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Location: Madam Brett Park, Beacon, Dutchess county
WalkRequires excessive walkingRiverViews of the Hudson or other rivers

Madam Brett Park hugs Fishkill Creek, which played a prominent role in Beacon's development. Along it stood a gristmill owned by the park's namesake Catheryna Rombout Brett (1687-1764), the first European settler in the present-day city. The mill was an important gathering place for farmers and Native Americans inhabiting both shores of the Hudson River hereabouts. In the 1800s, the creek powered a profusion of hat factories (including the Tioronda Hat Works, located in the brick building adjacent to the park), which earned Beacon the nickname "New York's Hat-Making Capital."

Today the park provides a perfect place to explore the ecology of a vital Hudson River tributary and the tidal wetland at its mouth. Fishkill Marsh supports an extraordinary variety of wildlife. It furnishes a home for amphibians and aquatic mammals, including muskrats; serves as a hunting ground for ospreys, bald eagles and other raptors; and is a stopover for migratory birds. A boardwalk and observation platforms afford up-close discoveries of these and other creatures. A waterfall at the park's eastern end is especially impressive and raucous in spring or after heavy rains.

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