Point Lookout — Trystworthy?

Stateline Point Lookout
Stateline Point Lookout

If you are having an illicit affair, I can think of no better place to meet your lover than Point Lookout on the Palisades Parkway. It’s beautiful, romantic, easily accessible from New York City, yet quite isolated (at least on a weekday.)

We drove to New England one Tuesday in early September, to drop our daughter at  school.  Traveling north on I-95, the New Jersey Turnpike ends in Fort Lee, New Jersey.  You can continue on I-95 to New York City and beyond by taking the George Washington Bridge, or you can travel north above the Hudson River via the Palisades Parkway.

We wanted to avoid traveling through New York City because our car was loaded with stuff.

I couldn’t believe the natural beauty that awaited us just minutes from Manhattan!

The Palisades is characterized by a line of steep rocky cliffs along the Hudson River.  An Interstate Commission has protected the land from development, save for the Palisades Parkway.  There are several scenic overlooks, and numerous trails for hiking and cross-country skiing.

One such viewpoint is about a mile below the state line between New Jersey and New York.  We stopped at the Stateline Point Lookout and were surprised to find we had the place to ourselves.  It seemed like the perfect place for a tryst.  The Lookout, at 530 feet, is the highest point in Palisades Park.  There are fabulous views of the Hudson River, Tappan Zee Bridge to the north, and the river towns to the east.

Point Lookout Inn
Point Lookout Inn

The Lookout Inn, built in 1937 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) feels like stepping back in time. There’s a long mahogany lunch counter, where you can get a sandwich or hot drink.

At one end of the counter there’s a great display of books on the natural and human history of the Hudson River Valley.  In the winter, you can warm up by the two fireplaces.  The cafe is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.  It is evocative of an old Adirondack lodge.

Rapture of the Raptors

Point Lookout is also a flyway for migrating birds.  A Hawk Watch is conducted every fall; 14 species of hawks and 2 species of vultures have been spotted from Point Lookout.  If you are lucky, you can spot birds of prey such as the Osprey, the Bald Eagle, the Golden Eagle, and the Peregrine Falcon soaring high above the Hudson.

Point Lookout is just one place of note along the 42 mile Palisades Parkway which runs from the George Washington Bridge to Bear Mountain.   The Palisades Parks Conservancy promotes outdoor recreation along the Parkway and at many nearby preserves.  The region is full of treasures for residents of the metropolitan New York region.

Whether you are meeting a friend, or just on a road trip, consider a detour to the Palisades Parkway.

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