ince that first sunny
September day in 1609 when Henry Hudson sailed his
ship of discovery, the Half Moon, north up the mighty
river from the harbor, the Hudson River has been a
place of exploration, transportation and recreation.
First a pathway into the continent the river evolved
into the most important commercial highway into the
heart of America.
At first the only highway
north and south, the Hudson was the primary route
for passengers up to Albany and beyond. Late in the
19th century dozens of steamers provided transportation
and pleasure as they raced between New York City and
Albany. Excursions on the Hudson became a pleasure
ride, one of scenic beauty and tranquil afternoons.
The spectacular scenery of the Hudson and its valley
are best seen from the deck of a boat amid the waters
of the river.
The 20th century brought
the advent of pleasure boating and in the long tradition
of the river, the Hudson became one of the most pleasurable
of locales for the sport. Both for natural scenery
and natural resources, the Hudson provides the full
gamut of possibilities for the boater. Businesses
and villages up and down the river cater to the boater,
providing services and access, tie-ups & facilities
to make your day, weekend or longer trip both fun
Long famous as a fishery,
the Hudson is world renowned for its Shad and especially
Striped Bass. Early Spring brings a flotilla of pleasure
craft onto the river chasing one of the most impressive
game fish around. The "stripers" of the
Hudson average in the 20 pound range, but can soar
to over 40 pounds easily. As the fish migrate north
to spawn, the pleasure craft follow. Starting in March
around the Tappan Zee, the season peaks in mid-April
with the Hudson River Fishing Derby. By late April
and May, the stripers are well up the river to Catskill
reaching the Troy Dams by the end of May.
No matter what your goal,
a lazy afternoon motoring through the splendor of
the Hudson Highlands or chasing after the elusive
giant Stripper, the river affords a myriad of locations
and resources to meet your pleasure boating desires.
So pull your boat out of storage, find a marina or
public boat ramp and spend a day or longer plying
the mythic waters of the Hudson River. You'll have
the time of your life and be glad you did!
Located roughly from just
south of Albany up to the falls at the Troy Dam, this
area of the Hudson provides pleasure boaters with
a unique section of the river. The islands of the
Hudson abound with parks and preserves insuring preservation
of the river's natural beauty. From this section of
the river you can head into the Mohawk and aim for
the Erie Canal or through the locks and up to the
Lake Champlain area.
For the river tourist,
the Albany area has many things to see and do. Visit
the USS Slater, the State Capital or any of several
extraordinary art and culture museums. In Troy, walk
the streets of a nearly perfectly preserved Victorian
City, visit the Herman Melville house, take the Tiffany
Stained Glass Walk or laze at one of the many sidewalk
From Castleton down to
Saugerties, the river takes on a lazy slow pace. The
valley is broad and flat, bordered on the west by
the misty Catskills and away to the east by the Taconic
and Berkshire Mountains. Both banks are dotted with
small hamlets and mid-river are many sand bars and
alluvial islands. At Castleton-on-Hudson is one of
New York's newest state parks encompassing a large
sand deposit that has evolved into a permanent island.
It's undeveloped and natural but provides an excellent
day use anchorage.
Spend a day at Hudson
investigating one of the largest and most important
antique centers in the Northeast. Across the river,
tie up at Athens and spend a delightful evening enjoying
Shakespeare under the stars. If you're lucky, you will
arrive during one of the scheduled visit days to the
Hudson-Athens Lighthouse. Just south of Hudson is Olana,
the queen of the Hudson River estates. Home of Frederic
Church, world famous Hudson River School painter, Olana
is perched high atop a hill with a commanding view of
the river and valley.
Arrive in Catskill, home
of Rip Van Winkle, at Dutchman's Landing on Market
Day and stock up with the freshest produce the Valley
has to offer. Arrange for a car and take a day trip
up into the Catskills. Hike to Kaaterskill Falls and
slumber in the mist and mystery with Rip.
In Saugerties your choices
for tie-ups are numerous on the Esopus Creek. At the
mouth of the creek is the lighthouse, open to the
public daily and a very active Bed & Breakfast.
Limited day use dockage is available with advance
notice at the lighthouse. Venture into Saugerties
and explore the art galleries and antique shops. Savor
the delights of some of the best restaurants in the
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South of Saugerties
down to just above Newburgh, the nature of the river
is a bit narrower, hills and bluffs rise from the banks
and the current quickens a bit. Lying within this section
of the river the great and powerful 19th century barons
of industry created their Great Estates and country
homes. On both sides of the river, but mostly on the
east bank, they erected massive homes, created romantic
landscapes and pursued the country life. The Vanderbilts
and Roosevelts settled in Hyde Park while the Livingstons
and their kin continued to develop their vast holdings
to the north in Dutchess County.
New York's first Capital, is an old and historic town.
Very friendly, Kingston welcomes boaters to many marinas
and facilities both on the river and on the Rondout
Creek. The section of the city on the Rondout, originally
the terminus of the D&H Canal and an industrial
and commercial powerhouse, is a walking hamlet, filled
with interesting shops, museums and great eateries.
Up in the Stockade, the old town, you can walk the
historic trail exploring the colonial stone homes,
the Senate House and later 19th century urban development.
As you pass Hyde Park,
visit the mansions and explore FDR's Presidential
Library. Grab a cab and make a visit to Val Kill,
Eleanor Roosevelts private domain. In Poughkeepsie
attend a performance at the Bardavon Opera House and
have a memorable meal at the Culinary Institute of
America overlooking the Hudson between Hyde Park and
HERE FOR A COMPLETE RIVER RESOURCE SUMMARY
At Newburgh the river
widens for a moment before it plunges into the imposing
North Gate of the Hudson Highlands. Newburgh has spent
millions redeveloping its waterfront at Newburgh Landing
where restaurants line the quay and you can tie up and
enjoy the food and drink. Across the river is Beacon,
a newly "discovered" town. In Beacon, Dia,
one of the most important contemporary arts museums
in New York City has opened its largest and most impressive
location. Easily accessible from the riverfront and
several marinas on the bank, Dia takes you into the
world of the arts. Vast galleries containing dizzying
masterpieces of contemporary art await for you to experience
below Beacon on the east bank lies Denning Point State
Park. Fairly undeveloped, it provides excellent protected
anchorage between the point and the east bank. On
the west bank just above the North Gate is Cornwall-on-Hudson,
a charming little vest pocket village with some marina
activity below their Riverfront Park. Cornwall-on-Hudson
is the perfect jumping off point for exploring the
majestic riverscape of the Hudson Highlands.
HERE FOR A COMPLETE RIVER RESOURCE SUMMARY
The Hudson Highlands
lie between the mountains at the southern end of the
Newburgh Bays, known as the North Gate, south to the
precipitous mountain pass at Peekskill, the South Gate.
In this dramatic section the river cuts directly through
the Appalachian Mountains as they rise directly from
the narrowing river on both banks, the current quickens
and the river reaches it deepest points. The Highlands
are a dramatic landscape, steeped in lore and history.
The Highlands were fought over in the American Revolution
and formed the hub around which General George Washington
formed his strategy. The center of the wheel was West
Point, now the United States Military Academy at West
Point. The point forms a double 90 degree dog-leg around
which any flotilla had to navigate through swift changing
currents and unpredictable winds. Numerous redoubts
and forts protected the southern approaches to the point
atop the high bluffs commanding the river on both banks.
At the North
Gate, seemingly guarding the northern entrance to the
Highlands is Bannerman's Castle on Pollepel Island.
Long abandoned and crumbling, the structure was a ammunitions
dump created after the Civil War for a dealer in military
surplus out of Brooklyn. Navigate around the island
but don't land as the structures are in a dangerous
state if disrepair.
Spring is north of West Point and provides multiple
opportunities to enjoy the village from the banks.
Short term tie-ups are available at the village waterfront
allowing you access to one of the most charming villages
in the Hudson Valley. Filled with quaint shops and
excellent cafes and restaurants, Cold Spring is a
place to see. Across from West Point is Garrison,
another potential day stop. From Garrison, West Point
looms up from across the river.
In these dangerous times,
be aware that there are restrictions on approaching
or accessing West Point from the river. You will probably
be politely warned away, but run the risk of stronger
actions depending on the state of the world and the
anxiety of the officials.
Bear Mountain State Park
is located just north of the South Gate on the west
bank. Formerly part of the Harriman Estate and donated
to the State of New York in one of the opening gambits
of the environmental movement, the park provides seemingly
endless opportunities to hike the mountains and trails
of the lower Highlands. The first segment of the Appalachian
Trail, now stretching from Maine to Georgia, was created
at Bear Mountain. In addition to hiking, Bear Mountain
State Park provides all manner of recreational possibilities
from swimming to biking to fairs & festivals and
excellent ice skating in the winter months. Just below
Bear Mountain is the Iona Marsh, the northernmost
remaining brackish water estuary marsh on the lower
Just below the South Gate
be aware that Indian Point Nuclear Electric Generation
Plant is located on the eastern shore, at the lower
reaches of Peekskill Bay. This is a highly restricted
area and should be avoided if you want to not experience
the nervous anxiety of local, state and federal authorities.
|The Tappan Zee
HERE FOR A COMPLETE RIVER RESOURCE SUMMARY
Stretching from below
Peekskill to just above the George Washington Bridge,
this section of the river, named the Tappan Zee, is
where the mighty Hudson stretches its shoulders to
its widest point, nearly 4 miles wide at Haverstraw.
Here the river becomes an estuary flowing in both
directions with the tides. Tidal marshes line the
western shore below Piermont and the historic rivertowns
of Westchester line the eastern shore.
"The Big House",
Sing Sing Prison, is perched on the east shore of
the river at Ossining. One of America's original reformed
prisons, Sing Sing entered into American legend in
the 30's as the final destination of Hollywood movie
gangsters who were shipped "up the river."
Still in operation today, Sing Sing continues to holds
some of New York's prison population behind its high
Towering above the
river on the western shore of the Tappan Zee are the
imposing Palisades. Remnants of the monumental geologic
forces that shaped the Hudson Valley, the Palisades
form the perfect backdrop against which the mighty river
flows toward the sea. They were also the genesis of
the ecologic movement in the late 19th century. Once
established, it swept up river protecting the Highlands
and finally spilled out over the river's banks forming
the opening battles and strategies of today's modern
Croton Point Park on
the eastern shore provides a protected anchorage with
many recreational possibilities, including one of the
few swimming beaches on the river. It is one of the
favorite day time anchorage points for many boaters
on the river. To the south George's Island County Park
provides another protected anchorage as well as ramp
facilities. The old WWII Navy Pier at Piermont on the
west bank, "Last Stop USA" where hundreds
of thousands of troops shipped out for Europe, juts
out into the river nearly a mile. Piermont abounds with
marinas and is filled with charming shops, sidewalk
cafes and galleries. North of Piermont, above Nyack,
is Nyack Beach State Park, another location to anchor
and access the land, and Rockland Lake State Park, contiguous
with Nyack Beach State Park to the north.
the river from Nyack is Tarrytown whose banks are
lined with marinas and parks. Tarrytown is the home
of Washington Irving's Ichabod Crane and his nemeses
the Headless Horseman. Several of the Hudson Valley's
most important and interesting attractions are best
accessed via Tarrytown, such as Lyndhurst, Phillipsburg
Manor and Washington Irving's home, Sunnyside. Below
Tarrytown is Yonkers with public docking and a multitude
of onshore entertainment and eating possibilities.
By the way, the origins
of the name "Tappan Zee" encompass two very
different cultures. When Europeans first arrived,
the Tappan Indian tribe inhabited the shores of this
section of the river. In Dutch, the original European
settlers, "zee" meant a wide body of water.
Together, they create "Tappan Zee." Or so
the story goes...