New York State Parks, Lakes, and Community Beaches in the Hudson Valley, NY

Cool off with a swim at our top beaches, lakes, and state parks

Swimming and summer have always gone hand in hand. If you can’t make it to the ocean this year, the area’s state parks and other community beaches offer great opportunities for watery excursions right here at home. You can pick up a single-year Empire Passport and gain unlimited access to 178 state parks, 55 forest preserve areas, and certain boat launch sites for $65. Visit for details.

Belleayre Beach, Highmount
Relax in the sun and sand while your little tyke takes age-appropriate swimming and water safety instruction at Belleayre’s Aqua School. Picnic in the shade or rent a pedal boat, rowboat, or kayak for your day on the water. $8. 845-254-5202;

Taconic State Park, Copake Falls
Water lovers can swim, fish, lounge on the beach, and admire the tumbling waterfalls at this pretty park nestled along 16 miles of the Taconic mountains. $7. 518-329-3993;

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Dutchess County Wilcox Memorial Park, Milan
Take your pick of two lakes: swim in the southern one or fish in the northern one. Rent a paddle or row boat to search for the park’s very own heron. $5 county resident, $10 nonresident. 845-758-6100;

Greenwood Lake Beach, Greenwood Lake
Swim, sunbathe, or set sail from the Thomas P. Morahan Memorial Beach. Athletes can play vigorous volleyball before ending the day with a relaxing picnic. Call for fees. 845-986-1124;

Clarence Fahnestock State Park, Carmel
Home to Canopus lake and many scenic ridges. Outdoorsy visitors can work up a sweat camping and hiking before boating, fishing, or swimming to cool down. $7. 845-225-7207;

Lake Taghkanic State Park, Ancram
With plenty of camping options — including cabins and cottages as well as sites for RVs, tents, and trailers — Taghkanic features two beaches, a recreation hall, picnic areas, and children’s playgrounds. $8. 518-851-3631;

Harriman State Park, Bear Mountain
The second-largest of all New York State parks, Harriman sports 31 reservoirs and lakes, three sandy beaches, and 200 miles of invigorating hiking trails. Camping, boating, and fishing opportunities are also available. $8. 845-786-2701;

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Rockland Lake State Park, Congers
Feel like an Olympian in the 24,140 square-foot swimming pool (actually 10,000 square feet bigger than a regulation-size Olympic pool). Young children have their own kiddie pool, and boaters can launch onto the lake. $8 parking fee, $3 pool admission. 845-268-3020;

Hot spots to cool down on the Hudson:

Croton Point Park, Croton-on-Hudson
$5 with parking pass, $10 without. 914-862-5290;

Kingston Point Beach, Kingston
Call for fees. 845-331-1682;

Saugerties Village Beach, Saugerties
Call for fees. 845-246-2321;

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Ulster Landing County Park, Saugerties
Free admission. 845-336-8484;

» Go to the Hudson Valley Travel Guide
» Go to the Hudson Valley Sports & Recreation Guide

» Return to Summer Fun 2012


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