A once-popular Hudson Valley lake that has sat vacant for over a decade is about to undergo a major restoration.

The Hudson Valley is home to some of the most scenic trails, lakes and landscapes in New York State. One such lake, however, has been shut down since 2011.

A new investment by New York State is expected to reopen this former summertime destination and restore it to its "former glory as the place to beat the summertime heat".

What Ever Happened to Lake Sebago?

Located at Harriman State Park, Lake Sebago was once a bustling hive of activity during the warm summer months. The wide beach included a huge grass area with picnic tables, a bathhouse, firepits and barbecues. Families could spend the day swimming, soaking in the sun and spending time together in the outdoors.


All of that changed in 2011 after Hurricane Irene blew through the area. The beach was destroyed, with all of its sand being sucked back into the water. Pathways crumbled from the erosion and the park's entrance and parking lot were locked up.

Although hiking trails around the lake have remained open, locals mourned the loss of a favorite recreational spot. Those who once enjoyed Lake Sebago resigned to the fact that it would never open again.

Lake Sebago Will Be Restored By New York State

The New York State Parks Department now says that Lake Sebago will soon be restored thanks to the establishment of NY SWIMS. Governor Hochul's fourth proposal of the 2024 State of the State is focusing on swimming education. Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages one to four. To remedy this, Hochul has earmarked funds to build municipal pools in high-need areas, return access to rivers and lakes, open pools in urban areas and invest in state parks.

One of the recipients of this initiative is Lake Sebago. A rendering shows some of the proposed improvements to the Orange County beach.

New York State Parks
New York State Parks

A press release from Governor Hochul's office says that Lake Sebago will be completely redesigned.

Through this massive rehabilitation project, visitors and hikers alike can soon seek refuge to cool down and once again go swimming at Lake Sebago.

Improvements to infrastructure, free swimming lessons, staffed lifeguards and new ways for students and their families to get to the beach through the Connect Kids program are all part of the plans being proposed for Lake Sebago.


Are you excited about the restoration of Lake Sebago at Harriman State Park? You can let us know your thoughts and share your memories of swimming at this scenic Hudson Valley beach by connecting with us on Facebook or sending us a text on our station app.

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