Rockland Lake State Park
|Rockland Lake State Park|
Rockland Lake State Park is located on a ridge of Hook Mountain above the west bank of the Hudson River, in part the hamlet of Congers and Valley Cottage, which is in the eastern part of the Town of Clarkstown in Rockland County, New York. The park sits between the west bank of the Hudson River and Route 9W. Developed and opened to the public in the early 1960s, the park is a part of the Palisades Interstate Park system.
The park has two Olympic-sized swimming pools and two kiddie pools at two locations, scattered picnic tables and grills, a car-top boat launch and boat rentals, hiking trails with views of the Hudson Valley, six tennis courts and two golf courses. Anglers fish Rockland Lake for bass, perch and norlunge while walkers and joggers use the fitness trail around the lake. During the Winter visitors use designated cross-country ski trails and sledding slopes. There is a three mile paved path for walkers and bikers that circles the Rockland Lake.
The Knickerbocker Ice Company was established at Rockland Lake in 1831 on the eastern bank. Rockland Lake was known to have had the cleanest and purest ice in the area. The stored ice was placed on inclined railroad cars, transported down the mountainside, placed on barges on the Hudson River, and shipped to New York City. So much ice was shipped that Rockland Lake became known as the "Icehouse of New York City". The nearby Knickerbocker Fire House was established 1862. The Knickerbocker Ice Company closed in 1924. In 1926, workers who were demolishing one of the "ice houses" accidentally set fire to the structure's sawdust insulation. The fire spread extremely quickly and destroyed much of the village of Rockland Lake. The old foundation of the ice company remains today, marked by a historical plaque and bench.
There are a few gravel trails that run along the bank of the Hudson, which provide spectacular views of the river, the Tappan Zee Bridge and Westchester County one of which connects to Nyack Beach State Park.
Rockland Lake also has its own Fire Department, Knickbocker Engine Company 1, located at the rear of the park. It is the second oldest fire department in Rockland County History and is still in operation today.
Rockland Lake features two 18 hole golf courses, the Championship and Executive courses. The Championship course is a regulation golf course measuring 6864 yards from the back tees, with a par of 72. It also features a driving range and clubhouse with snack bar. The executive course is par-3 and measures 2780 yards.
- Levine, David (January 2011). "Rockland Lake and the Hudson Valley Ice Industry". Hudson Valley Magazine. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
- New York State Parks: Rockland Lake State Park
- The friends of Rockland Lake and Hook Mountain, Inc.
- Palisades Parks Conservancy - includes nature center information
- Knickerbocker Ice Festival
- NY-NJTC: Rockland Lake State Park Details and Trail Info
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