Lake Ontario beach at independence Park in Scriba, NY
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Location / Directions / Maps

Location: On Lake Ontario; east of Oswego; town of Scriba; Oswego County; New York.

Maps: Google MapTopographic; Interactive map

GPS Coordinates:

  • Parking: N 43.50226 / W 76.44856
  • Beach: N 43.50055 / W 76.45687

Directions: From Oswego, head east on NY-104 to E 10th St and make a left. After 2 blocks turn right to head east on E Seneca St (CR-1).
Follow CR-1 for 1. miles and make a left onto Rikers Beach Rd. Follow it almost o the end, where a small gravel parking lot will be in the woods to your left. Look for the sign that says “Park closes at dark.”

Or use Google Maps.

Parking: There’s a small gravel parking lot off of Rikers Beach Rd. It’s in a wooded area and has room for about 5 cars, if people don’t park like jerks.



The beach at Independence Park in Scriba, NY

Information / Accessibility / Accommodations

Typical Seasons/Hours: Year-round, daylight hours.

Admission: Free.

Best time to visit: Spring through fall. The park tends to see more traffic in the summer. In the off season, you may be the only one there.

Time: An hour or more.

Handicap accessibility: This is one of the few nature parks that features a wheelchair-accessible trail. The trail starts from the parking area and spans the length of the park to a bench looking out over the beach.

Pets: Allowed in the park and walkways when on a leash.

Swimming: Swimming is not allowed or recommended at this park. The closest public beach for people looking to cool off will be to the west at Fair Haven Beach State Park to the west or Mexico Point Park to the east.

Boat launch and facilities: Wright’s Landing Marina has two concrete ramps, a one-ton hoist, pump out station, restrooms & showers. There are slips for 223 vessels. Hand-launch craft can also be launched from the Marina.

Fishing: You can fish from the shoreline.

Camping: There are no camping facilities along the lake here. Camping is available to the west at Sunset RV Park or Fair Haven State Park.

Accommodations: Trails, fishing, birdwatching. No restrooms.

A downed tree on the beach at independence park in Scriba, NY


A hidden gem just east of Oswego, Independence Park in Scriba, NY, is a charming and tranquil community nature park that offers visitors a delightful blend of natural beauty and a network of leisurely trails. Nestled along the picturesque shores of Lake Ontario, the park provides a serene escape with its expansive woodland abutting right up to the lake, well-maintained walking trails (including a fully wheelchair accessible one), and occasional bench to relax in. The park barely appears on maps, at least at the time of this writing, and appears to be relatively unknown outside of the immediate area. This makes it a great getaway for those looking for a peaceful walk or to relax on the stone beach and listen to the waves.

When we visited in lake summer of 2023, we found we were the only ones in the park. it was clean, quiet, and despite the marsh to the south mostly void of insects. The hike to the lake was brief, but very enjoyable. The woodland here is lush, but not intimidating, and the trails, which are well cared-for, made the journey to the lake, and easy one.  Much of the beach near the water was covered in a thick coating of bright green algae, typically a sign of too many nutrients in the water. Otherwise, the water was clean, clear and the beach’s large flat stones made it easy to traverse and invigorating to explore. Trees grow out of rocky shoreline, providing ample shade to sit and relax on a hot summer day, and those that have fallen provide visual interest to landscape photos.

Overall, I found this park to be a worthy stop in the Oswego area. It’s easy to access, peaceful, and in many ways is a unique way to spend time at the lake away from the crowds.

Algae-covered rocks on the lake ontario beach at independence park


German immigrant George Ludwig Christian Scriba ran a successful banking business in New York city. In 1974, he purchased approximately 500,000 acres of land, spanning portions of Oneida and Oswego Counties in north-central New York State, for $80,000. He invested heavily in, traying to build two great cities within the tract: New Rotterdam and Vera Cruz. He even relocated from Manhattan to New Rotterdam (present day Constantia) and build himself a luxurious lake house on Oneida Lake. He ended up going bankrupt, but kept and lived in this lake house into his 80s.

An old concrete platform leading into Lake Ontario at independence Park

Hiking / Walking Trails

Difficulty: Easy. the trails here are well-marked and maintained. Level boardwalks take visitors over any muddy terrain. The beach has large flat rocks that may be difficult to traverse for some.

Distance: There are just under a mile and a half of trails in total. For our recommended hike, from the parking area to the beach, it’s about a half-mile one way.

Markings: Large wood gates, a dirt trail and boardwalks.

Description: Our recommended hike is along the Wildlife Run trail (marked in RED on the map below). this leads directly from the parking lot to the beach. For some variety upon your return, take the Woodlands Trail (GREEN) as part of your way back. The red trail is wheelchair accessible. The green trail is not.

  1. From the parking area, you’ll see the Woodlands Trail gate. Walk through it and continue on the trail
  2. Keep on this trail as you pass two forks.
  3. You will then pass two benches and at 1/3 of a mile you’ll be at Ferguson Beach Road.
  4. Cross the road to and continue the trail on the other side.
  5. At about a half of a mile you’ll come to a picnic table and a clearing that reveals the lake.

Maps: See the interactive map below.

Independence park trail

Oswego Waterfront Interactive Map


You can fish from the shoreline.

A downed tree on the beach at independence park in scriba, ny
Lake Ontario Parks and Beaches Guides.

More Lake Ontario Parks & Beaches

Find a new summer hangout spot or place to swim in our comprehensive guide to Lake Ontario Parks and Beaches in New York State.

Interesting Stuff

Oswego Harborfest

This festival runs the last weekend of July and features food and craft vendors, musical performances, a midway, and a spectacular fireworks display over the lake. An average of 75,000 people come to the ‘fest each year.

Breitbeck Park & Oswego Waterfront

Breitbeck Park is a beautiful centerpiece to the historic Oswego Waterfront. An ideal place for walking, the waterfront is filled with as much history as it is scenic views.

Fort Ontario State Historic Site

This American historic bastion site is located on the other side of the river and features some original structures, recreations of period fort rooms, demonstrations, recreations, and fantastic views of  Lake Ontario.

A downed tree on the beach at independence park in Scriba, NY

Photography Tips


  • The marsh is a nice spot to find frogs. Take the Marsh and Woodland trails to find them.

More tips

Plant found along the trail at independence park in scriba, NY

Who to Contact

Oswego City-County Youth Bureau/Parks and Recreation
May-November call 315-349-3241