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The commercial history
of Rockland Lake goes back into the 19th century when
ice was harvested from its pristine waters. Later,
the lake became a popular resort area attracting people
up from the City on the train.
In the 20th century, with
the invention of refrigeration, the ice industry collapsed
and with the increase of popularity of the car, people
stopped coming by train for a visit. The state acquired
most of the property and put in extensive improvements
turning Rockland Lake into a popular public park with
swimming pools, small boating and miles of trials.
Tucked back behind the
lake however remains the vestiges of a proud and thriving
community. A small village continues to exist between
the lake and the river. Down Landing Road you can
park your car and walk down the old road toward the
Actually getting to the
river can be a little adventurous though. At the bottom
of Landing Road the road turns into an improved cinder
path. A few yards along you will find a small path
breaking backwards to the left. Follow it and you
will come down to an improved trail stretching the
length of Rockland Lake State Park following the banks
of the River.
This is one of the precious
few places in the Valley where you can actually walk
the banks of the Hudson River. Just north of the park,
the railroads lay claim to the banks making access
nearly impossible. But this stretch of the river is
open to you to walk and explore.
Where the path down to
the river reaches the banks, you will find old pilings
tracing a pathway out into the waters. Here is where
the ice was loaded on ships taking it around the world.