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New York City: Orchard Beach – Twin Island Loop

Sample sylvan forests, a beachside boardwalk, and rocky island shores on this 5.6-mile dayhike in New York City’s largest park, Pelham Bay.

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From quiet, lush woodlands to brackish wetlands, Gneiss islands and isolated, rocky coastline, Pelham Bay Park showcases some of the most diverse scenery in New York’s five boroughs. The 5-mile route from Orchard Beach to the park’s northern islands is no exception.
From the Bx29 bus stop, take the Mosholu-Pelham Greenway through a corridor of deciduous forest. The route curves around a lagoon with stunning salt marshes. It then slices through secluded woodlands on the Siwanoy Trail. Shortly thereafter Orchard Beach and the Long Island Sound stretch across the landscape. Cruise the boardwalk from jetty to jetty, finishing on the north side of the public beach.
A dirt path traverses East Island’s forests and bay shores. Continue over the thin, sandy barrier to Two Trees Island. Egrets fish along the waterfront. An abandoned sailboat rests partially capsized in the bay. Looking eastward, tiny, rock islands dot the Sound’s waters. After enjoying the vistas at Two Trees Island, head back to the promenade along Orchard Beach.
Turn right immediately after the Nature Center to explore West Island.  The trail traces salt marshes, ending at the cove between Hunter and the Twin islands. Horseshoe crabs and other shellfish nearly cover the sands during low tide.  
When finished, retrace steps back to the start of the hike.
-Mapped by MacKenzie Ryan

Mass transit from Manhattan: Ride the 6 to Parkchester, then transfer to the 6 extension to Pelham Bay. Take the Bx29 to the start of the hike. During summer, Bx29 bus also goes directly to the bus terminal at Orchard Beach.

From Manhattan: Take 9A North to exit 14 for I-95. Keep right at the fork to merge onto I-95 North. Stay left at the fork, following signs for I-95/Cross Bronx Expressway, and merge onto I-95 North. At 8.1 miles, take exit 8B for Pelham Parkway. Continue straight onto Shore Road. Turn right at City Island Road. The start of the hike is across the street. To continue to parking, follow City Island Road around the traffic circle. Merge onto Park Drive. The parking lot is on the right.

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