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.


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.


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 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


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 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.



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


+ 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


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).

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