Monday, January 19, 2015

Congers Lake Loop

Congers Lake Memorial Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York

Total time: 0:50 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.5 miles
Level of Difficulty: Very easy
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points of Interest: Scenic lake and boardwalk
Pros: Interesting boardwalk trail, scenic lake
Cons: Built-up suburban area, noise from road, and noise from train

The previous day was Sunday, and I had originally scheduled to go on a good hike. However, the weather was about as awful as you could ask for. It started raining in the morning, but was only 26 degrees, so the rain froze on impact creating a hazardous slick of ice. There were hundreds of accidents that morning. The temperature gradually warmed above freezing, but the rain remained unabated and strong all day as a cold hard rain.

I therefore pushed off my hike to Monday which was Martin Luther King Day. Although I was not off from work, it was lighter than usual at the office so I was able to get out a little bit for this hike.

Congers Lake is a scenic lake that is right nearby Rockland Lake. A loop path has recently been constructed around the entire lake, making this a great place to walk or bike. Much of the western side is acually a boardwalk, meandering above the lake in a boardwalk fashion. This is definitely more of a walk than a hike, but because of the scenery and unique boardwalk, I am including it here.

I parked at the main parking area for Congers Lake Memorial Park.  I only noticed after that this parking area is for Clarkstown residents only, but there are plenty of other parking and access points around the lake to park at. Although the weather was cold, there were lots of people walking here. I presume in when the weather is warm it gets quite busy over here, especially on weekends. I headed north along the eastern side of the lake, and went fully around the lake, including the end of the walk where it loops along the peninsula. Towards the end of the walk a very large freight train passed along the tracks very close to the western shore of the lake.

I didn't bring my camera, thinking there wouldn't be any good photo ops, but I was wrong. The pictures below are therefore taken with my cell phone camera.

Map of the Route.

Fawn I Encountered Right Off the Path Right After I Started Walking
This Deer Must Have Been Injured as it Didn't Move Despite my Coming Close.

View of a Frozen Congers Lake Looking from East to West

Congers Lake Looking from North to South.
This Part Isn't Frozen Since its Right by the Inlet

Boardwalk Snaking Across the Lake on the Northwest Park

View of the Boardwalk Along the Side of the Lake

Looking Towards the Northeast.

Facing South, with Hook Mountain on the Left Side in the Distance

Beautiful Colors. From the Southern Part of the Lake Facing North.

Freight Train Approaching.


  1. Clarkstown parks are for Clarkstown residents only. No others allowed.

  2. I was not aware of that discriminatory rule when I made my first visit to the park. I had seen the park from my maps and from driving down Congers Road, and decided one day to check it out. I was very surprised to see that sign that the park was for "Clarkstown Residents Only" and I was particularly offended by it. Being a local Rockland Resident and living right across from Clarkstown in Ramapo, I felt it was absolutely wrong to restrict people like me - especially being that I am local - from enjoying this park.

    Now I do understand the mindset of those who made that rule. Since it's right near Rockland Lake, which charges an entrance fee, they don't want the overflow from people coming there to come here instead. But areas designated as parks and open areas should be open to the public to enjoy - not just certain classes of people. If Clarkstown wanted to charge non-residents a fee, that's understandable. But to just restrict everyone else, including someone local like myself, from enjoying the park, is plain and simple wrong.

    And I understand that my taxes are not going to the upkeep of this park, whereas Clarkstown residents taxes are. However, Clarkstown residents are enjoying the parks next door in Ramapo which I am paying taxes for. This exclusionary behavior should be put to an end!

  3. The Hudson Valley is a wonderland of parks, trails, and paths available to everyone. I wish there was a way to keep the inhospitable people of Congers off of these, which our donations and taxpayer dollars help pay for. In the meantime you should avoid this trail, and the businesses that surround it, as Congers has selfishly closed their path to anyone but their own residents.