Nyack Beach is a State Park that, combined with Rockland Lakes State Park, includes much of the land between Hook Mountain in Northern Nyack and Haverstraw to the north.
PUT-IN: You can put your boat in at Nyack Beach. However, you will need to pay for parking, have a permit, and will have to climb a little to access the water. I use the Nyack put-in to the south, which is free.
ROUTES: Trips here can take you south to Nyack, where you can continue under the Tappan Zee Bridge to Piermont and its marsh. Across brings you to Tarrytown and the Lighthouse at Sleepy Hollow or to Croton Point. North takes you along the State Park to Haverstraw and Stony Point. If you choose to cross the Hudson, the shipping channel is on the east side.
There is a trail that runs along the entire length of the shore to Haverstraw (though most people only go to Rockland Lakes, about half the way). Trails at each end connect to the Long Path, which runs on the top of the ridge above where you are paddling. It is possible to do a circle using the two trails if the water is too rough to paddle.
As you paddle north along the State Park, the trail eventually rises to meet the road into Rockland Lakes State Park. The ice from this lake was once mined and sent along this route to ships on the Hudson which took it to New York City, where it was prized for its quality in many fine restaurants.
As you go north towards Haverstraw, the area becomes more wooded and remote. It was in these woods that General Benedict Arnold met with British Spymaster Major John Andre and hatched plans to betray West Point.
Keep your eyes on the cliffs above you. Many birds use the updrafts by the cliffs to soar over the woods and water. Watch for hawks, falcons and even bald eagles. Hook mountain, right above this area, is considered one of the best places for watching hawks on the East Coast.
NOTE: Check the weather BEFORE you start your trip here. Storms that move in from the west are almost impossible to see in advance because of the high cliffs.
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Copyright 2005 - by Jacob Tanenbaum. All rights are reserved.