Sun-Ray Spring, Ellenville, NY


Posted: January 10, 2010

Category: New York, North America, United States, View All

70 Berme Road
Ellenville, NY 12428
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The spring is in the woods up a pretty steep trail behind the factory. There is a cement trough where the spring used to be when it was used for the old bottling company. The pipe where the spring comes out directly is black and short. It empties into a eroded hole and down the mountain. The trail is slightly steep walking up the semi obvious trail but it is worth the less than quarter mile walk. Not accessible by car to the source but you can park the car near by.

Nearest Address

70 Berme Road Ellenville, New york

Directions from Nearest Address

There are two trails that look like vehicle paths. They’re both behind the factory. One goes off from the back left corner and one from the other side of the factory from the back right corner. The tiny (somewhat creepy) concrete bunker thing is off to the left. The path to the spring is up the steep trail on the right. It’s pretty obvious once you see it but it’s easy to think the one on the left is the only main trail if that’s where you park.

Vital Information

  • Fee: No Fee
  • Access: Private
  • Flow: Continuous
  • TDS: 12
  • Temp: estimated at 40 F or colder
  • pH: N/A

Hours Spring is Open:



Map Link: Sun-Ray Spring Map

Submitted by: Jakob Roze

  1. HI, I'm Steve Krulick of Ellenville. I'm a former village trustee, publisher, editor, columnist, and solar entrepreneur. During the 80s I worked with the then-owners of the Sun-Ray property to try to bring this historic spring back to market, but the economy then was not favorable to such startups, even for what was once marketed as “the world's purest spring water.” Even today, we know of no natural spring water with a lower ppm tds.

    I am locally-known as the resident expert on the history of the spring, 500-plus foot tunnel it flows out of, and the historic bottling plant, and have given several public slide shows over the years, and will eventually put all available info online. For those with particular interest in this spring, I can be reached at

    One caveat, though… the spring is on private property and is not therefore technically accessible to the public; if you are there without permission, you are, in effect, trespassing. The tunnel itself is home to bats and other critters, is slippery, and so can be dangerous; I didn't take people into the tunnel until they signed a waiver holding the owners harmless in case of accidents.

    • Jackson Fairchild says:

      Seriously, STAY OUT OF THE TUNNEL!
      It’s a seriously haunted space. Some say its curses all who go in. We thought since Starbucks has Satans daughter on their logo, maybe they’d neutralize it. It’s story is in a book about Haunted Hudson Valley.
      It’s no mermaid on Starbucks, it’s a creature called Melusine who married nobleman but warning him to stay out of her bath on Saturday night when she shapeshifted. Of course he went in, and I forget the rest except our 15th great grandmother—Jacquette of Luxembourg is said to descent from Melusine. Philippa Gregory wrote it into her Red Queen novels.

      When ever a mermaid has a split tail? it’s Melusine. If you want Starbucks to investigate this possibility? I’ll leave it to you.

  2. toddweber says:


    How are you? My name is Todd Weber. I am an EHS graduate (class of 89). SUNY New Paltz, MBA. I have recently become interested in the commercialization of the Sun Ray brand. My background is in strategic planning with a focus on sales and marketing. Give me a shout to discuss further.

    Are you related to Mrs. Krulik. Look forward to talking. My e-mail is I live in Fairfield County, CT.

    Talk soon


  3. Jakob says:

    Do we really need to commercialize a spring that had been the source of water for our ancestors? Do we really need to add to the product peddling society that we live in to exploit and abuse this spring for greed? come on now

  4. toddweber says:


    I appreciate your gesture. Are you from Ellenville? Are you aware of the fact that the local economy is severely depressed and nobody seems to care? My interest in this is not to become wealthy, but to stimulate the local economy and show the community that people do care. I was born and raised in this town and have watched the demise.


  5. Jakob says:

    Sorry i came off a little hard. I thought you were interested in profit. I agree ellenville's economy is not doing very well

  6. stevekrulick says:

    I would be interested in hearing your ideas, but be aware that I have no active involvement today with the owners of the property, and can't vouch for their interest in developing the spring today. Economically, and for different reasons than the last attempt in the early 80s, this is a tough time to develop such a venture.

    Yes, Mrs. Krulick, formerly Miss Spevak, is my wife, who taught at ECS.

  7. stevekrulick says:

    I don't understand the reference to “our ancestors.” There were many available sources of water, private and municipal, that were either used locally or bottled for sale. SunRay Water was a highly visible product that made Ellenville known worldwide, as were such other products as knives and glassware.

    Today, the spring flows out of the mysterious tunnel and into a swamp, serving no purpose and is essentially wasted. Would that it could be used either as a municipal source (but it lacks the volume of flow to be worth the effort, and the thought of the world's purest natural spring water flowing into local toilets for flushing is disheartening), or bottled for use in local hotels or sold in stores, but the cost of doing so is rather high, considering the times and the experience of others who have tried to bottle spring water in the past few decades.

    I don't see how any of this, even if possible, “exploits” anything or “abuses this spring” and the mention of “greed” is highly insulting and bizarre. What IS “greedy” and “abusive” is to think that private property has no relevance, and that you or others can blithely walk on someone else's property and take a resource from it without permission or payment. Come on now.

    • Jackson Fairchild says:

      My family first settled Ellenville in 1792 when it was called ‘the city’ by Fairchilds who settled there. We live nearby and learned at one time, it’s believed, the spring was found by a remnant band of Conquistadors who made a small settlement and dug that sucker to its source thinking it was the fabled Fountain of Youth. We hear Joe the Barber had that story too.
      Our Family is in the Old Leurenkyll Historical Cemetery.
      Alpheus Fairchild’s Picture is in the Town Supervisors office.
      So we understand STARBUCKS is in need of a new Spring. Do you want to hear from them? I know I know… But it should depend on hiring local people. They need a new source for their signature water.
      Ciao, Jackson..

  8. stevekrulick says:

    Do you not believe that if someone invests time and money to establish a viable business, in this case, building a new bottling facility, engineering and upgrading the plumbing from the spring, marketing a product, all of which takes risk and the chance to lose plenty of money, that that person has a right to do better than break even?

    Do you work for nothing and expect no return for your labor or investment? I'm puzzled by that attitude, even as I truly believe in giving back to one's community and volunteering time for charitable and civic causes. One pays taxes on one's land and property; shouldn't one be able to realize an income from the non-polluting or non-destructive use of inherent resources?

  9. stevekrulick says:

    I might add that one of the problems, at least when we contacted European bottlers, was the very low pH of the water, which is true of most waters in this area, due to acid rain and such. The last testing I know of showed a pH of 3.1 – 3.4, which is surprising, as there is such a low tds of 10-12, there's little mineral content to carry a pH of either acidity or alkalinity.

    If you drink the water, the most noticeable quality is the LACK of any taste, just a pure, clean, refreshing thirst-slaking, with no hint of any mineral, or salt, or the soapy taste an alkaline water often has. This makes it a great palate cleanser between courses, and a mix for any flavor of choice, as the SunRay water doesn't take away from it.

    And just because there is no FEE, doesn't mean that it's FREE to just trespass and take what belongs to someone else.

  10. Jakob says:

    I just do not think that water should be made into a business period. obviously this is not possible due to our global system but i think it should be a free source of water and be opened as a source for people to come get great tasting water from. It should be a local free thing in my opinion for the public to move away from water that comes from pipes through cities and contains chlorine and other harmful substances. I don't see what greed has to do with private in terms of getting fresh water for my family? It's true that it supported the economy but i still feel it shouldn't be made into a business personaly

  11. stevekrulick says:

    In part I agree; the privatization of municipal water supplies is a dangerous practice, and, in a world of increasing shortages, to turn the “spigot” controlling an essential-resource monopoly over to profit-based entities is a recipe for disaster.

    But this is different. Unless you believe that there's NO place for private property, and the right to get a return on one's investment of money or time, then you would have to overturn our entire society and everything it is based on. Not that we don't need major changes in HOW we base our economy, but such changes, unless they follow an apocalyptic cataclysm, are wrenching in their own right.

    There are ways to do this; eminent domain, or simply having the local municipality PAY FOR the property, would solve it. Buy the spring, and make it accessible to all, whether for free (which means TAXES will have to pay for all the expenses, so it isn't REALLY free), or fee-based, because it's most fair that those who GET something have to PAY for the costs to provide it.

    “Greed” is what I call it when some think THEY have an entitlement to things that THEY didn't pay to develop, but have some right to, at another's expense. If I paid for fruit trees or bushes, planted them, watered them, fertilized them, and kept insects and animals away, and all this cost ME money and time, do YOU feel you have the right to come onto MY land, and take fruit from MY trees that *I* invested in, for free? Isn't that theft? Should fruit growers give away their fruit for free?

    How is trespassing on and taking water from private land different?

  12. Jakob says:

    yes i agree the property should be bought and used by the public for water. Trespassing does not make it right to do but there are loggers who are destroying the forests around the springs presently and I do not see the harm in collecting some of this beautiful water. So anyways When the bottling company was set up were there multiple springs? Or is it just the one that comes out of the the black pipe near the cement trough thing?

  13. Jakob says:

    Trespassing to harm is different. My gosh it is water i think water is entitled to everyone and these loggers don't help

  14. stevekrulick says:

    There is little likelihood of the village purchasing the property; having been running a deficit for the past few years, it simply doesn't have the money to do this, and there's no justification for eminent domain.

    I was on the village board soon after it purchased a well near the border with the Nevele Hotel property, and added to that expense was the major engineering to upgrade the lines, and even then, it didn't deliver but a fraction of the expected flow, due to hydraulics problems that involved more years of study, engineering costs, and work… and it still is under-performing. Then new pumps had to be installed at another location, at great expense, and the whole water/sewer infrastructure is years overdue for replacing (stimulus money will make the sewer plant rebuild possible within the year or two).

    The point is, there is no way that the village will buy and upgrade a spring (and the surrounding property) when it only delivers a paltry 30-40 gpm, when they have wells that deliver hundreds of gallons per minute and plenty of capacity now. The village water is actually rather good, though I filter out the chlorine for consumption and showers.

    I wasn't aware that there were loggers on the property, but that has no effect on the spring; the spring is more than 500 into the mountain, at the far end of the tunnel, and is not affected by what happens in front of it. Indeed, the original promotional literature from 1907, citing the studies by leading experts in their fields, said:
    “The mountain is a mass of white quartz sandstone and conglomerate. Its rocky surface is entirely bare and precipitate in many places, in other places is sparsely wooded. It is entirely uninhabited. The rock itself is of such a nature that it can yield almost no soluble matter, and the water, in consequence, can contain only the merest traces of mineral matter. The surface of the mountain, where it is covered with soil, acts as a filter and purifier and prevents the access of sediment. These conclusions, based upon inspection, are fully borne out by the detailed examinations which we have made of the water, and of the geological formation in the vicinity.
    “As chemists and bacteriologists, respectively, we have personally collected samples from this spring. These samples were either carried by us or sent under personal seal to our own laboratories. Subsequently, we made examination of these samples, either in the form of complete chemical analysis, or of bacteriological tests. Inoculations of cultural media for bacteriological tests were made also at the spring. The individual reports submitted to you by each of us, cover, collectively, the results of all of these examination.
    “Two of us, as geologists, have examined the source of the spring, and the surface of the mountain above it, and for a considerable distance about it. We have given a full account of this examination in a joint report upon the geology of this question which we have submitted to you.
    “Speaking, therefore, from the standpoint of the chemist, the bacteriologist, and the geologist, respectively, we are prepared to join in the statement of a general conclusion as to the character of this spring and the conditions under which it occurs. This conclusion, in which we all agree, is that the water of this spring is of the highest degree of purity, and especially adapted to the uses of a table water, and that, under the conditions in which it occurs, there is no danger of future contamination or of change in its character.”

    “The chemical reports show, from an average of their results, that there is less than three quarters of a grain of total solids per US Gallon in Sun-Ray water,(about one part in 80,000 parts in weight) thus establishing the indisputable claim that Sun-Ray is the purest spring water in the world. The bacteriologists report that Sun-Ray water is practically germ-proof. The geologists agree that the structure and character of the rocky strata conduce to the purity of the water and the permanence of its good qualities.”

    If EVERYONE felt there was “no harm in collecting some” water, they you have the tragedy of the commons, where each individual collection, insignificant each by each, is multiplied by thousands, with the resulting combined damage and the concomitant flaunting of property rights.

    Do you want thousands of people walking on, say, your lawn to smell or even pick YOUR flowers?

    Maybe in a utopian world “everyone is entitled” to free access to all things, but in such a world, “everyone” would also be REQUIRED to put in time, money/labor to build and maintain these things for the good of all. We might be seeing such a world in a few years, when peak oil, peak water, and peak everything kicks in in earnest and it's all for one and one for all within each community!

    But, until then, property owners have the right to log their land and restrict access to trespassers, whose motives aren't known until they ASK FOR PERMISSION!

    There was only the one spring in the tunnel, flowing from a seam 500 feet back into the mountain, in two flows a few feet apart (dowsers say they ultimately come from two different directions). A wall was built to create a reservoir roughly six feet wide and deep, and almost four feet high, with a glass window on a marble sill to keep out any bats or such (the window is now missing). A block tin pipe that once carried the water through the cement trough from a valve at the wall to the pump in the front of the tunnel, was sold for scrap value in the 80s, and was replaced by a black plastic NSF approved pipe.

    It is quite possible that the original entrepreneur, William Hinsdale, or the man he brought in to develop the business, Frank Huntoon, secured the surrounding 4000 acres by state legislative act as being watershed not to be developed in perpetuity not only to protect the spring, but to provide OTHER water sources should the one spring not be sufficient to meet demand.

    One CAN get the water from the actual pool in the rear of the tunnel, which is how we used to do it before the plastic pipe was put in (using a shopping cart filled with jugs), but the pipe made it easier.

  15. Jakob says:

    Well thanks for the info Steve, sounds like you have a lot of knowledge of the spring. It is interesting to know that this water is of high value.

  16. toddweber says:


    Just checking in. How are things in Ellenville?


  17. Michaelgolzmane says:

    Hey everybody,

    I just tried checking out this spring today… but had some challenges… I hiked up the mountain a bit and found 2 black metal pipes coming out of the ground–one locked, the other not. And only a trickle of water coming out of a blackplastic 8″ pipe (it had algae all around it though).

    Can anyone help me actually find more specifically where this water is the purest?

    Also, I've read everyone's comments here. So what is the conclusion? Are we “stealing” water if we attempt to collect a few gallons? Does some person specifically not want us using this water for personal use? There are no “no trespassing” signs around there at all.

    I'm just curious…. as I would like to find a local source of fresh mountain spring water.

    Many thanks,
    Kingston, NY

  18. Jakobroze says:

    Hey Michael, you found it, that is where i bottle my water. It has algae in it but the water flow is constant so there is nothing to worry about, not to mention the plastic is food grade. I am pretty sure that is the source but i have yet to find out. I have a feeling those two black poles sticking out of the ground near the spring have something to do with it. I have been drinking the water for about a year now and have had great results! i really recommend this spring. And as far as the conclusion about “stealing water”, ha!! They are just boring and have no interest in the health benefits of spring water. In fact many loggers have been destroying the place recently unfortunate and yes you are right there are 0 trespassing signs. The loggers are dong the damage not some people trying to create a symbiosis with nature and her beautiful water. By all means mate fill up your bottles!

  19. Michaelgolzmane says:

    Cool! Very interesting that I actually did find the water you bottle coming out of the mountain.

    That's great that you have been drinking this water… from what I've heard, it does seem to be of the highest quality.

    I don't know if you (or others reading this) are sensitive to the subtle energies of an area, but when my partner and I were hiking around that area on Monday, we felt a lot of really negative energy hanging out in that area…have you felt kind of weird like that hiking on that mountain?

    Just yesterday, I went up to the spring in Hunter (also listed on this site) and had a much more wonderful experience! 🙂 In fact, I am going to be posting more specific directions to that, since the ones that are up there now are rather vague.

    Thanks for your help! 🙂

  20. Lamorlife says:

    Awesome water. Our TDS reading ranged from 3 to 7 tds. This water is amazingly pure, definitely source spring water. The hike up is a bit of a challenge, especially with 5 gallon glass containers. To get to the spring there is a dirt road adjacent to the factory that ascends the mountain. You can pull your car up to the base, but unless you have an amazing 4wd vehicle, good luck driving up. Just follow the dirt road as it bends to the left which you will come upon two black pipes sticking out of the ground (note:they appear to be doing some sort of construction…don’t know what, but hopefully they don’t f$%^ up the spring and keep it free as nature provides…) pass the two black pipes and to the left there is a small water hole where a large black tube has been tapped. Drink, enjoy and respect the sacred place that provides such nourishment…

  21. Jakobroze says:

    Hey i actually just recently found a lower area that you can drive your car up to and fill up. Instead of taking the trail up the mountain there is a flat trail off to the left and about 100 meters down the trail there is a cave with a thin plastic pipe coming out of the cave. This is the original source i am pretty sure. This is where they used to bottle the water. I am not sure if the spring up the mountain is connected to it or not. It should be interesting to find out. either way both sources are great. possibly from the same aquifer, so if you need a more accessible route to take in winter or something just use the lower spring. Same TDS reading i have yet to find out though if the two springs are connected. If you noticed there is a black pipe sticking vertically up in the ground at the spring up the mountain. I wonder what that is and if it has to do with the spring? Let me know if you find anything out =]

  22. Jakobroze says:

    I think it gives a nice vibe up the mountain man. Maybee the downed trees from loggers spawned negative feelings?

  23. Kawigreen says:

    ph 3.1 – 3.4 is super low… wouldn’t that be bad for drinking water?

  24. Jakobroze says:

    I have never tested the PH. Not sure if a low PH is necessariy bad though

  25. Kawigreen says:

    From what I understand, the closer to neutral(7), the better

  26. Kawigreen says:

    Just did a TDS and pH test… TDS – 10 pH- about 5(using strips)

  27. Vero says:

    After hiking for over an hour (and REALLY enjoying it) we found the lower “cave”/spring house 30 ft from our car to the left of the old bottling plant. The water is amazing. Thank you for creating this site! I’m in love with pure source water!

    • Jakobroze says:

      yeah i think the cave is the original source however the one up the mountain seems to have something to do with the same aquifer. I am not really sure about it but the cave is definately the source. =]

  28. Alex38 says:

    Visited last week during a light snow. What a gorgeous day. If they weren’t cutting down all the trees, it would be a really beautiful spot despite the Steven King-esque run down factory setting.

    Anyway, it took me a bit to find mostly because I went left. This is alluded to below but it’s worth mentioning again: there are two trails that look like vehicle paths. They’re both behind the factory. One goes off from the back left corner and one from the other side of the factory from the back right corner. The tiny (somewhat creepy) concrete bunker thing is off to the left. The path to the spring is up the steep trail on the right. It’s pretty obvious once you see it but it’s easy to think the one on the left is the only main trail if that’s where you park.

    TDS meter showed 9ppm from the pool just below the black pipe, which was gushing water nicely. Haven’t tested it beyond that myself but it’s an amazingly clear and energizing water. What a treat!

    I truly hope the land owners consider their options before locking down or destroying this resource. I’m sure there are many of us who would jump at the chance to be part of a “CSW” (community supported watershed).

  29. Jab1187 says:

    hello i need help I tried going to that spring using my gps to the location trying to find the trail but I only end up turning into a correctional facility please help I heard this spring is really awesome

    • Michael says:

      Your GPS is way off…you are looking for 70 Berme Road in Ellenville. It’s very easy to find. There is a large factory on the property there. Once you see that, proceed to behind the factory and follow the other directions on this site.

      Good luck though if you’re going this time of year—it might be quite hard through the ice and snow.

  30. ko says:

    My great-grandfather took people through tours of the Old Spanish tunnel on a little tourist train. Would love to see if someone had old pictures of the tunnel employees (he died in the 1920’s).

    • Miner Dan says:

      I have explored the tunnel and have many photos of it. Many more tunnels like this int he gunks. It is actually a mine. See here:

      • YourNiteAngel says:

        I thought the tunnel only went back 500 feet and was just a water source for a bottling Co. Now I find out it had a little tourist train and the tunnel system is extensive, really interesting, I beat there are mineral pockets in those tunnels yet to be found, But as far as a water source that’s over with, the water is stagnant with hundreds of Mosquito’s at the entrance, their are old pipes in the tunnel and bet they contain lead, The stream to the right can be  follows up and  is a source of clean water but I cant find the pipe that its coming out from. even when going up about a quarter mile on the mountain.

  31. Jab1187 says:

    hey so i got to the split trails where i went on the right where the steep trail is then it splits off again. I went to the left where I just saw running lots of running water obviously not a spring. Then i went to the right where i went on a serious hike to only never get to the top hoping to find a spring =( hellppppp

    • Michael says:

      It *is* a spring… personally I don’t feel you absolutely *have* to get to the source of it to benefit…. the water is amazing, cold, and pure even further down the mountain.  That’s where I collect my water.  Test it for yourself. 🙂 

  32. sootysax says:

    I visted this spring yesterday..  hiked up the very steep right side trail, and when it gets to the top of the hill, there is a perpendicular path, I followed the sound of water and made a left..  a small distance further on the path there is a 8″ diameter black pipe that is pouring water into a pool..  I tested it at this source 11-12ppm and 52-53 degrees F.  

    Is this the place that most people are collecting the water from?   The steep path is pretty hard to carry 5 gallon containers down..  is there an easier way to get to this point?   I would also like to figure out where the other spot is.. “the tunnel”, etc.. 

    • Alpinelude99 says:

      When you pull into the factory parking lot, go left, and to to the back left corner.. there will be a dirt road. Follow it back to the tunnel, its not very far.

  33. Miner Dan says:

    Looks like the lower tunnel spring has collapsed after the hurricane and heavy rains. I went into the tunnel and found a breach in the damn which is not allowing the water to build enough pressure to force the water down the spring. Not a difficult fix, and I would even be happy to do it but ill leave it to the owner to decide, the other outlet up the hill is still pouring out,a nd there is a vent pipe that was gushing water so strongly that it blew the metal cap off the pipe.

    Miner Dan –

    • Escalibur says:

      I went there two days ago. I hiked up to the right trail and when I arrived on the top I looked all around but I did not find the spring. Where exactly is the spring located?

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