West Point is a beautiful place to be at year-round, but summer along the Hudson River is a particularly beautiful time to be on and around campus. There are mandatory assignments cadets must do over the summer months to prepare for graduation, including Cadet Basic Training, known as "Beast Barracks", Cadet Field Training at Camp Buckner, CLDT, and the must-do Leadership Detail. With that said, there are a fair share of activities in the area to enjoy should you find time to stay around campus. Take a look at six must-try things to do during the summer around West Point, New York:
1. Run anywhere: Located directly on the Hudson River, West Point is surrounded by breathtaking running trails and views. Since every cadet is an athlete, you’ll often see them running around campus, West Point, and throughout the Garrison. Choose to log miles on your own around campus, or participate in one of the local races. Top picks include the West Point Half Marathon in March, dedicated to those members of the Long Gray Line whom have gone to war and made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as the Storm King Run in August, which hosts a 10K, 5K, and 1-mile fun run concluding at West Point’s Washington Gate.
2. Take in a game: The West Point Athletics program includes 24 intercollegiate teams for men and women, a competitive club sports program, and intramurals. Among the summer favorites include outdoor track, lacrosse, baseball, and softball. Little known fact about West Point: their rifle team, which is co-ed, has been no. 1 in the nation for the last 5 years.
3. Attend Summer Leaders Seminar: For high school juniors who are thinking of attending West Point, the Summer Leaders Seminar (SLS) is a great opportunity to find out what life is like as a cadet and what it takes to become a leader. Generally the two one-week SLS sessions take place in the first two weeks of June, with approximately 1000 students attending. On average, 4,000 students apply to the program, with acceptance depending on a few factors including grade point average, college entrance exam scores, and class rank. Once the students graduate from SLS they receive an admissions packet from the Directorate of Admissions, and for the past few years about 50 percent of those who completed the seminar attended West Point. Note: The application process occurs at the same time as the college admission process, but is seperate. So be sure to apply for both!
4. Hit the links: Open to the public, the West Point Golf Course is nestled in the Hudson Valley just north of the Bear Mountain Bridge. An 18-hold challenge on a mountain layout, the grounds are well-maintained, complete with historic markings. With wide fairways and fast greens, the West Point Golf Course is fun and challenging for amateurs and pros alike. An ideal time to learn about American History is while golfing, so the first hole’s tee marker reflects upon the American Revolution, the last two holes reflect on Iraq and Afghanistan, and all of the others reflect on everything between. Once you’re done crushing the course, head on over to the Club House for lunch. Our pick is the combustion cheeseburger or BBQ bullseye chicken sandwich!
5. Check out Storm King Art Center: A 500-acre outdoor museum located a short drive from campus, the Storm King Art Center is host to large-scale sculpture and site-specific commissions under open skies. They offer an array of public programming, including outdoor concerts and performances, yoga classes, beekeeper tours, and moonlit walking tours. Visitors can also rent a bike for $10/hour to cruise around the grounds.
6. Check out Constitution Island: Founded in 1916, Constitution Island is located on the east side of the Hudson River directly opposite of USMA. Each summer, the Constitution Island Association offers walking tours of its grounds, including impressive gardens and fortifications, and the historic Warner House. Visitors can travel to the island by boat at West Point's South Dock. Suggested donation is $15 for adults.