Adventure along the road-visiting New York State


View of Bear Mountain Bridge, from the west bank of the Hudson river, in Bear Mountain State Park


A very foggy morning, with limited views of the Tappan Zee bridge

We ventured to New York state this past weekend, north of New York City, but close enough that we felt the impact of that huge metropolis throughout our travels. As we crossed the Tappan Zee bridge in the dark to get to the west side of the Hudson river, my husband mentioned that he knew of a viewing platform somewhere nearby, which would offer a better opportunity to see the construction that is ongoing at the bridge.

The next morning we took a quick side trip back to Nyack, New York to see if we could find this viewing platform. And what joy–there were signs pointing the way!


Handicapped accessible viewing platform, but alas, very poor views on a foggy morning along the Hudson

Soon enough, we found ourselves on the banks of the Hudson river, and strolled onto the handicapped accessible platform. If the fog had lifted we would have had a great view of the construction and the bridge itself. As it was, we saw a little bit, but I also noticed a lovely garden right at the water’s edge.


Butterfly garden and garden volunteers, with the viewing platform and Tappan Zee bridge in the background, Nyack, NY

Some women were working in the garden, and told me they volunteer every Monday morning. “This was our contribution to the new millennium” one of the volunteers offered, with a smile. I explained to them that I look for easy walks on my travels, and that this spot offered a very easy walk to a great view, especially on days with less fog!

Much of the rest of our day was filled with remembrance–hearing stories of a family member who had spent his life doing what he cared about. Primary among his pursuits in the past many years was fighting to preserve open space in the area where he lived. We look forward to returning to the area to explore some of the land he worked so hard to save from development.


Iona Marsh, within Bear Mountain State Park

As we headed back north along the west bank of the Hudson, we came to Bear Mountain State Park. Iona Marsh, part of Bear Mountain State Park, was accessible directly from the road so we made a quick stop. Great birding is probably possible here, but again we had little time–another visit is clearly in order! A long drive awaited us.


Waterfall flowing into the Hudson river within Bear Mountain State park

But we did find access to the Hudson river and a pretty waterfall emptying into the river. One option for access took us underneath the railroad tracks that follow the west bank of the river, out to a small grassy area and dock.


The walkway from the parking lot takes you under the train tracks on the left but the tunnel was somewhat flooded with spring rains.

The spring rains had filled the tunnel with several inches of water, so we found a different access over to the river.


On the other side of the tracks looking south, at the edge of the Hudson River. The park area where we were would likely be under water except for the sea wall.

We also stumbled across a bronze statue of a deer head, staring out over the river.


View of Bear Mountain bridge, from Bear Mountain State Park. The deer statue has a great view!

The statue has a great view of the river, but it was pretty challenging to get past all the brush that has grown up around it to get a good picture!

After crossing Bear Mountain bridge to get back to the east side of the Hudson, we stopped for a few minutes to take in the views of the park from across the river, including Iona Marsh. It seems, from this vantage point, that the river had once contained an oxbow, now a marsh, which was likely disrupted by the train tracks that were built across the oxbow.


Looking downstream along the Hudson, from a vantage point in Bear Mountain State Park.

I see these short stops as opportunities to investigate, to give us information helping us to decide if we want to make plans for a longer trip in the future. It was wonderful to spend time with family, and it was doubly wonderful to learn more about an area of New York I was unacquainted with. Much hillier than I had realized, this area holds steep slopes, pretty ponds, streams, and rivers, more woods than I thought there might be, and numerous homes perched on the sides of slopes with unenviable driveways. There are so many places still to explore. Knowing more about what is there makes it easier to plan for our next trip.

Marjorie Turner Hollman

Marjorie Turner Hollman is a writer who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionMore Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionEasy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed, and Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. Her memoir, the backstory of Easy Walks, is My Liturgy of Easy Walks: Reclaiming hope in a world turned upside down.


Filed under Blog posts--Easy Walks

2 responses to “Adventure along the road-visiting New York State

  1. Mary Chitty

    Good to read about your adventures. Sounds like a very worthwhile trip. love mg

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