Scenic USA - New York

Harriman State Park

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Harriman State Park - New York

Photos by Charles Chessler
Charles Chessler Photography

     Located within a half hour drive from New York City, Harriman State Park is one of the area's most popular getaways. Beaches, biking, boating and bridle paths account for some of the activities in New York State's second largest park. Found in a section of the state with a dense population, first time visitors may be surprised at the large expanse of parkland. Nearing 50,000 acres, the park also borders on Bear Mountain State Park and the West Point Military Academy's Forest Reserve.
     More than 200 miles of maintained trails are woven in the park's woodlands, and some are open in the winter for cross-country skiing. With 32 lakes and reservoirs, Harriman is sure to inspire anglers and boaters. The lakes are filled with bass, perch and panfish. Swimmers and sunbathers will find three beaches geared toward summer fun.
     Named for donors Edward and Mary Averell Harriman,Harriman State Park Lake the park was added to state lands in 1910. Initial plans to build a prison near today’s Bear Mountain Park sparked the Harrimans to make arrangements with the state, converting their land into a state park. Mary Harriman sweetened the deal with a million dollar donation. In turn the state chipped in another 2.5 million for additional land and park amenities, dropping the idea of a prison. During the 1930s, hundreds of young men of the Civilian Conservation Corps were instrumental in shaping the park's development.

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