The Valley's Best Beaches and Lakeside Spots
What better way to spend a summer day in the Valley than at one of these lakes?
Lake Welch in Harriman State Park
wikimedia commons / Alexisrael
Summertime in the 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!).
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 swimming season begins weekends and holidays only from May 27 to June 11; weekdays from June 12 to August 20; and Fridays to Mondays only from August 25 to September 4.
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 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 2017 swimming hours.
The swimmer's beach at Lake Minnewaska. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
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 2017 swimming hours.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 2017 swimming hours.
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 2017 hours.