It’s summertime and that can only mean one thing – it’s time to hit the beach. Whether you prefer the roar of the ocean or the tranquility of a lake, with nearly 80 swimming beaches in New York State Parks, choices abound. But which beaches are the best? Click any of the images below to see a slideshow of our picks for the 10 best state park beaches.
Lake Tiorati Beach, Harriman State Park (Taconic Region): Although the smaller of Harriman State Park’s beaches, Tiorati Beach wins us over with its views of meadows and rolling wooded hills.
Hamlin Beach State Park (Genesee Region): Hamlin Beach State Park’s clear water and sandy beaches, along with its 264 tent and trailer campsites, bring thousands of visitors to the park each year.
Jones Beach (Long Island Region): Each year, 6 to 8 million visitors make their way to Jones Beach—the largest public recreational bathing park in the world—and its 6.5 miles of beautiful white-sand beach on the Atlantic Ocean.
Sunken Meadow State Park (Long Island Region): Although not as world-famous as its neighbor Jones Beach, Sunken Meadow provides stiff competition with its stunning views of the Long Island Sound with Connecticut in the distance, a variety of flora and fauna, and tall, glacier-formed bluffs at the west end of the shoreline.
Green Lakes State Park (Central Region): It’s two glacial lake beaches surrounded by upland forest give visitors to Green Lakes State Park a unique swimming experience.
Grafton Lakes State Park (Saratoga/Capital Region): Although technically this park’s popular sandy beach is on the shores of a pond (Long Pond), Grafton Lakes is a summer refuge for Capital Region urbanites.
Fair Haven Beach State Park (Finger Lakes Region): This gem on Lake Ontario boasts towering shoreline bluffs, two sandy beaches and adjoining hilly woodlands and offers diving boards and boat rentals, including row boats, paddle boats, canoes and kayaks.
Wellesley Island State Park (Thousand Islands Region): A sandy beach on the river offers great swimming and sunbathing.
Lake Awosting, Minnewaska State Park (Palisades Region): One cannot drive up to Lake Awosting unlike the more popular Lake Minnewaska beach, thus only those who are ambitious enough to hike it or bike it are treated to its serenity.
Beaver Island State Park (Niagara Region): Located at the south end of Grand Island in the upper Niagara River, Beaver Island State Park includes a half-mile sandy beach for swimming.