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Hidden Gems of Rockland and Bergen Counties

Hidden Gems of Rockland and Bergen Counties

Five best-kept secrets of Rockland and Bergen counties

While making the trek into New York City is worth it, sometimes we don’t want to venture too far from home. For a little fun in our area, we found a few hidden gems in Rockland and Bergen counties to add to your summer scavenger hunt.

Explore a “ghost town” in Bear Mountain State Park.

Lived in continuously from circa 1762 to 1965, the hamlet of Doodletown was abandoned in the ’60s after a long period of land acquisition by the Palisades Interstate Parks Commission, which had planned to build a cross-country ski network on the land. The project never progressed, and Doodletown is now a town of ruins you can explore, from cemeteries and church/school ruins to a swimming hole and roads that are said to have been used by the British in 1777. 

See wild monk parakeets.

You don’t have to schlep into Brooklyn to see wild monk parakeets, as some live in Bergen County, NJ, and have been spotted in Edgewater, Leonia, Englewood, Cliffside Park, and Palisades. Though in New Jersey, you won’t find an informational tour.

Snap a photo with the original fearless woman.

Rosie the Riveter, who has become an iconic symbol of women’s achievements, stands in bronze in Wood-Ridge, NJ. During World War II, more than 6 million women went to work in plants that produced munitions and other war supplies. The Curtiss-Wright facility, also in Wood-Ridge at the height of the war, employed many women during the war, producing engines that powered aircrafts. Rosie the Riveter is located at 100 Rosie Square, Wood-Ridge, NJ.   

Bask in the glow of fluorescent minerals.

Did you know that some minerals found in the area glow in the dark? While the Franklin Mineral Museum is almost an hour drive from Rockland and Bergen counties, we didn’t want to leave its fluorescent minerals off this list. The 32-foot-long display features hand-sized to large specimens of local fluorescent minerals that glow in hues of red, blue, green, orange, and yellow under ultraviolet light. Franklin Mineral Museum is located at 32 Evans St., Franklin, NJ.

Watch the progress of the New NY Bridge.

Do you have a little engineer who is curious about the New NY Bridge? Do you wonder how the bridge has progressed since work started in 2015? Head to the fishing pier in Nyack’s Memorial Park to get a view of the action. The platform features viewing scopes and informational panels, including a spotter’s guide that identifies different equipment being used. Plus, see if you can spot the peregrine falcons that reside on the current Tappan Zee Bridge.

Main image: After sections of structural steel are anchored to the main span towers of the New NY Bridge, workers installed precast concrete panels to create the bridge deck.
New York State Thruway Authority


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Katelin Walling

Author: Katelin Walling is the former editorial director for NYMetroParents. She has been writing about parenting, health, finance, education, fun things to do in NYC and the surrounding area, and more for nearly 10 years. She also has 20+ years of child care experience and was a babysitter in NYC for 8 years. Katelin graduated from the University of Maine in 2011 and attended the NYU Summer Publishing Institute during the summer of 2011. To unplug in her free time, she can often be found reading, knitting (or general crafting), or whipping up a vegan treat—all with a cup of coffee nearby. See More

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