-- Last Updated: Jun-28-13 8:42 PM EST --
I can't believe I forgot to post this in my other response. I paddle at the Orchard Beach / Pelham Bay Park put-in regularly. It is used almost daily by single sculls and rowing crews, and is a great place for rowers.
In fact, the lagoon was dredged to function as the venue for Olympic Trials in 1964. There's still a viewing tower at the south end of the lagoon, by the finish line. Single scullers row down from the NY Athletic Club which has a dock about 2 clicks north, also from Glen Island which also has a shell-friendly dock. The interior waterway extends north to Titus Millpond in New Rochelle.
On Thursday I saw 2 osprey (one with a fish), a red-tailed hawk, 20-30 great egret, a great blue heron, many ducks and a couple of sea birds I didn't recognize diving for fish, not to mention a few turtles and some horseshoe crabs --- not bad for the city.
Google map these coordinates for the put-in: 40.872199,-73.797297
Parking is $7, but worth it, it's safe and there's almost never anyone parked by the launch.
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