Schodack Island State Park

Schodack Island State Park river view

By Lauren Hittinger

This summer I'm visiting local parks to bring the scoop on each one to you. Today I'm headed north to Hudson Crossing Park. I've also already visited Hudson Crossing, Cherry Plain, Moreau Lake, Grafton Lakes, and Peebles Island.

If you've never been to Schodack Island State Park, you are definitely missing out. It is an incredibly peaceful spot right on the Hudson River, and the grounds are meticulously cared for. It also scores big bonus points because it doesn't charge an entrance fee during the week, making it a great destination for families and visitors during the week.

Location

Google Map of 42.502051,-73.77388

Schodack Island is about 20 minutes south of Albany, located along NY-9J. I found it to be a very easy and straightforward drive, with minimal traffic. NY-9J is also a bicycle route, so cyclists may be interested in taking the 13-mile trip down to the park.

History

The area that Schodack Island State Park encompasses has a long history. Originally it was a series of six separate islands inhabited by Native Americans, specifically the Mohicans. This spot is also generally where Henry Hudson moored the Half Moon in 1609. Over the 1600s the Mohicans sold various pieces of land to Dutch in the area. Development of the Hudson River through dikes and dredging in the late 1800s and early 1900s changed the topography of the land to create the long peninsula that is now Schodack Island.

The park itself was opened in 2002 after 17 years of planning and $7.4 million of investment.

The waterfront and boating

schodack_island_boat_launch_area.jpg

Schodack Island has a beautiful frontage on the eastern shore of the Hudson River. I was blown away by the boat access -- there is a double-lane boat launch with plenty of room and docks nearby, good for launching a motoboat. It looks very new and well maintained. The park even allows for pre-arranged overnight parking of your car if you're headed out for a multi-day trip. Additionally, Schodack Island has monthly and seasonal boat storage options.

If paddling yourself is more your style, the park has a separate launch for kayaks and canoes, so you don't have to worry about battling for space with the big guys.

Peaceful picnics and plentiful pavilions

schodack_island_Eagle_nest_pavilion.jpg

Since Schodack Island has such a long waterfront, there are dozens of benches and picnic tables along the water. On a recent weekday the park was practically empty, so you could have had your choice of seats to watch boats go by. There are sporadically-placed camp grills for barbecue or s'mores.

I was most impressed by the multiple pavilions available at Schodack Island. There are a handful of options, all offering different basic amenities and capacity. I thought they were the most attractive and modern pavilions that I've seen this summer, and they would be the perfect spot for a party.

Day use facilities

schodack_island_playground_schodack_island.jpg

Schodack Island has a smattering of different day use facilities to suit all interests. There was a nice multi-structure playground right by the bathrooms that would be perfect for a lot of different ages. A beach volleyball court is in the middle of the lawn, and a couple horseshoe pits dotted the park area. Both volleyballs and horseshoes are available to loan from the park office.

Trails

schodack_island_Schodack_island_trail.jpg

This park is home to miles of relatively easy trails. The paths have a wide clearing and solid ground, so it's more of a nature walk than a hike. Some trails are better labeled than others, but if you look closely, there are colored trail markers in the tree line of each route. I'd suggest consulting a trail map before you head out, because some paths have more interesting views, and many continue for quite some time before connecting to other trails.

Other notables

schodack_island_view_of_the_hudson.jpg

+ Bird watchers take notice: Schodack Island is a Bird Conservation Area that is home to bald eagles, cerulean warblers, and blue herons.
+ In the winter, the park is home to an ice rink for skating. You can also snow shoe and cross-country ski along the trails, weather permitting.
+ There are no swimming or other facilities to cool off here. Keep that in mind when you check the weather forecast for the day.

Lauren writes about shopping, crafting, and living well on a small budget at The Thrifty Ginger.

Find It

Schodack Island State Park
1 Schodack Island Way
Schodack Landing, NY 12156

Comments

It's so great to see that one of their play-scapes is smaller-sized and seemingly usable by younger kids (1-2 year range). As a newer parent (and Albany resident), I never realized how rare these things are. (The only other one I know of being in Central Park in Schenectady).

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

The week ahead

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (fall), to haunts, to... (more)

Today's moment of autumn

Congrats to the locust, which turned in a tree-of-the-match performance in the fall foliage game this week. By the way: It looks like we're headed... (more)

Dominoes as an art -- and a job

This past January we posted a quick bit about RPI student Lily Hevesh and the crazy complicated domino designs she shows off on YouTube. A... (more)

Screenprint Biennial 2018

The 2018 Screeprint Biennial will be at the Opalka Gallery on the Sage Albany campus November 1-December 14. Event blurbage: The Screenprint Biennial 2018 seeks... (more)

PechaKucha at Revolution Hall

The next local PechaKucha night will be at Revolution Hall in Troy October 24. Tickets are $15 and available online. The lineup of speakers and... (more)

Recent Comments

When I was a new mom I tried lots of different activities. My two favorites were the public library programming. There are a ton of story hours in the area. You could hit one every day of the week and you see a lot of familiar faces after a few weeks and get to know the other parents. They are at a variety of times which helped for the constantly changing nap schedule. ...

A look around Bard & Baker, the new board game cafe in downtown Troy

...has 3 comments, most recently from Julian Hutton

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 3 comments, most recently from CF

Morning Blend for Oct 12

...has 1 comment, most recently from ravioliollie

Talking about the future of Lincoln Park

...has 7 comments, most recently from Greg

Groups and other good resources for new parents?

...has 7 comments, most recently from Erin T