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Hudson Valley Beaches and Swimming Holes: Know Before You Go

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Beaches and swimming spots abound in the Hudson Valley. Adobe Stock | Photo by Goami

Soak in the sun, swim laps, set sail, and scuba-dive at these top waterside spots in the Hudson River region.

There isn’t a better way to celebrate the arrival of summer than paying a visit to a swimming spot. Luckily, you don’t have to go all the way to the ocean; the Hudson Valley is full of lake and river beaches, as well as public pools, so the whole family can have fun in the sun (with sunscreen, of course). It may be worth your while to get a single-year Empire Pass, which provides access to all New York State parks for one year for $80.

Call ahead to confirm opening hours, closings, and capacity limits at these beaches and swimming spots.

Belleayre Beach

Highmount

This ski resort transforms into a happening Hudson Valley hotspot come summertime. In addition to swimming and sunning, pedal boats, aqua trikes, and kayaks are available for hourly rentals, and there are designated areas for fishing, volleyball, horseshoes, and soccer.

 

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Swimmers can make use of the diving dock and deep-water lap lane, while adventurers will love the hiking trails and stand-up paddle board rentals. If you’re looking for beaches in the Hudson Valley, Belleayre is a must.

Greenwood Lake Beach

Greenwood Lake

Residents of Warwick and its surrounding villages—Greenwood Lake, Florida, Amity, Bellvale, Edenville, Greenwood Forest Farms, Little York, New Milford, Pine Island, and Sterling Forest—can swim and sunbathe at the Thomas P. Morahan Waterfront Park.


At the lake, which has been a vacation destination for over 200 years, beachgoers can play a vigorous game of volleyball before ending the day with a relaxing picnic.

Taconic State Park

Copake Falls & North East

Nestled alongside 16 miles of the Taconic Mountains in northeastern Dutchess County, this Hudson Valley state park offers swimming at Rudd Pond, a 64-acre body of water where visitors can also rent boats and bike around the pond’s perimeter. Visitors can also swim at Ore Pit Pond, pictured below, which has a partitioned swim area with a separate wading pool for new swimmers.


If you enjoy camping, consider staying the night at one of the 15 tent sites, all within view of the ridge, pond, and surrounding countryside.

Clarence Fahnestock State Park

Carmel

Located right off of Route 301, Canopus Lake has everything you’d want in a summer destination: swimming, good fishing, a sandy beach, and hiking trails around the water.

 

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The park also offers kayak, canoe, and paddleboard rentals, along with guided tours, making for an unforgettable day trip destination in the lower Hudson Valley.

Lake Taghkanic State Park

Ancram

If you’re looking for a place to cool off in Columbia County, try Lake Taghkanic State Park, which boasts a swimming beach, picnic areas, boat launch sites, on-site rowboat, paddleboat and kayak rentals, playgrounds, sports playing fields, a rentable pavilion, a recreation hall, and showers.

 

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There are even rentable cottages along the lake which include all the amenities you could want for along with a screened-in porch facing the water, a picnic table, and a fire ring.

Rockland Lake State Park

Valley Cottage

Situated on a ridge of Hook Mountain, this park offers a large pool with diving boards, an aquatic playground, and two large water slides. As if that wasn’t enough, families can park themselves at a picnic table and grill up lunch while soaking in incredible views of Rockland County.

 

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Additionally, there is a 3.2-mile trail around the lake for walkers, joggers, bladers, and bicyclists to enjoy.

Harriman State Park

Ramapo

As the second-largest park in the parks system, Harriman State Park offers an incredible range of scenery between its 31 lakes and reservoirs, 200 miles of hiking trails, two beaches, and public camping areas.

 

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Lake Tiorati Beach is one of many destinations within the enormous park; there, you will find a sandy beach met with cool water and views of the lake enveloped by a wall of lush greenery.

Minnewaska State Park Preserve

Kerhonkson

Located above the iconic Shawangunk Mountain ridge, this park includes waterfalls, crystal-clear water, dense forestry, and various hiking trails with terrain for novice and expert hikers.

 

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The preserve also accommodates boating and scuba-diving, so if you’re looking for gorgeous views above and below the water’s surface, Minnewaska is the place to visit!

Hot Spots to Cool Down Along the Hudson River

Croton Point Park

 

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Kingston Point Beach

 

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Saugerties Village Beach

 

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Ulster Landing County Park

 

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Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve

 

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Related: What to Do in Nyack: Spend a Day in This Peaceful Waterfront Town

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