Have you made it to the castle that sits in the middle of the Hudson River? You might have passed it taking the train on the Hudson Line into or out of New York City on Metro-North. But have you ever stepped out onto the island?

It is a pretty special place. It is called Bannerman Castle and it is located on Pollepel Island. There are many reasons to go out and visit the island and the castle, movie nights, special dinners, even theater performances. So people here in the Hudson Valley know about this place, but when a national magazine recognizes was a hidden gem it is, Holy Cow!

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The magazine that selected Bannerman Castle as one of the "45 Abandoned Places Around the World That Are Eerily Beautiful" is Conde Nast Traveler.  There are other places in New York that made the list, like the abandoned underground subway station in New York City and the Worlds Fair Exhibits in New York City near Shea Stadium.

Have you ever been to Bannerman Castle? There is a super-easy way to get there, you need to purchase tickets in advance and then take a little ferry from Beacon to the island. While you are on the island, you will be taken around and you'll get to see as much as safe to do so.

If you were there once a few years ago, you might even want to make a return trip. There are volunteers who work tirelessly to preserve the history of the castle and the island. Yes, Bannerman was a real person. Yes, he did have something in common with what you might recognize as an eBay-type business, but he also invited orphans to spend the summers on the island so they could get out of the city.  There are several photos of the island that I took when I visited and I eagerly look forward to returning.

Check them out.

Scenes From Pollepel Island & Bannerman Castle

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Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

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