No Swimming, No Bathing, No Wading. No need to tell me twice. There aren’t many things nor even promises of summer warmth that could get me to dip even a pinky toe in these icy waters. Though I am quite happy to dance around and snap a few photos on this frozen beach.
This is Croton Point Park, not to be mistaken for Croton Gorge Park, its Croton-on-Hudson neighbor. Even grander in scale at 508 acres, the park abruptly juts out into the Hudson River, providing unique river views. Stop by in the winter for a quick walk. Be sure to keep it on the brief side, though. The cold wind off the Hudson will whip at you, like a firm hand at you back prodding you along back to your warm car.
As you drive into the park, there is a sandy beach on your right that leads you right on down to the Hudson. It’s really its own secret little cove, one that I had not known was there. I had always assumed there were little pockets of treasured beaches along the Hudson, but that they were coveted and kept secret.
The Metro-North railroad hugs the Hudson River all the way down into Manhattan, making direct and uninhibited access to the river difficult. Yet thanks to urban and park planning geniuses like Robert Moses in the 1920s, New York has an incredible and well thought out system of parks and recreation areas.
So keep Croton Point Park in mind for a winter jaunt in the cold. The name Croton is actually derived from the Native American word for, “wild wind”. If you happen to take the Croton-Harmon train into the city, then you’ll most certainly have to make a stop here on the way home. It is certainly cold, but it is undisputedly beautiful. Down by the promenade and along the water the cracking sheets of ice in the river is the only thing that puncture the quiet calm of the park.
What: Croton Point Park
Where: Croton-on-Hudson, New York
When: Year Round, yes even winter
What Else to Know:
- The park literally sits on the Hudson River, great for seeing the Hudson up close and personal.
- Check out the beach and the promenade.
- It is home to the oldest wine cellars in New York.
- There is hiking, swimming, fishing and camping in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter.