Denning Point Park and Beacon Riverside Trail up to Beacon Riverfront Park
Beacon, Dutchess County, NY  
66 acres


Directions:

15.4 miles above the Westchester/Putnam County Line. Pass Jordan Street on the left and then turn left onto South Street (not labeled as of 7/16/01) opposite the Fishkill Landing Plaza. Turn at the very first block on the right (Denning Avenue) and follow it to the end (about 0.4 miles) and park near the gate on the right.


There are a lot of invasive species here. A notable one is Trapa natans (water chestnut) which covers huge areas along the side of the Hudson River. The vine Asiatic bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) is very invasive here as also is black swallowwort (Vincetoxicum nigrum).

There are lots of buckthorn trees/shrubs also.


This park on a peninsula is located on the northern most part of the State Park.

It was added to the Hudson Highlands state park in 1988.

Available for hiking, fishing and bird watching. Open Dawn to dusk.


History:

Beverly Robinson, a Tory who had returned to England, forfeited this land. In 1785 William Denning (a New York merchant) purchased it. At one time the Denning family lived in the southern part of the point.

In 1925 the Dennings Point Brick Works was constructed. (One can find clay pits and piles of rejected bricks, signs of the brick company.) The Noesting Pin Ticket Company (making paper clips and other wire products) was also here.

The following is a note from Michael A. Griffiths (received March 30,2000 via e-mail):

In 1988, when New York State acquired the land, Noesting was the only remaining American owned paper clip manufacturer left. Noesting was owned by the Griffiths (my elders), who chose not to develop the land because of its beauty. They held the land for years then accepted far less than the developer's offers (apx. 1.4M less) so that the state could make it a park.

If you've never been there and happen to get the chance, I suggest you take it. The view is breathtaking.

For more info, see the History of Beacon: Beacon


Trails:

1.2 mile trails (a woods road). The trail makes a circuit of the heavily wooded point.

Head south on an abandoned asphalt road. In a brief walk you will head right (west) over the bridge that goes over the railway tracks. Then pass over another set of tracks. Turn left (south) and head to the factory building. Go almost all the way to the Hudson River and just before getting there on the right, opposite the abandoned factory building you will see a wide path. There is a fork in the path; take the left hand fork which goes along the east side of Denning Point and keep going in a loop up the western side of the point to return the Y- in the path from whence you started.

Eventually, there will be a hiking/biking trail that links with the New York State Estuary Fishing Access and Greenway Trail and connecting to Scenic Hudson's Beacon Landing and to Denning's Point/Hudson Highlands State Park.

10/21/2006.  My wife, Rosemary, wanted to take pictures along the Hudson River and I tagged along.  A new change for me was the Beacon Riverside Trail that begins/ends at Denning Point Park (soon to be a state park).  We walked north along the riverside trail.  Passed by an old brick house on the left.  Good views of Newburgh on the other side of the river.  Pass by an old abandoned factory with the faded NABISCO sign on the side.  Came to a small little park with a picnic table and three benches.  Came to the small Beacon Landing Park.  They are currently working on finishing a wooden dock along the northern side of the peninsula.  The northern neighbor is the Dutchess Boat Club with its "Keep Out" sign.  Reach the Beacon railway station.  Learn that the dock here is the place to pick up the boat ride and tour to see Bannerman's Island (leaving Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m.)  We will definitely take this tour one of these days. 

Adjacent to the railway station is the Beacon Waterfront Park.  It's a manicured park with a children's playground and basketball courts.  There is an asphalt path that heads along the edges of the small peninsula.   We walked around the park and then headed back to Denning Point.  We learned that they are putting in here the Beacon Institute which is going to be doing research on rivers and estuaries.  Just what we don't need; using park land to house research.  They could easily have put it on a university campus in the area.  I suppose there will have to be parking areas for all the cars too.  Who the heck thinks of these things?  Apparently, people who are not that aware of saving the environment. 

Pick up the trail just past the ruins of the factory.  The trail soon forks.  From this fork the trail is a circuit around the edges of the peninsula and pack to the start of the fork.  You can take either the right or the left fork and return to the same place.   Had some berries of the autumn olive to eat.  I really like the taste.   Patrick L. Cooney, Ph. D.


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney


Trees:
Acer negundo (box elder maple)
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharinum (silver maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Catalpa sp. (catalpa)
Celtis occidentalis (American hackberry)
Crataegus sp. (hawthorn)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust)  planted at Beacon Riverfront Park 
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum) planted at Beacon Riverfront Park 
Juglans nigra (black walnut)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Pinus strobus (white pine)  planted at Beacon Riverfront Park
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Populus grandidentata (big toothed aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus malus (apple)
Pyrus sp. (crab apple)  planted at Beacon railway station
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus phellos (willow oak) planted at Beacon Riverfront Park
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Salix alba var. (weeping willow)
Salix sp. (willow)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs:
Amorpha fruticosa (false indigo bush)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn) lots
Rhamnus frangula (European buckthorn) lots
Rhodotypos scandens (jetbead)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Vinca minor (periwinkle)

Vines:
Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (porcelain berry)
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut) 8/24/01
Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed) 8/08/02
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet) lots and lots
Clematis terniflora (yam-leaved clematis)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) 8/08/02 8/24/01
Mikania scandens (climbing hempweed)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Polygonum scandens (climbing false buckwheat)
Sicyos angulatus (bur cucumber)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vincetoxicum nigra (black swallowwort) lots and lots
Vitis riparia (riverbank grape)

Herbs:
Acalypha rhomboidea (three-seeded mercury) 8/24/01
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 7/16/01
Allium vineale (field garlic) 7/16/01
Amaranthus blitum (amaranth)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) 8/24/01
Ambrosia trifida (giant ragweed) 8/24/01
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)
Arctium lappa (great burdock) 7/16/01 8/24/01
Arctium minus (common burdock) 8/08/02
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asarum canadense (wild ginger)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Asparagus officinalis (asparagus)
Aster cordifolius (heart-leaved aster) 8/24/01
Aster spp. (asters)  10/21/2006
Bidens discoidea (beggar ticks)?
Bidens sp. (beggar ticks)
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed) 8/24/01  10/21/2006
Chelidonium majus (celandine) 7/16/01
Chenopodium album (pigweed)
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy) 7/16/01
Cichorium intybus (chicory) 7/16/01 8/08/02 8/24/01  10/21/2006
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade) 7/16/01
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)  
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle) 8/08/02
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower) 7/16/01 8/08/02
Conyza canadensis (horseweed) 8/08/02 8/24/01
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 7/16/01 8/24/01 10/21/2006
Duchesnea indica (Indian strawberry) 7/16/01 and w/ fruit; 8/24/01
Echium vulgare (viper's bugloss) 8/24/01
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pileweed) 8/24/01
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) 7/16/01 8/08/02 8/24/01
Erigeron strigosus (lesser daisy fleabane) 8/24/01
Eupatorium album (white boneset) 8/24/01
Eupatorium altissimum (tall boneset)  
Eupatorium purpureum? 8/24/01
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot)
Euphorbia maculata (spotted spurge) 8/08/02
Euphorbia nutans (upright spurge) 8/08/02
Galium mollugo (wild madder) 8/08/02  10/21/2006
Geranium robertianum (herb Robert) 7/16/01
Geum canadense (white avens) 7/16/01
Hackelia virginiana (Virginia stickseed) 7/16/01
Helenium autumnale (sneezeweed) 8/24/01
Hypericum perforatum (common St. Johnswort) 8/08/02
Hypericum punctatum (spotted St. Johnswort) 7/16/01
Impatiens capensis (jewelweed)
Iris sp. (iris)
Lactuca canadensis (wild lettuce)
Lactuca serriola (prickly lettuce)
Laportea canadensis (wood nettle) 8/08/02 8/24/01
Lotus corniculatus (bird-foot trefoil) 7/16/01 8/08/02 8/24/01
Lycopus sp. (bugleweed) 8/24/01
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) 7/16/01 8/08/02 8/24/01
Medicago lupulina (black medick) 7/16/01 8/08/02 8/24/01
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover) 8/08/02
Melilotus officinalis (yellow sweet clover) 7/16/01 8/08/02 8/24/01
Mimulus ringens (monkey flower) 8/24/01
Nepeta cataria (catnip) 7/16/01
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose) 8/08/02 8/24/01
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) 8/08/02 8/24/01
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed) 7/16/01 8/08/02
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) 8/08/02
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) 8/08/02
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum hydropiper (water pepper) 7/16/01
Polygonum pensylvanicum (pink smartweed) 8/24/01
Polygonum lapathifolium (nodding smartweed) 8/08/02
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed) 8/24/01
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) 7/16/01 8/24/01
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Sagina sp. (pearlwort)
Sanicula gregaria (clustered snakeroot)
Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet) 7/16/01 8/08/02 8/24/01
Scutellaria lateriflora (maddog skullcap) 7/16/01
Senecio vulgaris (common groundsel) 7/16/01
Silene latifolia (white campion) 8/08/02
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion) 7/16/01 8/24/01
Solanum carolinense (horse nettle)
Solidago odora (sweet goldenrod) 8/24/01
Solidago rugosa (rough-stemmed goldenrod)
Sonchus oleraceus (common sow thistle) 7/16/01 8/08/02 8/24/01
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) 7/16/01
Trapa natans (water chestnut) tons of it in the Hudson River forming a large carpet
Trifolium arvense (rabbitfoot's clover) 8/08/02
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 7/16/01 8/08/02 8/24/01
Trifolium repens (white clover) 7/16/01
Urtica dioica var. dioica (stinging nettle)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein) 7/16/01 8/08/02 10/21/2006
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain) 7/16/01 8/08/02

Rushes:
Juncus sp. (rush)

Sedges:
Carex intumescens (sedge)
Carex vulpinoidea (sedge)
Cyperus sp. (nut or umbrella sedge)

Grasses:
Cinna arundinacea (wood grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Digitaria ischaemum (smooth crab grass)
Echinochloa crus-galli (barnyard grass)
Echinochloa muricata (barnyard grass)
Eleusine indica (zipper grass)
Elymus virginicus (Virginia wild rye grass)
Eragrostis cilianensis (stink grass)
Lolium perenne (perennial rye grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Panicum dichotomiflorum (panic grass)
Panicum virgatum (switch grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (canary reed grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Poa compressa (Canada bluegrass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass) 8/24/01
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass) 8/24/01
Setaria viridis (green foxtail grass) 8/24/01
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

Ferns and fern allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dryopteris intermedia (fancy wood fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)