Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

The 2024 Bannerman Island touring season begins starting this weekend

Bannerman+Island
Dave Mueller
Bannerman Island

In the middle of the Hudson River sits an old deteriorating castle on an island that has piqued the interest of everyone who goes by it whether on foot, train, or boat. The castle, which has been photographed hundreds of thousands of times, is nothing short of picturesque. The island has even made a brief appearance in the 2011 movie Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Just north of the Hudson River Fjord – a long, narrow sea inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created by a glacier and the only true fjord on the Eastern Coast of the United States, and snuggled a stone’s throw north of Breakneck Ridge and Storm King, is a small 6.5 acre island in which a castle on the Hudson sits. Pollepel Island is the actual name of the island, but most people refer to it as Bannerman Island. 

The Hudson River Fjord looking south. West Point is in the far left corner. Breakneck ridge is in the foreground and Storm King on the other side of the Hudson River. (Dave Mueller)

Have you ever seen the island on the river and wanted to visit? Here is your chance. Since 2004, the Bannerman Castle Trust, a not-for-profit “Friends” organization, has been bringing tourists to the island to give tours and visit.  

The 2024 Bannerman Island Touring & Event season bringing people to the mysterious and historic Bannerman Island season began April 27th and runs from through October 2024.

The Bannerman Island tour includes: a 30-minute boat ride over to Bannerman Island aboard the Estuary Steward, a 45-minute guided walking tour of the island in which you will visit the famous Bannerman Castle ruins and gardens, a visit to the Bannerman Garden and Bannerman Residence, where you’ll learn about all things Bannerman, and a return trip back on the Estuary Steward to Beacon where it all began.

Zoomed in picture looking at Bannerman Island from the shores of Beacon (Dave Mueller)

Tours to Bannerman Island sell out quickly and well in advance. If you are interested in visiting, be sure to reserve tickets ahead of time. Tours depart from Beacon promptly at 11:00 am, 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm and 3:30 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The whole experience is approximately 2.5 hours. In addition to the Island Tours, the Bannerman Island Trust offers many other events on the island to help raise funds to help restore the Castle, Gardens and residence that is located on the island. Other events in 2024 include movie nights, farm to table dinners, live music days and theatrical performance events. The Bannerman Island Tour season runs from April through October 2024. For more information and to make reservations for upcoming trips to the Island, visit: BannermanCastle.org.

An original picture of Bannerman’s Island Arsenal
Photo via Wikipedia (Pollepel Island)

The Bannerman Island Trust’s mission is to raise awareness and educate the public and government organizations on the value and history of the island. The Trust raises funds for restoration, maintenance and preservation of the island structures and trails. The Trust works to make the island safe for volunteers and for the public to enjoy the island as an educational, cultural, historical and recreational facility promoting heritage tourism in the Hudson Valley.

It is very easy to get Beacon from Peekskill via the train, and the Bannerman Island boat dock is less than a 2 minute walk from the Beacon train station. Simply head to the Peekskill Train Station, grab a ticket at the machine or on the Train Time app, and head north to Beacon. The cost for the train one way is $7 for adults, $3.50 for seniors and disabled/ medicare, and $1 family fare ticket for each child ages 5-11 years old. Don’t forget parking at the Peekskill train station is free on the weekends.


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About the Contributor
Dave Mueller
As a Peekskill native, Dave is thrilled to be working with the Peekskill Herald showcasing featured calendar events. A 1999 graduate of PHS, he remembers reading and enjoying the original weekly print edition of the Peekskill Herald every Thursday. He especially liked the political stories, local features and sports coverage when it was written by Peekskill Runner columnist Jack Burns who always managed to weave history into the running times. An avid hiker, he enjoys exploring the local trails as well as the concrete ones in his job as a conductor for Metro North Railroad. He’s a former teacher and co-founder of the Friends of the Peekskill Dog Park, where he frequently can be found with his Koda. He’s happy to be part of the Herald’s growth as the source of local news for Peekskill and looks forward to highlighting a few of many of the events and happenings in Peekskill and the surrounding communities. Reach Dave at [email protected]