The Hudson Valley’s Best Beaches and Lakeside Spots

What better way to spend a summer day in the Valley than at one of these lakes?

What better way to spend a summer day in the Hudson Valley than at one of these local lakes?

COVID-19 Update: Public and private beaches in New York State can reopen with certain restrictions beginning May 22, as per Governor Cuomo’s mandate. Call ahead to confirm opening hours and restrictions at each location.

Summertime in the Hudson Valley is a magical thing: long, sun-filled days with starry-dappled nights. One of our favorite things to do each summer is take advantage of the region’s many lakeside beaches – you could go to a new spot every weekend and never get bored. Check out our list below for the best places to dip your toes (or throw yourself right in!).

Wilcox Memorial State Park

Situated in the Town of Milan, Wilcox Memorial State Park boasts two lakes, one for fishing and one for summertime swimming. Rent paddle or row boats for fishing on the upper lake, or hang out on the sandy beach of the swimming lake. The season runs May 9 to September 7, weekdays 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. and weekends and holidays until 8 p.m.

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Kingston Point Beach

For well over a century, Kingston Point has been a must-see destination for area visitors. Launch your kayak into the river, or take a dip in the water once the seasonal life guards come on duty. There’s also a picnic area, concession stand, volleyball courts, and over 87 acres of open space just waiting to be explored.

Rockland Lake State Park

Rockland Lake State Park has it all – a beautiful lake to go boating or fishing, next to a 24 x 140 square-foot swimming pool complete with diving boards. Picnic tables, hiking trails with breathtaking views, and a larger-than-Olympic-size pool make for the perfect way to spend a summer day. Check their website for updated swimming hours.

The swimmer’s beach at Lake Minnewaska. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. 

Harriman State Park

There is no shortage of lakes and beaches at Harriman State Park – it’s home to 31 one of them, to be exact and is the second largest park in the parks-system. Go for a swim at the sandy beaches of Lake Welch, the largest beach in the park, or Lake Tiorati. Boating, fishing, and picnicking are also available. Check their website for updated swimming hours.

Lake Taghkanic State Park

Located in the tiny town of Ancram, Lake Taghkanic State Park boasts two beaches with rowboat, paddleboat, and kayak rentals available, as well as picnicking and playgrounds. Want to make a weekend out of it? Rent one of the site’s four cottages, with a full kitchen and enclosed porch facing the water.

Lake Minnewaska

Lounge around the crystalline Lake Minnewaska in the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Enjoy swimming as well as boating on this large lake, where you can also take advantage of the park’s 50 miles of footpaths and campgrounds after your swim.

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Lake Superior State Park

No, not THAT Lake Superior. We’re talking about the one located in Bethel. With a small, sandy beach and a boat launch, make a day of it and bring a packed lunch to picnic (there are grills available too!). The swimming lake is open Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend.

The cabins at Lake Taghkanic State Park​. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Thomas P. Morahan Waterfront Park

The Warwick Town Beach at Thomas P. Morahan Park includes a small sandy beach on the shores of Greenwood Lake. There’s also a picnic area and a volleyball court on site to really cap off the perfect beach day. Opening weekend is Memorial Day, and the lake will be open weekends through June 23, and then daily until September 4.

Saugerties Village Beach

Located on the banks of the Esopus Creek, Saugerties Village Beach offers a quaint sandy beach perfect for a relaxing summer’s day, with fishing areas, a kayak and boat launch, and playground available. Swimming is available July 1 through late August.

Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park

Canopus Lake sits inside Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park in Carmel, where you can enjoy the sandy beach, go boating/ kayaking, or fishing. The 14,086-acre park covers parts of both Putnam and Dutchess Counties, and includes a plethora of hiking trails as well as a campground. Check back to their website for updated swimming hours.

Taconic State Park 

Copake Falls in Taconic State Park offers a designated swimming area with a dock in Ore Pit Pond to cool off in after hiking some of the park’s extensive trail systems. There’s also a kiddie pool nearby for the little ones. Can’t get enough? The park also offers 45 tent sites with 25 tent platforms, and 36 trailer sites in ADDITION to cabin camping areas with full electricity available to make for the perfect summer camping weekend. Check back to to their website for updated hours.

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Related: Here’s Where to Go Swimming in the Hudson Valley

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