Best known as a hawk watch site.
Hawk watchers on Hook Mountain. (Photo by Alan Wells)
Fall Hawk Watch is staffed from 1 September through 31 October. A Spring Watch is occasionally staffed.
Near Nyack (southeastern NY). To reach "the Hook", go west on I-87 (I-287) from the Tappan Zee Bridge, to Exit 11. Leave I-87 and turn north onto US 9W (Highland Avenue). Proceed N about 2 mi., passing Christian Herald Road. Continue on to the south entrance of Rockland Lake State Park. Follow the signs to the executive golf course and park away from the clubhouse. At the flagpole in the turning loop (see below), find a yellow spot on the curb across the road to the south. Walk over it to the woods and follow the yellow marked trail uphill to the intersection with the blue trail. Turn right and proceed uphill to the summit.
Limited parking is also available along US 9W. Heading north along 9W, look for a small pullout on the right side before reaching the south entrance to the Park. If you reach the Rockland Lake entrance, you've gone too far. Follow the yellow blazes marking the trail uphill to the exposed clearing at the summit. There are private residences in this area so be careful not block driveways and heed the "No Trespassing" signs. Also, please be sure to remove any litter.
Owned by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation with some small private adjoining parcels. Designated a New York State Important Bird Area in 1997. The region extends along almost seven miles of continuous waterfront and cliff slopes. Hike through oak-maple-beech hardwood forest to the summit at 730 feet. Spectacular views overlooking Rockland Lake and the Hudson River valley. Additional information is available at the NYOPRHP site (see Rockland Lake).
Executive Golf Course at Rockland Lake. Most RAS hikes to the Hook meet at the flagpole. Trailhead is to the right. (Photo by Alan Wells)
For additional information on Hawk Watches, see Hawk Migration Association of North America, Raccoon Ridge, NJ and Hawk Mountain, Pennsylvania.
Recent Hawk Watch Counts. For previous Hook Mountain results, see Hook Mountain Hawk Watch or click here (pdf) for a summary.