Starting close to home is the Beacon Falls. This is a small waterfall in the city of Beacon, NY where I currently reside. My apartment on Main Street is just out of sight of the falls but on quiet nights I can hear the water pouring over the falls and past the rapids that run under the East Main bridge.
The Maybrook line, a rail line which runs from just south of Beacon to Connecticut curves past the falls. The Metro North railroad purchased the tracks in 1995 but over 15 years later has done nothing with them. This was a former industrial line having seen use on and off for over 125 years but has unused since 1993.
The Beacon Falls is one of 13 dams built along Fishkill Creek, primarily for industry. Beacon was once a major center in the hat trade with some 500 hat factories in business at one time. Like much of industry in the Northeast, these were shuttered long ago as the factories first moved to the deep south and then overseas. There are a number of decaying industrial spaces up and down Fishkill Creek. Some of these former factories are being demolished or renovated, primarily for residential use as Dutchess County has become an attractive alternative to the superheated real estate market closer to NYC.
Recently a developer purchased the land surrounding the falls and is currently restoring the land around the creek as part of their mixed use project. Prior to the developer taking over the site the creek was littered with rubbish and overgrown with weeds. The developer hired an environmental engineer to remediate the area and has both cleaned out the trash and opened up the creekside from the overgrowth as they plan to use the falls as a focal point for their project.