Very little has changed with Nyack Beach State Park – the park still looks very much as it used to about a century ago. One of the immortal parts of this park is the gigantic stone bathhouse that once served as a power station for those who frequented the traprock quarries; today it gracefully stands between the picnic area and the parking lot.
However, a few things have changed and you can tell easily tell by gazing at the waterline. One of them is the pier which used to be a docking point for passenger boats and miners who came here. It was destroyed in the chaos of World War II. The shoreline too has had its own share of change. In the 1930s, WPA workers built the original walls of sandstone that separates the park and the driveway. Old and weather-beaten, this wall was restored in 2016.
Although it doesn’t wholly qualify as “rail-trail”, the bikeway that divides Nyack Beach and Hook Mountain is perhaps the most scenic trail you can ever explore as you stroll along the peaceful Hudson River within Rockland County.
This trail’s southern half is as flat as a flawless plateau while running almost parallel to the river. The fact that the trail is almost at sea level makes it a thrilling place to kill your time. It is a convenient and accessible trail that is easily accessible by any wheelchair-bound thrill seeker and rookie cyclists emerging from the parking lot of the state park. Would you like to leave this trail and get into Rockland Lake State Park? Don’t worry, a paved connection has been added on the southern half.
If you are looking for a rugged place along this trail then you will need to head north of the trail. The northern end of this trail is quite rocky and narrow. It snakes its way through remarkably high cliffs which can give cyclists a lot of trouble. For that reason, you are advised to explore this part of the trail if you are an experienced cyclist.
After you have found a great place to perch on the cliffs of the northern end of the trail, the Pallisades Cliff rocks and the Hudson River will be visible below your feet. There is no way you can miss this trail if you live anywhere in Rockland County Trail access and parking A parking lot can be found within Nyack Beach State Park. Parking fees are only collected during the peak season. You can’t park in the streets in this area unless you go all the way to Haverstraw which is located at the terminus to the north.
In 1924, the faithful sisters at Marydell Faith & Wellness Center donated their land to support the construction of the park entrance located on North Broadway. Back then, the Marydell property extended from River Hudson all the way to Route 9W.
Also, back in the days, you could be greeted with larch trees from the start of the North Broadway and drive with them all the way to the park. That is how the street between Midland and Broadway got its name – The Larchdale Ave.