Denning's Point Brickworks
After exploring the abandoned Reformed Church cemetery on a recent day trip to Beacon, NY, we decided to take a little hike. The weather had cleared up and we weren't ready to drive back to the city just yet, so we headed over to Denning's Point, a NSFW-shaped peninsula that juts out west of Beacon into the Hudson River. The scenery is so beautiful in the Hudson Valley, and the trail (basically a large loop) ended up being longer and more secluded than I had expected. The area is a protected winter habitat for bald eagles, and is closed from December 1st through March 31st.
Earlier in the day (when our plans to spend hours at Dia: Beacon fell through) I had been searching for attractions near Beacon and had briefly read about the ruins of the Denning's Point Brickworks factory. I didn't expect to see it, let alone run right into it on our hike, but I probably squealed with delight, which is my default reaction to unexpectedly stumbling upon things I love.
Denning's Point Brickworks started operating from the Hudson Valley in 1885, but by 1939 they had exhausted the local clay reserves and the factory closed. The buildings continued to house factories, one that made composite wood/concrete construction panels and another that made paper clips. Manufacturing declined in the area and stopped for good in the 80s—in 1988 New York incorporated the area into the Hudson Highlands State Park.
In its heyday, Denning's Point Brickworks fired a million bricks a week. DPBW bricks were used in the construction of both the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center, and you can still find them scattered throughout the trail and along the riverbank. The building isn't too much more than a shell at this point but it was a great surprise and a reminder that some of the best days happen after my original plans fall through.
Denning's Point Trail: Open April 1st - Nov 30th
Where we parked:
23 Long Dock Rd
Beacon, NY 12508
The trail is also just a short walk from the Beacon Metro North train station.