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Iona Island

Iona Island marsh in the fall

Iona Island is located in Bear Mountain State Park on the east side of Route 9W in the Town of Stony Point in Rockland County, six miles south of West Point. Iona Island is a bedrock island in the midst of the Hudson Highlands, bordered to the west and the southwest by Salisbury and Ring Meadows, two large tidal marshes, the mouth of Doodletown Bight, an expanse of shallows and mudflats. A separate island, Round Island, was attached to the South end of Iona Island with fill in the early 20th century. The marshes and shallows occupy one mile between Iona Island and the west shore. In addition to being part of the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve, Iona Island and its associated tidal wetlands have been designated a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service.

The area of Iona Island is comprised of brackish intertidal mudflats, brackish tidal marsh, freshwater tidal marsh and deciduous forested uplands. Doodletown Brook is the principal tributary to the site, draining approximately 2.9 square miles. The Iona Island component encompasses 556 acres. The marsh at Iona Island can be viewed along the causeway (off Route 9W), accessible by car or on foot.

What you can do

  • Download a map of Iona Island (PDF, 2 MB) to see parking areas, information kiosks, scenic overlooks and more.

View the Island and Marsh: Excellent views of Iona Island can be seen from a number of vantage points, notably the overlook across the river on Route 6/202, which has parking for at least 15 cars. Several overlooks within Bear Mountain State Park also offer splendid views of Iona Island and its marshes. Lands west of the railroad crossing are accessible and offer limited views of the marsh.

People canoeing in the marsh at Iona

Boat the Marsh: Free public canoe programs are available in the summer, but there is not public canoeing or kayaking allowed in the marshes surrounding Iona Island.

Observe Wildlife: Iona Island Marsh is a great place to watch wildlife. A variety of waterfowl, wetland birds, deer, muskrats, turtles, frogs, fish and crabs call the marsh their home. Bald eagles may roost on the island in the winter, and can be viewed from the overlook on Route 6/202 across the river.

Directions

Iona Island is accessible by car via a two-lane causeway from Route 9W across Salisbury Meadow. This is on west side of Hudson River, just south of Bear Mountain Bridge. Travel to Bear Mountain traffic circle and turn right onto 9W south. About one mile south of turn-off for Bear Mountain Inn, the road flattens out. Look for and make left-hand turn onto Iona Island Causeway. This road cuts directly through tidal wetlands. Drive about ½ mile. There is parking just before railroad tracks near kiosk.

Rules and Regulations

Life in the marsh is fragile. Visitors are encouraged to use this area with minimal disturbance to life in the marsh and associated natural areas. Please carry out what you carry in.

  • High speed trains are a serious hazard. Trespassing on railroad tracks or bridges is prohibited. Visitors are not allowed to cross the railroad tracks.
  • Hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, fires, removal of plants, or collecting historic or prehistoric artifacts is not permitted.