by D.L. Cohen
Some parks are historic. Some parks are scenic. Some are great for long walks, some for rock climbing. Tallman Mountain State Park, 20-30 minutes north of the George Washington Bridge, while great for all of these (excepting rock climbing), is really a perfect park for families.
It’s a relatively small park, and very hilly. The hiking is limited but invigorating. But what really makes Tallman unique are the picnicking sites, the pool, and the beautiful vistas from all vantages in the park, up and down the Hudson.
Fifteen miles north of the city on 9W is a large sign on the right for Tallman. Take the right onto Rockland Road and the entrance is a few hundred yards on your right. There’s a generous parking lot, plus a track and a soccer field and tennis courts across the street and up the hill. But for picnicking, it’s best to continue to the roundabout and take the second road up to a small plateau with limited parking, spots for camping and picnicking, and gorgeous views of the Hudson.
When I was there, I spoke with a woman named Molly, there with her parents, who told me that she’d been coming to Tallman for years, that it’s like her backyard. Her elderly parents nodded in agreement. They were sitting on a bench facing north, with an incredible view of the town of Piermont below and the famous Hook Mountain, of Hudson School painting fame, in the distance. Enchanting. Other picnicking spots scattered through the park are equally lovely. A little cul-de-sac to the right a bit past the parking lot offers picnic sites with a more woodsy feel.
Tallman Mountain is a wooded extension of the Palisades so the hills are steep and the downhills are fast. There are three entrances, the main one on Rockland Road, another at river level just outside Piermont, and a third on 9W just past the 9W Market, which is a great spot to stop for sandwiches and sit under an umbrella and sip soda.
Another outstanding, family friendly feature of the park is the Tallman Pool Club. The Tallman pool sits in the lower part of the park, near the Piermont entrance and almost level with the river. Looking east while relaxing around the pool, the view includes a vast stand of phragmites extending out into the marshy bay and the twinkling Tappan Zee Bridge beyond. During the season, there are various concerts every Friday and Saturday at 7p. There are changing rooms, and a snack bar that serves the usual snack bar fare—hamburgers, hot dogs, sodas. 2021 prices were: Weekday passes – $10kids/15 adults. On weekends that kicks up to $15/20. Kids under 5 swim free.
So grab your bathing suit, pack a lunch, and come to Tallman for a day the pool and the mountains. A little piece of heaven real close to New York.
Roaming through Rockland covers outdoor destinations to walk, bike or hike in Rockland County.
Sponsored by the Rockland County Tourism.
Roaming Through Rockland includes:
- Five Favorite Rockland Bike Rides, 12/26/2021
- Panoramic Views on The Long Path, 12/4/2021
- History and Scenery Abound in Tappan, 11/27/2021
- The Path on the Mario Cuomo Tappan Zee Bridge, 11/20/2021
- Fall in Love with the Hudson (again) at Nyack Beach State Park, 11/13/2021
- Jones Point Path, 11/7/2021
- Tallman Is the Spot For Families, 10/30/2021
- Too Much to See at Harriman State Park, 10/23/2021
- Biking the Trails at Blauvelt State Park, 10/16/2021
- The Grand History of High Tor State Park, 10/9/2021
- The Esposito Trail Is A Stellar Sunday Brunch Ride, 10/2/2021
- RoCA’s Serene Sculpture Gardens, 9/25/2021
- Gazing Out From Piermont Pier, 9/18/2021
- Art, History, and Nature on Greenbush Road, 9/11/2021