This summer, Untapped Cities is excited to host a series of tours of the scenic ruins of Bannerman Castle, located on Pollepel Island in the Hudson River just off Beacon. Built as a warehouse for a munitions and artillery business, Bannerman Castle has a rich history that showcases the ambition and imagination of Gilded Age industrialists. Like many grand structures, the buildings have decayed over the course of more than a century, with damage sustained during an explosion in 1920. The island was abandoned starting in 1957. The tours to Bannerman Castle and Pollopel Island, led by docents Bannerman Castle Trust Inc., in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, will benefit the Trust’s ongoing preservation efforts. Untapped Cities offers two tours of Bannerman Island, an afternoon excursion at 3pm and a sunset excursion at 6pm.
- Explore the ruins of Bannerman Island, one of the Hudson Valley’s most storied locations
- Learn about the history of this unique island and the efforts to save the architecture, on a guided tour led by a docent of the Bannerman Castle Trust
- Step inside the recently stabilized Bannerman Garden and Residence
- See the remnants of the breakwater system that was built to allow for the docking of shipments
- Enjoy a scenic boat ride from Beacon to Bannerman Island
- Receive a downloadable high resolution picture of Bannerman Island (shown above but without the copyright) as a souvenir!
- Price:$72, includes tour admission + discounted round trip train ticket from Grand Central + boat ride to and from Bannerman Island + a downloadable high-res picture of Bannerman Island which you can print or use as a screen saver. If you choose this option, you have to travel with the group according to the schedule below.
- $50, includes tour admission + boat ride to and from Bannerman Island + a downloadable high-res picture of Bannerman Island which you can print or use as a screen saver. Train ticket not included in this option, you will have to organize your own transportation to Beacon where you will meet the rest of the group
- Meeting Location: Specific meeting location for both options ($72 and $50) will be emailed to you in the booking confirmation after you purchase a ticket for this tour.
- What to know: The tour is 2.5 hours long including the boat ride to and from Bannerman Island. The tour will happen rain or shine and there are no cancellations or refunds. Please note that on the day of the tour, we will just need your first and last name to check you in. The castle is not stabilized so the tour will take guests as close as possible to the structure as safety permits. We will, however, go inside the Bannerman Garden and Residence, which have been recently stabilized. This tour is not ADA compliant. Children are permitted but all children including babies are required to have a ticket as all passengers need to have a seat on the boat according to Coast Guard regulations. Strollers cannot be brought onto the island. There is no running water on the island but there are porta potties.
- Tour Schedule*:12:15pm: the group meets inside Grand Central Terminal (if you bought a train ticket through Untapped Cities)
- 12:45pm: train leaves Grand Central
- 2:16pm: train arrives in Beacon
- 2:30pm: guests who organized their own transportation to Beacon meet the rest of the group.
- 3pm: Scenic boat ride from Beacon to Bannerman Island
- 3:30pm to 5pm: Guided tour of Bannerman Island
- 5pm: boat ride back to Beacon
- 5:52pm: train leaves Beacon
- 7:14pm: train arrives in Grand Central
- What to wear:Wear comfortable closed-toe shoes. There is a 72-step climb from the dock to the start of the tour, there is a rest stop along the way. Some paths and trails may be steep.
PHOTOS OF THE TOUR:
*Should Metro North change train schedule, we will notify you by email prior to the tour.