet of Mountainville.

Mile 36.8 - Entrance to Black Rock Forest on left.

Mile 37.3 - Enter Town of Woodbury.

Mile 40.8 - Traffic light in Highland Falls at junction of Route 32 with County Route 105.

Mile 42.6 - Mobil gas station on left, last chance for gas before entering onto the NYS Thruway. Next chance for gas is on the Thruway itself about 15 miles ahead at the Sloatsburg Rest Stop.

Mile 42.9 - Entrance to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets on left. After passing Woodbury Common, move into left lane for entrance onto the New York State Thruway, three traffic lights ahead. As you continue south on Route 32 through this series of intersections, the left most two lanes allow you to turn left onto the entrance ramp for the New York State Thruway.

Alternate Destinations — #5
In the 1930’s, 40s and 50’s, the signature of Russel Wrigh on a set of dinnerware or piece of furniture elicited instant response. At that time, Wright was one of the best known designers in the US. At the apex of his career, Wright left New York City and moved his base of operations to Garrison. It was here that he created a unique home and designed landscape. He named it Manitoga, meaning Place of the Great Spirit in Algonquin.

When Wright first found the property in 1942, it had been damaged by a century of quarrying and lumbering. Over the next three decades, he carefully redesigned and resculpted Manitoga’s 75 acres using nativeplants, his trainging as a theater designer and sculptor, and his innovative design ideas. Though the landscape appears natural, it is actually a careful design of native trees, ferns, mosses, and wildflowers with 4 miles of paths leading you through it all.

Manitoga is the only 20th century modern homesite open to the public in New York, and one of the few on the east coast. Wright considered it his most important creative effort. In 1966 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Mountainville Conservancy

All the land you see on the mountain on your left as you drive on Route 32 north of Central Valley is contained within the Mountainville Conservancy. The Conservancy is a large tract of land established to protect the Schunemunk Mountain from Highland Mills north to the hamlet of Mountainville. It, and Black Rock Forest located on the right of Route 32, comprise an excellent location if you are an avid hiker or someone looking for a quiet and peaceful place to enjoy nature. Although immediately adjacent to the New York Metropolitan complex, they are not heavily used, unlike Bear Mountain State Park and Harriman State Park, because they are not "developed" with major access points and amenities. In fact, unless you know how and where, accessing them can be impossible. We recommend you contact the NY/NJ Trail Conference for information. They publish guide books to the whole area, including Mountainville Conservancy and Black Rock Forest. In fact, these two parcels are extensively covered in their trail maps, as the "Hudson Trails West". The NY/NJ Trail Conference maps are the best available!

The Mountainville Conservancy includes the northern part of Schunemunk Mountain with over 20 miles of marked hiking trails. Containing approximately 2,300 acres, the land was donated to the Conservancy by the Star Expansion Industries of Mountainville in 1985. You should note that hunting, open fires and motorized vehicles of all kinds are not allowed on the Conservancy at any time. The ridge of Schunemunk Mountain is nearly 1,700 feet in elevation and the trails along the mountain provide excellent views of the Hudson River and the Valley.

Black Rock Forest

Black Rock Forest is a preserve of special interest to hikers and nature lovers. Throughout the Forest are many reservoirs supplying local communities with water and the hiker with refreshing vistas. Black Rock Forest includes roughly 4,000 acres of a high, rugged granite plateau with dozens of summits over 1,400 feet in elevation. The Forest is named for Black Rock, a prominent pitch-pine-clad summit south of Cornwall, which is one of the most conspicuous in the area, offering grand views to the north, east and west. The highest summit in Black Rock Forest is Spy Rock at 1,464', and gives an exceptional view. From this summit, sentinels from Washington's army at Newburgh watched British vessels sailing up the Hudson to Haverstraw Bay.

You should note that access to Black Rock Forest is restricted, it is private property and can, at times, be completely closed down. This is, however, very infrequent and usually only during times of extreme fire hazard. However, access to Black Rock Forest is a privilege granted by the Preserve and is limited exclusively to hiking and walking the marked trails and roadways. All motorized vehicles are completely forbidden, as well as camping & outdoor fires. Hunting and fishing privileges are exclusively restricted to members of the Black Rock Forest Fish and Game Club.

Woodbury Common Premium Outlets
As you can see from the road, Woodbury Common is a mega-center of factory outlets. At last count there were over 200 stores contained in the complex. It’s designed as a walking friendly colonial village with wide paved boulevards for the shoppers. If you've never been, it's definitely worth taking a day and doing some serious shopping. You might be interested to know that Woodbury Common is one of the most visited “tourist” sites in New York.
Lunch Alternatives
Depending on how much time you spent at Dia:Beacon, if you are driving past Cold Spring around lunch time we would suggest you take the time to stop there. Main Street has many wonderful small eateries as well as grand gourmet restaurants. But whatever you do, don’t get trapped into the spell of Cold Spring! You’ve got a lot of ground yet to travel!

Or consider picking up something to “go” from one of the small eateries, pizza shops or delis in Cold Spring and taking it with you to your next stop at Fort Montgomery. It’s a short drive from Cold Spring to your next stop, and a picnic overlooking the mighty Hudson as it careens through the Highlands is a real treat!

Dinner Alternatives
Seriously consider a picnic at Storm King for your early evening meal. If you’ve scheduled your visit on one of the Saturdays that Storm King is open until dusk, you will have a wonderful experience picnicking amongst the monumental sculptures. Your alternatives for picking up some cold picnic fare are:

Cornwall-on-Hudson - When you are exiting Route 9W for Quaker Road, turn right instead of left and go into Cornwall. There is a charming little village center with a supermarket and a couple of small shops. Or return to Cornwall-on-Hudson after visiting Storm King and enjoy a leisurely dinner at one of the many excellent restaurants on and around the Village Center.

Vails Gate - Instead of turning left on Route 32 onto Orrs Mills Road for Storm King, continue north on Route 9W and within a mile you will arrive in Vails Gate. There are several excellent grocery supermarkets where you can pick up prepared foods and beverages. There are also a dizzying number of fast food outlets ranging from burgers to tacos to donuts. Take your pick, spread out a blanked on the lawn at Storm King and enjoy a al fresco repast. Just retrace your route and turn “right” onto Orrs Mills Road. Or, after visiting Storm King, you can go into Vails Gate for a quick bite.

An alternative is to follow our driving instructions and head south on Route 32 to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. Between Woodbury Common and the shopping center just beyond you have a choice of Applebee’s, Uno’s Pizza and Fridays. Follow the signs to Wal-Mart and you’ll find a Chili’s.

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