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An Abandoned Castle Near NYC

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Bannerman Is this Fall’s Must-Go Excursion

With the leaves beginning to turn, fall is the perfect time to day trip upstate and admire the foliage. While you’re at it, why not explore the ruins of an abandoned castle?

Fifty miles north of NYC, Bannerman Castle sits alone on an island surrounded by wild flowers. With the Hudson as its moat, its turrets are visible from afar. This castle belonged to Francis Bannerman, a wealthy arms dealer looking for a summer home and a place to store weapons. The isolation of the island appealed to him because storing gunpowder in Manhattan was seen as, well, dangerous. Rightfully so: in 1920, the powder storage facility at Bannerman Castle blew up. That accident, along with a fire in the 1960s, left the building in its current evocative, ruined state.

Today, kayak tours allow you to reach the island and hiking tours let you explore; trespassers will be given a ticket (which costs more than the price of entry, so be careful). Try to time your visit with sunset for a gorgeous view over the water, and why not stay after dark, too? The place offers the perfect location for an events’ series, which features movie screenings and plays. In the past, these have included Psycho and House of Wax.