We’ve done more than our fair share of complaining about this ridiculous winter, which means we’re ready to think about wiling away the warmer months. And, because we’re Upstater, we’re thinking ‘bungalow colonies’. We’re thinking swimming. We’re thinking boating. We’re thinking outdoor nature-related shenanigans during the day and evenings spent under a blanket of stars. We’re thinking plenty to do whether you’re a grown-up or a kid. We’re thinking about Pine Lake Park in Westchester County, and you should be thinking about it, too.
Located in Cortlandt Manor, Pine Lake Park is as good as it gets north of the city. The 65-unit, 50-acre summer community is situated around a well-maintained lake, and while it’s less than an hour from NYC, it feels like a different world. Not only can you let the kids enjoy a “free-range” summer full of swimming at the life-guarded lake and outdoor playtime surrounded by lush, green nature, parents can enjoy more adult-oriented activities like tennis, softball, hiking, biking, and dancing in an old fashioned social hall. The tennis enthusiasts range from purely recreational to seriously competitive.
On Saturday afternoons, the grown-ups get together for a half-court pick-up basketball game, which, for the men-folk, is kind of a big deal. According to long-time Pine Laker Ken Katz, “every Saturday, somewhere between 12 and 20 people come.” The game, first played in the summer 1952 when Ken’s dad Jack was a counselor at Camp Pine Lake Park, is a good combination of “competitive ball mixed with some humor and camaraderie,” he explains.
The game is also a chance for the younger folk to spend some time with the older generations. “You not only get fathers and sons who play in the game,” he said, “but you now have third generation of grandchildren on the court with their fathers and grandfathers.” But don’t let the bucolic, jovial nature of the game fool you. Like many pick-up games run by grown-up kids from the boroughs, relatives or not, you’ll need to bring your A game. And some Band-Aids.
On the other “courts,” tennis players of all levels (toddler to 4.5 senior Masters) take full advantage of four red clay courts. Other popular activities include out of park hiking or biking, at nearby Blue Mountain, Croton Gorge, and the Westchester County Trailways.
There are a number of well-maintained, affordable properties available for sale or rent at Pine Lake Park, all of which you can find here on the Pine Lake Park blog. Current offerings start from $67,000 to purchase, $3000/mo. to rent from May to October. For additional information and to schedule a tour, visit the website and send an email: