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Iona Island Marsh, as
well as one of the best birding spots in the Hudson
Valley, has also been designated as a Registered Natural
Landmark. It is one of the few remaining brackish
water estuaries on the Hudson River.
Located just south of
the Bear Mountain Bridge along Route 9W, past the
Bear Mountain State Park Visitor Center, Iona Island
Marsh is a quiet backwater, sleepily swaying in the
summer breezes. Vast stands of cattails and other
marsh reeds protect the fry of some of the most important
game species of fish found in the Hudson. Kingfishers
and cranes dive and stalk their prey through the reeds
and . Puffy clouds lazily float across the
bright blue sky with the Bear Mountain Bridge in the
background to the north.
It's a pleasant and very
short drive down the road, through the marsh, to the
gates of the Iona Island Naval Station, now closed
to the public. If you've a NY State Fishing License,
bring your pole and your bait and spend a quiet and
lazy summer afternoon. Or just come out and walk the
road, watch the birds angling for a meal, the hawks
gliding through the sky and the songbirds scurrying
about raising their brood.