Croton Point Park in Croton on Hudson, NY is the Hudson River's largest peninsula... One of the Hudson Valley's richest anthropology digs... And, even has its own train station at Croton Harmon just 30 miles from NYC!
1.) Spot a Bald Eagle.
Birdwatching is a rewarding experience at Croton Point Park. Bald Eagles come down from Canada and make the peninsula their winter vacation!
We were able to spot several eagles, a Red Tail Hawk, a Mockingbird, different kinds of Sparrows and Woodpeckers, a Goldenbrown Kinglet, and the Common Merganser.
The guided tour was perfect for first-timers like us! (Before this, we didn't even know what pishing was!)
2.) Learn something new. Year round there is a full schedule of walks, talks, and programs at the park. Take advantage of these community resources, you won't regret it. We came for a free birdwatching walk, and it was a very fun, spontaneous thing to do!
The Nature Center offers excellent educational programs. Your students will identify varieties of plant life, discover life forms that live at the waters edge, examine Native American Artifacts, learn survival skills, and lots of other fun stuff!
3.) Find the oldest oyster shell midden on the north Atlantic Coast.
Long before Westchester County used Croton Point as a lawless dump, Native Americans left piles and piles of their day to day waste - oyster shells.
The shells date back 7,000 years!
You can find the shells in great numbers on the northern-most point behind the Nature Center called Enoch's Nose, and at Croton Point; the park's southern-most tip.
More Native American artifacts remain at the neck of Croton Point where people now fly their miniature air-crafts. The Kitchewank Tribe had built a heavily fortified stockade here, and parts of the foundation walls still exist today! The Native American Earthworks plaque marks the spot.
4.) Identify relics from the Underhill Legacy. In the 1800s Robert Underhill and his sons built an empire at Croton Point. Their brickyard, winery, orchard, and grist mill yielded a fortune. The brickyard was so productive that a village at Croton Point sprang up for the workers.
Several brick buildings from this era still stand. Find the old school house, fruit barn, and the wine vault. (I was going to tell you where these are, but isn't it more fun discovering it for yourself? )
5.) Grab some shade at the Historic Yew Trees. Near the cabins on the southern tip are the Historic Croton Yews.
If you love cool old trees like us, check these out on your way to Teller's Point.
are actually bushes and are commonly used for hedges and topiary in
today's suburban yards, but when left out in the open for 150 years,
like the ones here, they can grow into majestic trees similar to
The plaque reads: "These four English Yews were planted by Dr. Richard Underhill in the mid 1800's when he lived here with his family. Their mansion stood nearby, overlooking the Hudson River. The Yews were purchased for thirty-seven and a 1/2 cents each from a nursery in Flushing, NY. They are now on the New York State Historic Tree Register."
6.) Fly Your Remote Control Aircraft! Members of the Miniature Aircraft Association of Westchester use the airfield at Croton Point Park to fly their R/C planes and conduct training seminars for new pilots. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
MAAW Vice President, Dave Londin gets ready for take off!
Photo: Ricky Flores / The Journal News
7.) Go Camping. Pitch a tent, rent a cabin, or hook up your RV. This has got to be one of the most accessible campsites to New York City. You can walk to the Croton Harmon train station and be in (or out of) the Big Apple in 1 hour! Available May to October. Get pricing details here.
8.) Get on the Water. Navigate your kayak or canoe into
Haverstraw Bay: the widest part of the Hudson!
Find the Croton Point Park boat launch on the right just past the park's office.
If you want access to the Croton River use Echo Canoe launch at the end of Veteran's Plaza in the train station parking lot. (It's not part of the park.) Drive down to the salt piles.
*Only car-top water craft like canoes and kayaks are able to launch at both sites.
9.) Take a dip at the beach. In summertime it can get busy, so if you're looking for solitude avoid going on the weekends. With that said, it's a great place to take in the views at Haverstraw Bay. Open Mid June - Labor Day.
10.) Throw a Party. Surround yourself with great friends
and incredible scenery. The open lawns on the water have picnic tables,
grills, and there's a massive pavilion you can reserve. Anything more
than 25 heads and you'll need a permit. Call 914-864-7075 for prices.
11.) Hike through 3 different landscapes.
Swaying cattails in the marshlands. Open meadows. Dense forests... They're are all connected with easy-going trails!
We hiked around the whole peninsula in about 3 hours. But I'm sure you can do it faster. We just like stopping here and there to take pictures.
During your hike, walk down to the waters edge wherever you can. Especially at Croton Point. The Hudson River is so wide here, it feels like you're at the ocean!
This peculiar land jutting out into the tidal waters of the Hudson River has quite a back story. Briefly, here it is...
Clearwater Revival Festival - Hudson River Revival is the USA's oldest music and environmental festival.
The late-great folk singer and environmental/civil rights activist, Pete Seeger founded this festival here in 1978.
This family friendly festival kicks off in June of each year at Croton Poin Park.
Their mission is to preserve and protect the Hudson River.
Past musical guests have included Ani Difranco, Bela Fleck, Arlo Guthrie, Tom Chapin, and of course Mr. Seeger.
Besides music there are educational exhibits, an artisanal Farmer's Market, and even some rides for the kids.
Pete Seeger On Stage
Photo: Jim, the Photographer
Hudson River Eagle Fest - Every February, when the Bald Eagle winters in the lower Hudson Valley, Teatown Lake Reservation and other organizations throw a big party at Croton Point Park!
Shake off those winter-time blues with eagle sightings, raptor shows, expert talks, and more! Don't worry about the cold, heating tents and hot cocoa are in order.
The event is free with suggested donations of $5.
Now there are many restaurants just a short drive from Croton Point Park, but I only want to talk about two...
Umami's Cafe and The Ocean House Oyster Bar. These are both fantastic restaurants, where we've had great experiences and know the owners to be really cool, too!
At Umami Cafe try the Coconut Lime Soup, the Mac 'n Cheese Truffle, and the Rack of Ribs. We've enjoyed these on many occasions. We also love those scrumptious homemade potato chips they give us while we wait... (ask for the sweet chili dipping sauce, it's so good!)
We also highly recommend The Ocean House Oyster Bar. No doubt, this restaurant serves some of the freshest seafood in the area. It's very cute inside and out (it used to be one of those little box-car diners). We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Tuck yourself into a neat little bed and breakfast. The Alexander Hamilton House is a historic Victorian Inn with river views in the village of Croton-on-Hudson. Enjoy river views, a pool, a fireplace, and even an over-sized chess board on the lawn.
Several Miles away down Rt. 9 you can enjoy a luxurious stay at the Sheraton Tarrytown Hotel, in Tarrytown New York. There's a pool, a gym, and a shuttle bus for pick ups/drop offs at the train station. Croton Point Park is just 10 or 15 minutes up the Hudson Line!
Park hours - Open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to dusk, year-round.
Phone: (914) 862-5290; Nature Center: (914) 862-5297; Group Picnics: (914)-864-7075
Admission: Memorial Day to Labor Day: $4 with Westchester County Park Pass; $8 without pass. Rest of the year is FREE.
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