Harriman State Park, Island Pond
I arrived to this gorgeous spot after a long day of hiking and getting lost once or twice. There were two people there, but other than that you couldn’t hear anything but the wind. This really feels so far removed; it is so peaceful and calm. The water was crystal clear, cool and very welcoming. I swam right off the boat launch. Across from the launch, about 75 ft. away, there was a rocky shore, where the other people were swimming and had their tents set up (to get there, just continue on the Appalachian Trail for about five minutes). I was jealous that I wasn’t spending the night here.
To get there, travel north on NY-17, then take a right on Arden Valley Rd. (two miles past the Valero gas station in Southfields, NY). Right after you pass the highway, you want to take Elk Pen road which is basically just a parking area (next to a large field), and this is where you want to park. From here you’ll want to go across the field and find the Appalachian Trail markers (which are white “blazes,” basically just white rectangles of paint on trees). Follow the trail for around a half hour, you’ll go up a hill, then back down, and about 5-10 minutes after you descend you’ll come across a paved road. Take a right here and this will lead you to the boat launch/swimming area.
- 30-40 min
- +41 15.595, -74 08.437