Top Swimming Lakes and Rivers Ready to Welcome Westchester Families in 2020
Pools and splash pads are great for summer fun, but when it comes to cooling off in the great outdoors, swimming lakes are an ideal destination. While you won't find many local swimming lakes and rivers in Westchester County, the Hudson Valley offers plenty of places for a freshwater swim, including some that merit taking a day trip—or even planning an overnighter at a family campground. Here, we've rounded up several lakes and rivers that are perfect for swimming with kids during summer 2020. These destinations span from the Hudson River to Lake Taghkanic.
Looking for even more fun in the sun? Check out our summer fun guide for great ideas for the whole family.
1. Croton Point Park – Croton
Open to Westchester residents only, Croton Point Beach is located inside the 508-acre Croton Point Park. Area families can enjoy a day of playing in the sand and swimming in the Hudson. The beach is open Wednesdays through Sundays. Hang around after your swim; there are lots of other activities to check out at the park.
2. Lake Welch – Stony Point
Part of Harriman State Park, this swimming spot is open daily. Once the kids tire of the water (if that's even possible) there are fun hiking trails to check out. Hours are 10am-5:45pm on weekdays, and 9am-6:45pm on weekends.
Bring your four-legged family members along to enjoy a beach day at Lake Tiorati.
3. Lake Tiorati – Southfields
This lake closed to swimming as of June 30, 2020 due to an algae bloom.
Also located in Harriman State Park, this swimming spot is open every day through August 22, 2020, and offers lots for families to do along with swimming—like hanging out on the beach or enjoying a picnic. There are showers where you can wash up and change, and dogs are welcome, as long as they're on a leash.
4. Greenwood Lake – Warwick
For summer 2020, Greenwood Lake is limited to Warwick residents only.
This town beach at Thomas P. Morahan Waterfront Park offers Warwick residents access to Greenwood Lake. The beach is open every day in the summer. Day passes are available, though if you plan to go regularly you can also snag a season pass. Along with the lake, kids can have fun on the playground.
Lake Taghkanic offers swimming, a playground, a picnic area, and a concession stand.
5. Lake Taghkanic — Ancram
Looking for a great day trip? About an hour-and-a-half from central Westchester, Lake Taghkanic State Park offers lots of family-friendly activities—from swimming in the lake and building castles on the beach, to playing on the grass or the playground. For lunch, you can snag a picnic table and grill, or skip the packing and visit the concession stand instead. For even more details on this action-packed spot, check out our full review.
6. North-South Lake – Haines Falls
If you're hoping to take the family camping, consider North-South Lake Campground. At about two hours from White Plains, it's a great spot for an overnighter. (If camping isn't your style, just visit for the day.) Swimming is available at two beaches, as long as a lifeguard is present (call the campground for exact hours), and kids can stay busy with lots of additional activities, from hiking to horseshoes to playing on the playground.
Canopus Lake boasts beautiful water and clean sand for kids to dig in all day. Photo by Mizmareck via Flickr
7. Canopus Lake – Carmel
Part of Fahnestock State Park, this lake offers a beach area where families can set up for a day of swimming. Along with swimming, there are places to picnic (and a concession stand), plus you can also get out on the water by renting a boat. Swimming hours are 9am-6pm daily, though be forewarned: No lifeguards are on duty.
Hudson Valley Swimming Spots Not Reopening in Summer 2020
This little gem is perfect for the littlest of swimmers. Photo courtesy of the River Pool at Beacon
8. River Pool at Beacon – Beacon
The River Pool will not open in summer 2020.
Here's another cool day trip idea: Head to Beacon and make it a point to visit the River Pool at Pete & Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park for a chance to hop into the Hudson River. Open Tuesday to Sunday from noon to 6 pm starting in July, this sectioned-off part of the River is FREE and has lifeguards on duty as well. Plus, once you're in Beacon, there are tons to do with kids, from cool playgrounds to doughnut shops.
Unless otherwise noted, photos courtesy of NY Parks