Do you love your park? Well, May 7 is the day to show it, during New York State’s fifth annual I Love My Park Day. Volunteers from across the state help clean up state parklands and beaches, plant trees and gardens, restore trails and wildlife habitats, remove invasive species, and work on construction and site improvement projects.
Here are just seven of the hundreds of things to love about Valley parks:
- The Merry-Go-Round at Bear Mountain State Park (above) features hand-painted scenes of the park and 42 hand-carved seats depicting native animals such as the black bear, wild turkey, deer, raccoon, skunk, Canada fox, swan, bobcat, and more. A ride will only set you back one dollar.
- Edgar Allan Poe himself walked across the High Bridge of the Old Croton Aqueduct. A famous illustration of the event, titled Poe Walking on the High Bridge, is on view at Poe Cottage in the Bronx.
- The Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park is the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world, at 212 feet high and 1.28 miles long.
- Falling Waters Preserve in Saugerties once was the site of the Mulford Ice House, which each winter stored up to 10,000 tons of ice harvested from the river before it was shipped to New York City.
- Harriman State Park, the second largest state park in New York, has three sandy beaches: Lake Sebago Beach, Lake Tiorati Beach, and Lake Welch Beach.
- James Baird State Park in Pleasant Valley has an 18-hole golf course designed by internationally renowned golf architect Robert Trent Jones.
- Atop the summit of South Beacon Mountain is the restored Mount Beacon fire tower. From the top of the tower, you can see as far south as the Tappan Zee Bridge.
For a list of local events on I Love My Park Day, visit www.ptny.org/events/i-love-my-park-day.