Harvest Moon Beach Fire


On Sunday evening, September 23, the staff of the Palisades Interstate Park in New Jersey will invite the public to join them at a riverside fire on one of the park’s old bathing beaches on the Hudson. The fire will take place in front of Alpine Pavilion at Alpine Picnic Area and Boat Basin from 6 to 9 PM. All are welcome to come to the informal program, and to bring a chair or blanket to sit on — and some refreshments to enjoy. Guitars or other instruments are also welcome.

The fire will be too large and hot for cooking marshmallows, but a second, smaller fire will be set up for that purpose.

Algonquin Indians and American colonists called the full moon closest to the Autumnal equinox the “Harvest Moon” because it occurs near the peak of the harvest, allowing farmers to work into the night by the light of the moon. Corn, squash, such as pumpkins, and beans — the “three sisters” of the Native American harvest — are ready for gathering around this time. The full moon should be visible by a little before 7 o’clock as it rises above the hills across the river at Yonkers. High tide will occur near the time the program ends — and will help the staff to safely clean the remains of the fire from the riverbank.

The area is accessible from the park’s Alpine entrance at Alpine Approach Road, off U.S. Route 9W about half a mile north of Closter Dock Road, or from the Palisades Interstate Parkway at Exit 2. (Click here for detailed directions.) A flashlight is recommended for the walk from the parking area to the beach and back (about 200 yards each way). Restrooms are available near the site of the fire. For additional information about the program, or to confirm if weather seems questionable, visitors can call 201-768-1360 ext. 108.

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