Peebles Island State Park

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
It has been my experience that in general people feel they have to travel out of town to find fun and adventure.  When our kids were small and money was tight, we took day trips locally, but eventually life got busy and we mostly just took an annual trip to the coast to either Rockport, MA or Newport, RI.. or Mystic, CT.   Since rediscovering my love of photography and since now that we are retired, we have also discovered that there is so much to see right here in our own neck of the woods.  One of those places is Peebles Island State Park.

Peebles Island is located at the junction of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers in Waterford, NY.  To get there, you need to travel to Van Schaick Island in Cohoes.    (I think you can also gain access from Waterford.) Van Schaick Island was home to U.S. Revolutionary War fortifications in the 18th century, and to an important shipyard  (Matton Shipyard) in the 20th century. The shipyard and the extreme northern end of Van Schaick island is part on  Peebles Island. With 191 acres, the park includes hiking and cross-country ski trails, as well as earthworks dating from the Revolutionary War and a Visitors' Center detailing the island's industrial history.  (Taken from Wikipedia)   It was also the home of Cluett & Peabody's Bleachery beginning in 1911.   And of course, from practically anywhere on the island - you'll enjoy water views!

(See description picture below)
In addition to picnic tables with pavilions, river views, miles of hiking and biking paths, fishing, and cross-country skiing, the park is also the home of the NYS Parks Division for Historic Preservation, which includes the Bureau of Historic Sites as well as the Field Services Bureau. 

To enter the park take Ontario Street in Cohoes and take a left onto Delaware Avenue, right before the bridge into Lansingburgh.  Since this is a NYS Park, there is a $6.00 vehicle entrance fee during the summer season (which may begin on May 1st).  If you visit other state parks, you might consider buying an Empire Pass which costs $65 for the year.  The pass provides access to 179 state parks, 55 Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) forest preserve areas, as well as to boat launch sites, arboretums and park preserves.

Looking towards Van Schaick Island

Waterford NY

You can even walk across the bridge and visit the Harbor Visitor Center and explore Lock 2.  If you are lucky enough to be travelling by boat, you can dock at the free public docks and walk across the bridge and have a picnic or take a hike on Peebles Island.   If you don't mind crowds, consider visiting during Canal Fest on May 10th or the Tugboat Roundup the first weekend in September.  You might even visit the Farmers Market at the Harbor Visitor Center and along the canal on Sundays beginning in June.   No matter how you get there, or when you visit, I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed.  Our region is rich in history and Peebles Island is a great example of it.

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1 comment

  1. Great blog post. I love that part of NY and it is always fun to find new places to hike.


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