Bannerman Island Tours
Tours of Bannerman Island are available from May until October. These tours of Pollepel Island and Bannerman Castle, in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, are provided by The Bannerman Castle Trust, Inc. The tours include a guided walking tour of Bannerman Island, accessing the island as part of a guided kayak excursion or by passenger boat. Tours by passenger boat leave from Beacon and Newburgh. Kayak excursions depart from Cold Spring, Beacon, and Cornwall-on-Hudson.
Visitors on the guided tours should wear comfortable shoes and be advised that strollers are not able to be accommodated. Reservations are also required for all tours. The tour begins from the dock after a 72-step climb, however, along the way is a place to stop and rest. By passenger boat, The Estuary Steward offers a 2.5 hour excursion that includes a walking tour of the island.
The Constellation, a public art piece by Melissa McGill, a Beacon-based artist, debuted around an on the ruins of Bannerman Castle in 2015. The work of art contains seventeen LEDs mounted on metal poles of different heights. The LEDS look similar to a constellation when lit for two hours every night. In the evening, starry lights emerge with the stars at night, one by one as the sun sets. The sculptural art piece creates a constellation that connects the past and the present castle. These lighted points hover around the perimeter of Bannerman Castle, referring to the structure's features that still remain today and those that no longer exist.
Bannerman Island tours and Constellation viewing are offered by the Bannerman Castle Trust aboard the Estuary Steward, the official tour boat for Constellation and the motor vessel for the Bannerman Castle Trust. The Constellation Tour is offered from July until October, with evening tours on Fridays and Saturday. Tours leave from the Beacon waterfront at the dock of the Beacon Institute. Tour times change with the seasons due to the tours being based on the sunset. Constellation Tours consists of a short guided island tour and viewing of Constellation from the boat. There is also an audio guide and oral presentation about Constellation. Photo: karenfoleyphoto/Fotolia
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