November 5, 2016 – Congers, NY
Length: approximately 2.6 miles
Route type: circuit
Map: none available
Congers Lake Memorial Park Trailway is located at 6 Gilchrest Rd in the hamlet of Congers, town of Clarkstown, NY. It loops around the 100 acre lake and it’s a very scenic and well maintained place to go for a walk. All Town parks are for Clarkstown residents only, which I did not know until I saw the signs at the park. Since it was after Labor Day, no one bothered us and there was plenty of spots available in the parking lot. There are also other access points to the trail where you can park. Dogs are not permitted in the park or on the trailway. The entire length of the trail is level, hard surfaced and about 8 feet wide. The western section of the trailway is a boardwalk that snakes along the bank of the lake for about a mile.
It was a warm November Saturday afternoon and there were plenty of people walking and enjoying the park and trailway. We entered the trail at the northern end of the parking lot and began walking on the macadam path which bordered the east side of Congers Lake.
There were a lot of birds chirping and carrying on. I was able to capture an image of a Blue Jay that landed on a tree nearby.
There were numerous short spur trails that led towards the lake. We explored a few to check out the view. We could see along with the beautiful Fall foliage, the trailway on the other side of the lake.
When we reached the northern end of the lake, we arrived at the boardwalk. Now we were walking with an open view of the lake which was lined with trees.
The 8′ wide boardwalk was the highlight of this hike. The way it meandered along the edge of the lake made it worth the visit.
I am glad that we got to visit this place while the foliage was bursting with color.
As we walked along the boardwalk, I glanced over and saw a Great Blue Heron seemingly camouflaged on the swampy bank of the lake. It was unperturbed as I captured some images.
As we neared the southern end of the boardwalk, I could see the bridge that passed over the Congers Lake Dam. The dam was built in 1995 to replace the original stone and earthen dam which was constructed more than a century earlier.
Once we stepped off the boardwalk we were at the southern end of the lake and stood there a minute to admire the view.
From here I was able to capture a decent image of the boardwalk.
We continued across the Congers Lake Dam Bridge and broke off the trail. Just across the street was the Paul Farmhouse, the easterly section of this Dutch farmhouse was constructed by John Paul in the early 19th Century. Soon after the similar westerly addition was added resulting in a rare style of twin front door entrances. The structure, a frame of sawn heavy timber with a clapboard and sandstone exterior, was plastered on the interior and insulated with mud and straw. Successive branches of the Paul, Jones and Schueler families lived here for approximately two centuries. Clarkstown acquired it in 1990 and restored it in 1996.
We then proceeded back onto the trail, where it curved to the right. Here we stumbled upon the DeBaun/Swartwout Cemetery. This burial ground includes members of two of the most important families and early settlers in the Congers area.
After passing the cemetery, I realized that we were almost back to our starting point which was the parking lot. What started out as just trying to kill some time on a lovely afternoon, turned into a fine little discovery. As always, I hope that you enjoyed the hike and don’t forget to follow my blog to stay up to date with my journeys. Well? What are you waiting for? Take a hike!