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Bannerman Castle: A Treasure on the Hudson

Bannerman Castle



Bannerman Castle is undergoing restoration. Most of the castle is in ruins.

The History of Pollepel Island

Before Bannerman Castle was built, the island was used during the Revolutionary War to anchor one side of a series of defense logs to the other side of the Hudson River. These logs were designed in a way that they hoped would prevent the British from heading North. Unfortunately, this tactic did not work, but the island itself played a significant role in the war.

Mr. Bannerman bought the island in order to store surplus from his business. Because the supplies were military in nature, the island was a safe refuge to place these items. The arsenal was built first and later the castle. Mr. Bannerman designed the castle, but because he was not an architect, the walls were not built in 90-degree angles and have led to the reason for several collapses so far.

Taking a tour of Bannerman Castle has been the highlight of our Summer so far

Bannerman Castle is a historic structure located on a small island on the Hudson River. Full of wonder and history, this is a wonderful place to visit and tour

Beautiful in the Stone is seen throughout the tour of Bannerman Castle

Related Posts: 

More Photos of our Tour of the Bannerman Castle Grounds

Sunset View of the Hudson River from Bannerman Castle

Summit of Pollepel Island - the home of Bannerman Castle. Tours are offered during the warmer months

Bannerman Castle Ruins as seen from a Tour of the island. The views are stunning and the history of this island and castle are amazing

Sunset View of the Hudson River from the Bannerman Castle Garden. This castle is located on a small island on the Hudson River in the Hudson Valley

A Sunset view of the Hudson River from the Patio area of the Castle

At the Summit of Bannerman Island

At the Summit of Bannerman Island lies a post with a wonderful message

Interested in taking photos like the ones seen in this post?
Check out 7 of my Favorite iPhone Photography apps for helpful information. 

Upon approaching the conclusion of our tour, we realized that it was starting to rain and, boy did it rain… By the time we took the 20+ minute ride back to the Beacon dock, we were soaked through to our undies. This was not a bad thing and it only added to the evening and made this outing even more special.

I highly recommend that you make plans to tour Pollepel Island and Bannerman Castle. No matter how you get there (ferry or kayak), be prepared with enough space on your camera to take many, many photos. Ths outing combines the Best of History and Being Outdoors.

Hudson River from the ferry boat tour to Bannerman Island

Although the rain came, it made for a beautiful sunset

A Few Things to Know before visiting Pollepel Island/Bannerman Castle: 

  • This place is perfect for everyone: Friends, Couples, and Families with older children
  • The terrain and tour may be a little daunting for young children
  • Cost: Prices, at the time of this posting, are $35 for an adult $30 (children under 11 yrs) for a ferry ride and walking tour
  • Kayak and walking tours are priced by the individual touring companies
  • Parking can be found at the designated parking lots from each dock (Beacon & Newburgh) for ferry rides.
  • Kayak tours leave from Cornwall, Cold Spring, and Beacon
  • Pollepel Island and Bannerman Castle tours are only open seasonally
  • Special Events (Movies Nights on the Island, and Theatrical Events) take place throughout the season

For Additional & Updated Information, 
Visit their:

Website: www.bannermancastle.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BannermanCastleTrust

Until the Next Adventure…

Signature Blog



Bannerman Castle located in the Hudson Valley.
A visit to Bannerman Castle mini

Have you ever ridden on the Metro-North Hudson Line heading up to Poughkeepsie? Did you notice a beautiful castle on the Hudson between Breakneck Ridge and Beacon? It looks like a castle out of a fairy tale. If you have, then you’ve seen the majestic and monumental Bannerman Castle.

I’ve looked longingly at Bannerman Castle from my train seat many a time and dreamt of visiting this very interesting place. So when I found out that they offer seasonal tours, it only took me a matter of hours until I bought our tickets for a tour from Beacon, NY!

Where is Bannerman Castle & Pollepel Island Located?

On the Hudson River near Beacon, NY, lives Bannerman Castle on a little island called Pollepel. One way to get to this island is by taking a ferry from the Beacon Train Station or Newburgh Ferry landing.

Another way is by kayaking from Cornwall, Cold Spring and/or Beacon. The way you get there doesn’t matter because once you are there, the castle is breathtaking.

According to Wikipedia:

“The castle is currently the property of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and is mostly in ruins. While portions of the exterior walls still stand, all the internal floors and non-structural walls have since burned down. The island has been the victim of vandalism, trespass, neglect, and decay.”

Tours of Bannerman Island Occur Seasonally and should be on your list of things to do in the Hudson Valley.
Hudson River view while on Ferry to Bannerman Castle and Tour

Visiting Bannerman Castle

As previously stated, Bannerman Castle is accessible by ferry and kayak. Although we live closer to the Newburgh ferry dock, my hubby and I opted to take the ferry from Beacon because we bought tickets for the ‘Bannerman Island Guided Tour and Mini Hike to the Summit‘. This particular tour is not offered as often as the others and we were intrigued to see the Castle and the Summit all in one visit.

When taking the ferry, there are options for taking a Self-Guided tour or Guided Tour. Kayak tours are all guided tours. The island is open to the public seasonally from May through November. The tours are popular and there are often many people that make return visits to the island and castle.

Because Bannerman Castle is mostly in ruins, there is no entrance into the castle and the tour takes you around the perimeter of the castle and on the grounds. Although walking in and exploring is not possible, the ability to be so close to this amazing structure is just as good.

One wall bears the name “Bannerman’s Island Arsenal” and can be seen when approaching the island on water. (As seen in the second photo below).

Ferry boat ride to Pollepel Island and Bannerman Castle. The trip takes approximately 20 minutes from the docks at Beacon and Newburgh, NY
Bannerman Castle a majestic sight on the Hudson River. Easily seen from boats and a nearby commuter train, this Castle has always been the interest of locals and tourists.
Entering the grounds of Bannerman Castle.
Bannerman Castle is a wonderful photography moment and gets everyone very excited upon the approach

Bannerman Island Guided Tour and Mini Hike to the Summit

The evening of our tour was nothing short of extraordinary. We launched from Beacon at 6 pm and cruised down the Hudson River to Pollepel Island/Bannerman Castle. The evening started off lovely and we arrived without any problems. As we approached, the staff opened the gate that led us straight onto Pollepel Island.

Before we get to the part, let me tell you that seeing Bannerman Castle from the water is amazing. It is a completely different experience than seeing the castle from the train. Everyone on board enjoyed taking so many photographs and as you approach the island, one could better see the sheer size of this fortress.

Bannerman Castle sits in the Hudson River and is full of history. You can take a ferry from Beacon or Newburgh and take a guided or self-guided tour of the castle and surrounding property.

Upon arriving at the island and climbing the steps onto the first landing, the tour began. The tour guides are friendly and knowledgeable. The first piece of information that struck me is that the purpose of the castle and the arsenal was for Mr. Bannerman’s military surplus that he sold in his business.

During the tour, one can see the outer walls of the castle remains. Some pieces of the walls are propped up with steel rods. It is amazing to hear how the Bannerman family lived and what they created on this almost 7-acre island. Part of the tour is also taking a stroll through the Bannerman Castle garden. The brilliant views of the Hudson River from the gardens takes your breath away.

Bannerman Castle Tour begins on one side of the island. The tour offers information on the history of the island, castle and Bannerman family.
Tour Guides offer great information regarding Bannerman Castle on Pollepel Island. These special Hudson Valley tours are offered seasonally.

This particular tour takes you along a rocky path and up to the summit of Pollepel Island. As the sun had started to set, it was the perfect place to take amazing photos of the Hudson River and landscape beyond. The majority of the visitors took out their cameras and/or phones to take a shot of this beautiful evening.

About Author

Jackie is the HV blogger behind Hudson Valley Exposed, featuring the hottest things to do, places to see and weekend getaways. Get information from a local who is seeing it all! She lives in the Mid-Hudson Valley Region with her hubby, kids, and doggies.


  • Sarah
    November 28, 2018 at 10:03 AM

    It has always been a dream of mine to visit this beautiful, deserted castle. You pictures make me want to go even more! I would be traveling from PA. Is there an area you can recommend to stay overnight that has some things to do? Then we could wake up and take the ferry to the island and make a weekend trip of it.

    • Jackie
      November 28, 2018 at 10:19 AM

      Hi Sarah! Yes, I would recommend you stay in Beacon, NY or anywhere near the surrounding area. There are great restaurants and galleries in Beacon. Another Tip: Beacon holds special events EVERY Second Saturday of the month. This would be an ideal time to book your trip so you can take advantage of all the great things Beacon has to offer. 😀

      • Sarah
        December 4, 2018 at 8:11 AM

        Great advice! I plan to check it out once the weather warms up a bit. Thank you for the tips!

        • Jackie
          December 4, 2018 at 3:59 PM

          Of Course!!! I’m always happy to help!


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