Adirondack Coast Hikes: Pointe Au Roche State Park Nature Trail, Museum, Playground and Beach

AdirondackFamilyTime.com Point Au Roche trail map
Pointe Au Roche State Park Trail Map
We have been traveling to Plattsburgh to visit two friends of ours on a weekly basis. In order to have a calm beneficial visit I take the advice of a woman I know who raised six sons. “Run them like dogs,” she said when I would wonder how to manage two kids. So, now quite a few years later, I still think of that advice and am always looking for a place to expel their excess energy. Not so surprising it is usually the adults that need to indulge in some old-fashioned play and use the kids as an excuse to do it.


Pointe Au Roche State Park is just a short drive from Plattsburgh and an easy jaunt for anyone visiting the area. With over 800 acres it is a unique combination of forest, marsh and shoreline. It has an interesting history that still can be seen skulking in the landscape. The land was first cleared and used agriculturally and then during WWI as a training site (similar to ROTC) for young men. The parcel then became a variety of businesses from summer camps, club/resorts to the town beach. One section even held the “Fantasy Kingdom” amusement park. Remnants of early buildings, foundations and plumbing can still be seen.

This four-season state park in located right on the shores of Lake Champlain. There are two entrances, west and east. The west entrance weaves through fields to end at a gorgeous beach on Lake Champlain. During the summer season, changing rooms and bathrooms are open and lifeguards are on duty. There is also an adjacent playground and picnic area. 
In the summer it's paved trails are cleared for bicyclists, runners, and walkers. Pets are welcome. -

The east entrance is accessed from Point Au Roche Dr by turning onto Camp Red Cloud Rd. Nature trails, a Nature Center with seasonal programming and touch table as well as boat launch are located at the end of the road.

Lake Champlain for Pointe au Roche - AdirondackFamilyTime.com
view of Lake Champlain for Pointe au Roche
Trails:
The Philip C Walker Memorial Nature Trail: 1.6 miles (22 interpretive signs)
Bike Path (Gray) 1.4 miles
Connor Bay Trails (Blue) 2.1 miles
Long Point Trails (Orange) 4.1 miles
Middle Point Trails (Yellow) 2.1 miles
Ram's Head Trails (Red) 1.9 miles
Treadwell Bay Trails (Green) 2.3 miles

Need to Know before you go!
Parking Fee? Yes, during the summer season -  Day Use (w/ Lifeguards) $7, After 4 PM $5
Day Use (w/o Lifeguards) $6, After 4 PM $4
Pets? Yes, with a leash, but pets are not allowed in the picnic or beach areas
Accessible?  Some paved trails, pavilions, picnic area, bathrooms, playgrounds are accessible. There is a 1.4-mile connector accessible trail that links the west and east sections of Point Au Roche
Hours of Operation: Park and Trails open year-round - Nature Center programs year-round - swimming season: late June to early September (11 am - 7 pm), Boat launch: year-round, dawn to dusk - moorings - Mother's Day weekend - Columbus Day

Directions: 
From Plattsburgh take Margaret Street to Rt. 9N. The park is four-miles from the Visitor’s Center on Rt. 9. Turn right onto Point au Roche Rd for about 1.5-miles to reach to beach/toll entrance and 2-miles to reach Camp Red Cloud Rd, opposite the Pointe au Roche Lodge. Off-season parking is free.

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