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Parks to Visit

Chol Hamoed Pesach


Compiled and photographed by Sarah Einhorn of BeenThereDoneThatTrips.com


As the weather warms up in April, I try to find outdoor destinations for Chol Hamoed. I don’t want to be holed up in a dingy and crowded indoor amusement park when I can be enjoying the beautiful outdoors!

Here are six parks I enjoy visiting. Some have playgrounds while others are more nature focused. Whichever you choose, there’s nothing like inhaling the fresh air and enjoying the wonders of Hashem’s world in the great outdoors! 


Bowline Point Park

Bowline Road off McKenzie Ave, Haverstraw. (The park is located on the Hudson River behind the power plant.)


Haverstraw, NY

Bowline Point Park is a combination of beautiful nature and fun playground elements. The park is located on a peninsula which juts out into the Hudson River.  There is a fishing pier and a beautiful scenic path alongside the Hudson River. There are plenty of picnic tables and grills throughout the park. There is also a covered pavilion and gazebo, each with plenty of tables, although permits are needed for all groups of nine or more entering the park. Each of the three unique playgrounds is geared to different ages, with one playground that is handicap accessible, and one especially for toddlers. There is also an exercise area with manual exercise equipment.

When I visited the park in the fall, it was empty and quiet. It was tranquil and relaxing with no one collecting parking fees. I imagine that during the summer months and swimming season it is full due to the pool and spray park on site, but during the spring it should not be especially full.


Price: $14


Approximate Distance from Marine Park:   1 hour, 15 minutes



Croton Gorge Park

35 Yorktown Rd

 Croton-On-Hudson, NY

Croton Dam is the highlight of the 97-acre Croton Gorge Park. The park has many hiking paths as well as a bridge over the impressive dam. There is a playground and picnic tables at the bottom of the waterfall. The Croton River, which begins here, is very popular for fishing. Swimming is not allowed. There are open fields that are great for flying kites or playing games. The Croton Dam was originally built in 1842 to supply New York City with water. When it was unable to supply enough water, the New Croton Dam, standing at 200 feet, was built instead. The beauty of the Croton Dam remains to be enjoyed by visitors.

Our first visit was just to the park below where we enjoyed the sight of the water rushing down with the bridge above it. We did not get to visit the bridge above. When we returned to the park, we only visited the bridge above (you can park near the bridge). I didn’t realize that I missed a big chunk of the beauty during my first visit. The bridge is a popular place to walk and bike. From the bridge there are both views of the river above, of the dam and of the park below. It is definitely worth going both on the bridge and to the park below.



Price: Free


Approximate Distance from Marine Park:   1 hour, 10 minutes 



Nyack Beach State Park

698 N. Broadway
Upper Nyack, NY


Nyack Beach is perhaps my favorite Hudson River waterfront park. Although the actual beach is miniscule and no swimming or wading is allowed, there is a magnificent walking path near the Hudson River with views of the Mario Cuomo Bridge.


The path goes alongside the river on one side and has towering cliffs on the other side. There is a five- mile out and back hike. At the one-and-a-half-mile mark, the path has an option to veer left and continue to Rockland Lake State Park. There are plenty of picnic tables and benches both by the parking lot and alongside the trail. 


Price:  Free

$8 parking fee.


Approximate Distance from Marine Park:   1 hour, 5 minutes



Ramapo Valley Reservations

610 Ramapo Valley Rd.

 Mahwah, NJ

Ramapo Valley Reservation is a popular nature walking and hiking area. I love the many lakes, rivers and waterfalls that run alongside one of the paths. If you have a fear of dogs, Ramapo Valley Reservation is not for you. It is a popular place for owners to walk their dogs. There are many, many dogs around although all dogs are required to be on leashes. 

The entrance to the reservation is from the far corner of the parking lot, the corner closest to the yellow service house. The path leads over a bridge and continues alongside a beautiful lake. At the end of the lake, you can either turn right and continue around the lake or continue straight on an uphill path to the scenic reservoir up on top. The hike to the top is not very long, but since it is uphill it is not very easy.

I love going up to the lake. About halfway to the reservoir, there is a waterfall on the side of the path. There are narrow paths allowing access to the waterfalls. In the summer, there are often people swimming in the cool refreshing water in a pool in the middle of the waterfall. It is possible to take a stroller on the path (not down to the waterfall), but I would not recommend it since it is all uphill and would be difficult to push.


Price: Free


Approximate Distance from Marine Park:   1 hour, 5 minutes



Roosevelt Island 

New York, NY


There’s nothing like seeing NYC traffic from above!

Roosevelt Island is a narrow two-mile-long Island in the East River of Manhattan located between Queens and Long Island.  The Island is on the outskirts of the city and can be accessed through an Arial Tramway. The Arial Tramway station is near the FDR. The tram ride lasts just for a couple of minutes but is fascinating. When we rode the tramway, there was loads of traffic on the street below. We were enthralled!


The Island has various playgrounds to accommodate different ages. There is also a walkway alongside the river where you can ride bikes or take a leisurely stroll. The open fields are great for ball games or flying kites. 


Tramway Station:

254 E 60th Street

New York, NY 10022

Floor 2-Tramway Plaza




To ride the Tram, you must use an MTA MetroCard. MetroCards are available for purchase at either Tram Station or at subway stations throughout New York City. $2.90 per trip. Up to three children 44-inches tall and under ride for free on the Tram when accompanied by a fare-paying adult.


Approximate Distance from Marine Park:   40 minutes


Verona Park


Porcello Lane

Verona NJ


I was so excited to see what an amazing park Verona Park is. I visited after one of my readers contacted me and told me about this gem. Verona Park is well-located in Essex County in Verona, NJ. The park consists of 54.32 acres of land including a lake with a boathouse where paddle boat rentals, including swan shaped boats, are offered in the summer and on weekends in the spring. It’s part of the 36-mile Lenape Trail, which connects 18 parks, and includes beautiful gardens, tennis courts, picnic tables and benches, and the most awesome playground!

The playground looks new and has many exciting and unique elements. Firstly, it is situated in a gated area with soft rubber mats lining the ground which make it easy to walk on and less injuries while the children play. A big part of the playground has an awning to keep the children safe from the sun.

Within the playground are two large climbing structures with large slides protruding from one structure. There are rock climbing blocks, rope challenges up a small hill on the side, and slides to get down the hill. The mist spray in the playground was fun to run into during our visit on a hot summer afternoon. There are many swings and benches strategically placed around the park for adults to sit on while watching the children.

The park was not just for little children. It was definitely a favorite. I highly recommend it!

Price: free

Approximate Distance from Marine Park:   50 minutes





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