Hook Mountain State Park

Best known as a hawk watch site.

Hawk watchers on Hook Mountain. (Photo by Alan Wells)

When

Fall Hawk Watch is staffed from 1 September through 31 October. A Spring Watch is occasionally staffed.

Directions

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.


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Description

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)

Birds

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.

Common Name 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Turkey Vulture 115 305 197 9 278 482 557
Osprey 208 302 335 222 166 258 292
Bald Eagle 54 79 55 67 72 58 67
Northern Harrier 88 174 97 151 76 100 179
Sharp-shinned Hawk 2,228 3,233 2,033 1,592 1,940 2,142 2,368
Cooper's Hawk 137 160 102 132 185 284 174
Northern Goshawk 9 12 1 3 3 9 5
Red-shouldered Hawk 78 180 56 29 89 194 145
Broad-winged Hawk 6,898 13,820 6,665 592 3,431 3,851 3,405
Red-tailed Hawk 64 335 91 43 239 381 292
Rough-legged Hawk 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Golden Eagle 4 3 2 3 4 9 20
American Kestrel 545 485 353 220 218 930 255
Merlin 32 68 43 54 35 119 55
Peregrine Falcon 14 34 23 29 14 31 17
Unidentified 95 13 12 4 41 46 37