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Lake Sebago Beach | Harriman Beaches

Lake Sebago Beach, in Harriman State Park

Lake Sebago Beach, Harriman State Park. It’s closed, and it probably will be forever. See it before it’s gone. ©

Harriman had three public beaches until, in 2011, Hurricane Irene blew through and picked up Lake Sebago Beach and distributed it all over the park.

The beach has been closed since that time.  It will probably never reopen, a victim of storms natural, political, and economic.

A damaged roadway near Lake Sebago Beach in Harriman State Park NY.

Hurricane Irene-damaged roadway inside the former Lake Sebago Beach in Harriman State Park New York. The hurricane damaged the beach and buildings as well. The beach has been closed ever since, and is slowly returning to wilderness. The closing leaves only Lake Welch beach and Lake Tiorati beach as public places to swim within the park. ©

And that’s a shame, because since 1952, the beach at Lake Sebago has been cooling hikers and campers and day-trippers from the hot streets of the Bronx and Westchester.  The beach was a big, wide expanse of grass and picnic tables, a bathhouse, and plenty of firepits and barbecues, in a park that could use a third beach.  I’m sure it meant a lot to the families that have been going there for generations.

An old overgrown pedestrian's bench along the walkway at Lake Sebago Beach at Harriman State Park New York.

Old bench (and Wolf’s schnozz) at the former Lake Sebago Beach, in Harriman State Park. The old beach may never reopen. ©

You can still hike in to Lake Sebago Beach.  You’ll have to park somewhere other than the beach — the entry road is closed to that part of the park, and it’s even partly washed away — but it’s worth seeing the old place before it’s entirely returned to wildness.

You can also see the beach from the water, by renting a boat or canoe from Baker Camp or Sebago Cabin Camps, and paddling over to the northeast cover where the beach is.

So, farewell, Lake Sebago Beach.  Once there was Johnsontown, until you came along.  What will you become now?

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