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What you need to know for 01/19/2017

There are lakes, with sandy beaches, out there waiting for you this summer

Summer Days

There are lakes, with sandy beaches, out there waiting for you this summer

We New Yorkers lay claim to precious little coastline, but the upstate region has the next-best thin
There are lakes, with sandy beaches, out there waiting for you this summer
Million Dollar Beach in Lake George.

We New Yorkers lay claim to precious little coastline, but the upstate region has the next-best thing: cool, clear lakes.

True, lakes differ from ocean beaches; you can’t just pull up anywhere along the shore and plunge an umbrella into the sand. Perhaps it’s part of the charm of upstate lakes that their shorelines feature thick forests and rock formations. But in some spots, there’s sand as well as water. So pack the buckets and shovels, and head out to the beach.

Here are a few local sandy beaches, all within driving distance of the Capital Region.

• Million Dollar Beach, Lake George, Warren County

Cost: $10 per vehicle; Hours: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Why do even the fussiest swimmers love this beach? First, the sand, thick, soft and mixed with small shells. Second, the water, which is clean and clear. Third, the view: You look north from the bottom of this 32-mile-long lake, which is surrounded by wooded mountains.

If that’s not enough, there’s a snack bar and sandy volleyball courts, not to mention a changing pavilion with hot showers.

• Moreau Lake, Moreau Lake State Park, Moreau, Saratoga County

Cost: $8 per vehicle; Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Deep in the hardwood forests, the park offers a beach, but mainly draws campers. Come for a rustic, quiet setting, the nearby nature trails and the sand. You can rent lounge chairs, umbrellas and fishing gear at the beach.

• Long Beach, Grafton Lakes State Park, Cropseyville, Rensselaer County

Cost: $8 per vehicle; Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Attend yoga classes on the sand at Long Beach on summer Saturdays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. ($12 per class). If you tire of swimming or relaxing on the quarter-mile-long beach, you can rent a rowboat, canoe or kayak.

• Thompson’s Lake Beach, Thacher State Park, Voorheesville, Albany County

Cost: $7 per vehicle; Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Every Saturday at 8 p.m., an outdoor movie plays on a screen in the softball field, just two minutes walking distance from the beach.

• Northampton Beach (Great Sacandaga Lake), Mayfield, Fulton County

Cost: $10 per vehicle, Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

You can camp here or go fishing, rent a rowboat or kayak, rent a pavilion for a family reunion or take advantage of the hiking trails. Or you can park your umbrella and picnic basket in the sand, spread a blanket and spend a day relaxing on the beach.

• Black River Pond, Cherry Plain State Park, Cherry Plain, Rensselaer County

Cost: $8 per vehicle; Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Volleyball nets, basketball courts, kayak and rowboat rentals, horseshoe pits, shore fishing access and hiking trails provide plenty of distractions near Black River Pond. Or just enjoy the water. These warm days won’t last forever.

Have a favorite beach? Let us know about it. Share your ideas for Summer Days at www.dailygazette.com/summerdays or features@dailygazette.net.

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