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