Nestled along the Hudson River is the quaint town of Orangeburg, New York. Many travelers flock to this small village to gain respite from the hustle and bustle of nearby New York City. What makes Orangeburg such a tranquil and serene destination? It’s surrounded by numerous state parks, all of which provide unbridled glimpses of wildlife and wilderness. Get your fill of the outdoors when you check out the following state parks near Orangeburg.
Harriman State Park:
Image via Flickr by CarbonNYC [in SF!]
Just a 25-minute drive from Orangeburg, Harriman State Park is the second-largest park in the state, with a total of 200 miles of hiking trails plus 31 reservoirs and lakes. You’ll never run out of things to do here thanks to the two beaches, seemingly endless stretches of scenic roads and streams, and two public camping areas. Try your hand at fishing or biking in the warmer months, and when things cool down, you can switch to ice skating, ice fishing, or cross-country skiing.
The three lakes in the park are Tiorati, Welch, and Sebago. It costs $10 per car to go to Tiorati Lake and Welch Lake during the swimming season, so come prepared.
Blauvelt State Park:
While it’s on the smaller side, Blauvelt State Park is a mere five minutes outside of downtown Orangeburg, meaning you could possibly walk there from your hotel room. The park provides 590 acres to peruse, most of which can only be accessed via hiking trails. Because this is such a rustic area, there are no toilets and parking is limited. While it might be bare bones, this park affords brilliant views of the Hudson Valley, making it more than worth the journey.
Tallman Mountain State Park:
Just southeast of the city and eight minutes away is Tallman Mountain State Park, which borders the Hudson River and provides stunning views of Piermont Marsh. Feel free to spend your day here partaking in one of the various activities offered, including tennis, picnicking, or hiking on the many trails. In the winter, these same trails turn into cross-country skiing routes for some frosty fun.
It will cost you $6 per vehicle to visit the park, but the fees are only collected from May to October. You’ll also need to pay separate fees to reserve a picnic area or playing field.
Rockefeller State Park Preserve:
Just 28 minutes away from Orangeburg, Rockefeller State Park Preserve is well worth the trip thanks to its forested valleys and hills. It’s the former site of the country estates of John D. and William Rockefeller. In 1983, the family donated 1,425 acres of land to the state, establishing this gorgeous public expanse. Today, you can hike on the 13 Bridges Loop Trail, browse the blooms in Fern Garden, or even gaze upon 22-acre Swan Lake.
When you stay in Orangeburg, you’ll be close to all these parks, making it easy to hop from one to the other. Plan a day at each one to maximize your adventures, or choose a single park to explore to the max. Whatever you decide, you’re sure to gain the solitude and stillness you crave in the middle of these New York forests.