This mountain was first immortalized by Joseph Rodman Drake in his poem The Culprit Fay.
The moon looks down on old Cro' Nest,
She mellows the shades on his shaggy breast,
and seems his huge grey form to throw
In a silver cone on the wave below.
Edgar Mayhew Bacon wrote about it in an equally poetic manner in his book The Hudson From Hudson to Source:
Cro' Nest has a unique suggestion of untamed crags
and the sweep of wings through clinging masses of cloud.
George Pope Morris who built his summer home right across the river from crow's Nest wrote about it in his poem Ida:
Where Hudson's waves o'er the silvery sands
Winds through the hills afar
Old Cronest like a monarch stands,
Crowned with a single star!
When it wasn't a source of romantic poetry, Crow's Nest was a hill for cadets from West Point and other hikers to climb. It was also the sight of one of Robert Parrott's targets and so was shot at from across the river. In the 1870's Crow's Nest was one of several mountains which were quarried extensively for trap rock. Crow's Nest, Break Neck and Bull Hill were chosen because of their proximity to inexpensive barge transportation on the Hudson. The mining companies were finally restricted when the the damage done to these mountain sides was so disfiguring that those who had bought expensive homes in the Highlands brought pressure on the regulation boards to bring an end to mining these very scenic mountains.