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Nyack People & Places: Golden Hour at Nyack Beach

By Mike Hays
The “Golden Hour” is the hour just after dawn. It is a great time to catch a Hudson River sunrise. This time of year, the Golden Hour coincides with the 7a opening of Nyack Beach State Park. December is a special time at the park. The park is quiet, especially during the week. A few die-hard dog-walkers and a┬ájogger may be the only people you see along the trail before 8a.
Nyack Beach State Park, Golden Hour, sunrise. Photo Credit: Mike Hays
At the end of the year, each day’s sunset is unique: clear, cloudy, foggy, windy, or calm. The river view here is an unobstructed 180 degrees, from Croton in the north to beyond the Tappan Zee Bridge and Tallman Mountain in the south. Although only two miles down river, Nyack seems distant and remote.Nyack Beach State Park, Golden Hour, sunrise. Photo Credit: Mike Hays
On some days, a few clouds on a clear day capture the changing color of the sunrise–shades of yellow, pink, and red, along with a full range of blues. On still days, the river turns to a nearly three-mile-wide looking glass filled with reflected light. On foggy days, the light is subdued, still changing by the minute; the commuter trains in Westchester sound surprisingly close.
There are so many places to watch the sunrise, but none beats a walk up the path. After experiencing the pre-dawn glow and the bright sunrise, a warm golden glow illuminates the trees along the Palisades during a Golden Hour. Natural details suddenly take on a soft, reddish character that is perfect for photographs, or for simply seeing nature.
Nyack Beach State Park, Golden Hour, sunrise. Photo Credit: Mike Hays
Photos by Mike Hays

Michael Hays is a 30-year resident of the Nyacks. He grew up the son of a professor and nurse in Champaign, Illinois. He has recently retired from a long career in educational publishing with Prentice-Hall and McGraw-Hill. He is an avid cyclist, amateur historian and photographer, gardener, and dog walker. He has enjoyed more years than he cares to count with his beautiful companion, Bernie Richey. You can follow him on Instagram as UpperNyackMike.

Nyack People & Places features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY. Sponsored by Weld Realty.


Nyack People & Places, a weekly series that features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY, is sponsored by Sun River Health.


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