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For one of the most spectacular
drives in the Hudson Valley you must take the Storm
King Mountain Road between West Point and Cornwall-on-Hudson.
Also known as Route 218, the Storm King Mountain Road
hugs the eastern slopes of Storm King Mountain providing
a challenging drive and spectacular vistas of the
At the highest point the
road reaches is a very small pull off where you can
park, get out and take in the breathless heights and
the majestic Hudson River below. You are standing
in what is known as the "North Gate" of the Hudson
Highlands. Storm King Mountain forms the western pillar
of the gate, the northernmost point of the Highlands.
From here, the Hudson Valley turns into gently rolling
hills, plains and farmlands. That is, until the Catskills
spring abruptly up from its western flanks north of
To the north stretches
the Newburgh Bays and in the far distance the Newburgh-Beacon
Bridge, Interstate 84. Around the bend in the river
below you on the left, tucked into a pass in the mountains,
lies the charming hamlet of Cornwall-on-Hudson. On
the island in the middle of the river is the decaying
To the south the Hudson
Highlands rise on both side of the Hudson, part of
the continuous chain of the Appalachian Mountains.
At this point in their journey north, the Appalachians
head at an angle to the north east on their way into
Connecticut. South along the western side of the river,
the United States Military Academy sits perched atop
a bluff in the West Point Military Reservation, the
green hills in the right foreground. West Point is
out of view in this picture, behind the point in the
near distance on the right.
Directly across from you
is Putnam County with Route 9D right down on the river
bank, tunneling through the pink cliffs reaching out
into the river known as Breakneck Point. Evidence
of New York's Empire past can be plainly seen in the
form of the railroad tracks on both banks of the river
cavalierly ignoring the banks of the river forming
their own pathways.
Below on the river itself
you can trace the routes of the many pleasure craft,
cruise boats and commercial ships as they ply their
way up and down the river. Still a major commercial
highway, the many large ships share the river with
uncountable pleasure craft, sail boats and canoes