Hook Mountain State Park is perfect for a great day outside. Hook Mountain and Nyack Beach State Parks are located at the very end of North Broadway in Nyack, NY. The combined areas offer hiking and biking trails, fishing and picnicking along the Hudson River.
The riverside path is about two miles long and is fairly level so it’s a relatively easy walk. The Hook Mountain trail continues for another four miles to the Haverstraw Beach State Park for a longer, more intensive hike.
There’s plenty of wildlife that call this park home. Hawks nest in the cliffs and glide overhead. There are also fossils and dinosaur footprints in the rocks along the pathway.
The views along the bike path are inspiring, not just of the river but the mountain side as well. With every season and every storm the landscape evolves. Rock slides along the cliffs create remarkable formations. Sometimes you can actually look up at the cliffs and pick out where a specific pile of boulders has fallen as if from a jigsaw puzzle.
Some of these boulders seem to form familiar shapes of faces and animals, silent sentinels watching over the seasons, sunrises, the ebbs and flows of the tides and dual currants of the historic and mysterious Hudson River.
There are many places along this path that make it special. Trails lead up the mountain and intersect and weave through the woods along the river, some continue to the upper level of the park and beyond, some just end abruptly. There are stairs to nowhere and ruined buildings in the woods that evoke a childlike feeling that you’ve stumbled upon some mystery that no one else has ever seen. There’s always something to pique your interest and make you want go a little further, around the next corner or just over the next rise.
There are geocaches to be found at Hook Mountain, but be aware that your GPS device can deceive you. With the cliffs of the Palisades rising over 700 feet, signals bounce from the satellites off the mountain, combined with the elevation of the terrain make it easy to follow a direct route only to walk up to a sheer cliff. Although the GPS says you’re 500 feet away from the geocache, it may be located on The Long Path which runs through Rockland Lake State Park high above.
The park is open from dawn to dusk so go enjoy a picnic, hike or bike ride, the company of friends and family and don’t forget your camera. Visit it once and you will understand why Hook Mountain and Nyack Beach are among the most popular places in Nyack.