Madam Brett Park offers a superb opportunity to connect with Beacon's industrial past and some of its natural treasures.
PARTIAL PARK CLOSURE: On Tuesday, March 8, the City of Beacon will begin performing routine sewer maintenance in the vicinity of Madam Brett Park. The boardwalk that runs along the former Tioronda Hat Works building will be closed for approximately 48 hours, preventing pedestrian access to Fishkill Marsh via the white trail. Access from the parking lot to the waterfall overlook will not be affected.
BEACON, Dutchess County (12 acres)—Madam Brett Park hugs Fishkill Creek, which played a prominent role in Beacon's development. Along it stood a gristmill owned by the park's namesake — Catheryna Rombout Brett (1687-1764), the first European settler in the present-day city. The mill was an important gathering place for farmers and Native Americans inhabiting both shores of the Hudson River hereabouts. In the 1800s, the creek powered a profusion of hat factories (including the Tioronda Hat Works, located in the brick building adjacent to the park), which earned Beacon the nickname "New York's Hat-Making Capital."
Today the park provides a perfect place to explore the ecology of a vital Hudson River tributary and the tidal wetland at its mouth. Fishkill Marsh supports an extraordinary variety of wildlife. It furnishes a home for amphibians and aquatic mammals, including muskrats; serves as a hunting ground for ospreys, bald eagles and other raptors; and is a stopover for migratory birds. A boardwalk and observation platforms afford up-close discoveries of these and other creatures. A waterfall at the park's eastern end is especially impressive — and raucous — in spring or after heavy rains.
When to visit
Year-round daily dawn to dusk. Allow one hour.
From Newburgh-Beacon Bridge head 3.2 miles south on Route 9D, turn right on Tioronda Ave., then left under the railroad trestle. Parking area is on the left.