Located in Cortlandt Manor, Pine Lake Park is an affordable summer retreat, a mere stone’s throw from Queens. It’s a vibrant, bucolic place, where people from diverse backgrounds play tennis, fish, hike and bike from May to October each year.
The 65-unit, 50-acre summer community is situated around a well-maintained lake, and while it’s less than an hour from NYC, it feels like a different world. Owners and a few lucky renters create their own retro camp experience. Not only can the kids enjoy a “free-range” summer full of swimming at the life-guarded lake and outdoor playtime surrounded by lush, green nature, adults enjoy tennis, softball, hiking, biking, and dancing in an old fashioned social hall.
On Saturday afternoons, the grown-ups get together for a half-court pick-up basketball game, which, for the regulars, is kind of a big deal. According to long-time Pine Laker Ken Katz, “every Saturday, somewhere between 12 and 20 people show up.” The game, first played in the summer 1952 when Ken’s dad Jack was a counselor at Camp Pine Lake Park, is a good combination of “competitive ball mixed with some humor and camaraderie,” he explains. But don’t let the bucolic, jovial nature of the game fool you.
Like many pick-up games run by grown-up kids from the boroughs, relatives or not, you’ll need to bring your A game. And some Band-Aids.
On the other “courts,” tennis players of all levels (toddler to 4.5 senior Masters) take full advantage of four red clay courts.
Pine Lake Park is looking for a few new people to join the 85-year-old community — first as renters and then hopefully as owners of their own one- to three-bedroom unit, each with a private deck. Rentals start at $2,500/month or $6,000 for the summer. There’s a renovated unit for sale for $67,000 and most are under $100K.
The social hall is the focal point for planned evening activities on weekends. This soaring, rustic space hosts prominent speakers, free professional entertainment on Saturday evenings, game nights, special events, and movies under the stars. There is a communal beach BBQ. The area offers hiking and biking on nearby trails and easy access to Westchester’s many cultural institutions, including the arts meccas of Peekskill and Cold Spring. Or not. Your deck is serene and your hammock beckons.