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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Hudson Valley
For the magazine, see Hudson Valley (magazine).

The Hudson Valley refers to the valley of the Hudson River and its adjacent communities in New York State, generally from northern Westchester County northward to the cities of Albany and Troy. Historically a cradle of European settlement in the northeastern United States and a strategic battleground in colonial wars, it now consists of suburbs of the metropolitan area of New York City at its southern end, shading into rural territory, including "exurbs," farther north.

Geographically, the Hudson Valley could refer to all areas along the Hudson River, including Bergen County, New Jersey. However, this definition is not commonly used and the Tappan Zee Bridge is often considered the southern limit of the area. Though Westchester County is often classified as part of the region, Westchester residents who live at the southern end of the county (and especially the parts closer to the Long Island Sound than the Hudson River) generally do not associate themselves with the region, unless their town includes Hudson River banks. Including all of Westchester County in the definition of the region would seem unusual to many and seems like something one might only read in a travel guide. In fact, there is a road sign on the New York State Thruway in Yonkers that suggests that the "Hudson Valley region" is located somewhere farther to the north and west along the Thruway.

Another geographical issue involves the northern extent of the Hudson Valley, and specifically, the northern half of the Hudson River, which does not flow through the valley commonly called the Hudson Valley. Although the southern half of the river flows through the center of a great glacial valley which extends from Lake Champlain to New York City, the northern half of the river runs through the Adirondack Mountains. The great glacial valley continues, apart from the Hudson, farther north, where it is known as the Champlain Valley. Thus, the great glacial valley is known as the Champlain Valley in its northern extent, and the Hudson Valley in its southern, changing names at a point slightly north of Albany. The exact spot can possibly be pinpointed at Fort Edward, which is where the Champlain Canal leaves the Hudson River and goes on its own to Lake Champlain. In common usage, however, the city of Troy appears to be the northernmost point of the Hudson Valley, as that city contains the first lock on the Hudson, keeping deep-water ships from navigating farther north. In fact, the Hudson Valley and Champlain Valley are only two parts of the much greater Great Appalachian Valley.



At the time of the arrival of the first Europeans in the 17th century, the area of Hudson Valley was inhabited primarily by the Algonquian-speaking Mahican and Munsee Native American people, known collectively as River Indians.

The first Dutch settlement was in the 1610s with the establishment of Fort Nassau, a trading post (factorij) south of modern-day Albany, with the purpose of exchanging European goods for beaver pelts. Fort Nassau was later replaced by Fort Orange. During the rest of the 1600s, the Hudson Valley formed the heart of the New Netherland colony operations, with the New Amsterdam settlement on Manhattan serving as a post for supplies and defense of the upriver operations.

During the French and Indian War in the 1750s, the northern end of the valley became the bulwark of the British defense against French invasion from Canada via Lake Champlain.

The valley became one of the major regions of conflict during the American Revolution. Part of the early strategy of the British was to sever the colonies in two by maintaining control of the river.[1]

In the early 1800s, popularized by the stories of Washington Irving, the Hudson Valley gained a reputation as a somewhat gothic region inhabited by the remnants of the early days of the Dutch colonization of New York (see, e.g., The Legend of Sleepy Hollow).

Following the building of the Erie Canal, the area became an important industrial center. The canal opened the Hudson Valley and New York City to commerce with the Midwest and Great Lakes regions.[2] However, in the mid 20th century, many of the industrial towns went into decline.[3]

The Catskills seen from across the river.

The Hudson Valley also was the location of the estates of many wealthy New York industrialists, such as John D. Rockefeller and Frederick William Vanderbilt, and of old-moneyed tycoons such as Franklin Roosevelt, who was a descendant of one of the early Dutch families in the region.

The area is associated with the Hudson River School, a group of American Romantic painters who worked from about 1830 to 1870.

The natural beauty of the Hudson Valley has earned the Hudson River the nickname "America's Rhine," a comparison to the famous 40 mile (65 km) stretch of Germany's Rhine River valley between the cities of Bingen and Koblenz. A similar 30-mile (48 km) stretch of the east bank in Dutchess and Columbia counties has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

Geology and physiography

The Hudson Valley is a physiographic section of the larger Valley And Ridge province, which in turn is part of the larger Appalachian physiographic division.[4]

Pollution and urban sprawl

Due to the decrease in industry within New York State over the past 40 to 50 years, parts of the Hudson Valley have seen economic decline and unemployment to a greater degree than other areas in the state. Still seen in the Valley today are abandoned factories and old buildings that are remnants of a once thriving region that included upscale theaters, lavish homes, resort hotels, and health spas. The numerous factories that at one time lined the Hudson River poured garbage and industrial waste directly into the river. This pollution was not assessed in a comprehensive fashion until the 1970s. By that time, the largest company still operating factories in the area was General Electric, which became primarily responsible for cleaning the Hudson River. As of 2008, after decades of litigation, GE was still in the process of complying with government cleanup directives. [5] Though swimming was banned in parts of the river in the early 1960s, the pollution has been steadily declining and, as a result, some municipalities have begun to allow people to swim in it again.

The crowding and high cost of living associated with the New York metropolitan area and its adjacent suburbs has led increasing numbers of people to move from these densely populated areas to the Hudson Valley, including parts as far north as greater Poughkeepsie, and commute into New York City to work. This demand for housing has resulted in increased residential development, and a significant increase in housing costs in the lower- and mid-Hudson Valley regions. Along with this residential development has come commercial development such as shopping malls, and other landmarks of suburbia and urban sprawl. Some long-time residents have reacted to this by forming environmental and preservationist groups dedicated to stopping further development.

While parts of the Valley today struggle with crime and poverty, other parts contain some of the wealthiest and safest communities in the nation (see, e.g., communities discussed in articles on Westchester and Putnam Counties). The overall effect of decreased industrialization and increased residential development has been a transformation of the region, especially in the lower- and mid-Hudson Valley, to an exurb struggling to balance the competing demands of maintaining the area's rural character with the conveniences and services of suburban living.


The Hudson Valley Renegades are a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Tampa Bay Rays. The team is a member of the New York - Penn League, and play at Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill.

The Hudson Valley Rebels are the Hudson Valley's Premiere Rugby union club. The Hudson Valley Rebels are members of the Metropolitan New York Rugby Football Union and were established in 2001. Their home pitch is Beacon Memorial Park, in Beacon.

The Hudson Valley Hawks are a team in the newly formed National Professional Basketball League. The team's home court is at Beacon High School, in Beacon.

The Hudson Valley Highlanders of the North American Football League play their home games at Dietz Stadium in Kingston.

The Hudson Valley Horrors are the region's first non-urban flat track women's roller derby team and are part of the grass-roots derby revival. They currently practice and host bouts at Hyde Park Roller Magic in Hyde Park.


The Hudson Valley is divided into three regions: Lower, Middle and Upper. The following is a list of the counties within the Hudson Valley sorted by region.

Lower Hudson


Upper Hudson/Capital District

Cities and towns


  1. ^ Glatthaar, Joseph T., and Martin, James Kirby (2007). Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution, p. 39. Macmillan. ISBN 0809046008.
  2. ^ Stanne, Stephen P., et al. (1996). The Hudson: An Illustrated Guide to the Living River, p. 120. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0813522714.
  3. ^ Hirschl, Thomas A. and Heaton, Tim B. (1999). New York State in the 21st Century, pp. 126-28. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 027596339X.
  4. ^ "Physiographic divisions of the conterminous U. S.". U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2007-12-06.  
  5. ^

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

The Hudson Valley [1] of New York is anchored at the top by the state capital of Albany and its surrounding cities, and it extends south to the outskirts of the New York City area. Between them is an area that has much in common with nearby Western Massachusetts and Connecticut, consisting of rolling hills leading down to the Hudson River. In 1996 Congress established The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area [2], one of 27 federally designated heritage areas.


This area of North America is considered a cradle of European settlement, first by the Dutch as the colony of New Netherland and later under the British as the colony of New York. It was also a strategic battleground in colonial wars. The Hudson River in this area is more accurately described as a tidal estuary. Tides roll upstream as far as the federal lock at Troy, some 150 miles inland.

Get in

By boat

Probably the best, most beautiful and historic view of traveling to and within the Hudson Valley is by boat up the Hudson itself. There are a few tourist cruises you can do, but unless you have or use a private boat, the Hudson River itself won't be your primary method of travel in the Hudson Valley. One exception is NY Waterway [3], an operator of commuter ferries, that offers full day and weekend sightseeing cruises from New York City to several locations including Tarrytown and the United States Military Academy at West Point.

  • Westchester County Airport, 240 Airport Road, White Plains, +1 914 995-4860 (airlines), [4]. The largest airport of the lower Hudson Valley, other than the three New York City/New Jersey international airports.
  • Stewart International Airport, 1180 First St, New Windsor, +1 845 564-2100, [5]. Serves the middle of the valley.
  • Albany International Airport, 737 Albany-Shaker Rd, Albany, [6]. Serves the upper portions of the valley.
  • Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark, New Jersey, [7], John F. Kennedy International Airport [8], and LaGuardia Airport [9]: The three major international airports in the New York City area offer service to just about anywhere.
  • Amtrak, [10]. For rail service north of Poughkeepsie (and two station stops south of Poughkeepsie, at Yonkers and Croton).
  • Metro North Rail Road, [11]. The Hudson Line, marked in green on maps, is the line that travels north along the Hudson River, from New York City to Poughkeepsie.
  • New York City Subway. You can take it to the southern edge of Westchester County and bus up further.
  • Greyhound, [12]. Stops in most of the major cities as well as some small towns.
  • Adirondack Trailways, [13]. Stops in most of the major cities as well as some small towns.

Get Around


The Hudson River itself can be both means of and impediment to travel. A few commuter ferry services exist in the lower valley, but bridges have otherwise become the dominant means of crossing the river. Tolls vary in cost, getting progressively more expensive closer to New York City. E-Z Pass electronic payment, common in the northeast United States, is accepted at most Hudson River crossings.

  • Rip Van Winkle - Catskill, Green County to Hudson, Columbia County
  • Kingston-Rhinecliff - Kingston, Ulster County to Rhinecliff, Dutchess County
  • Mid-Hudson - Highland, Ulster County to Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County
  • Newburgh-Beacon - Newburgh, Orange County and Beacon, Dutchess County
  • Bear Mountain - Bear Mountain, Orange County to Peekskill, Westchester County
  • Tappan Zee - Nyack, Rockland County to Tarrytown, Westchester County
  • George Washington - Fort Lee, New Jersey to New York City
  • Beeline Bus System, [14]. Westchester county's bus system also connects to nearby lines, such as Rockland County [15] and Fairfield County, Connecticut [16]. Elsewhere in the Hudson Valley, public transit is either very poor (Dutchess, Ulster, Putnam counties) or near-nonexistent (Orange, Sullivan, Columbia, Greene counties).
  • Tarrytown. Lyndhurst, a gothic mansion, formerly home of railroad baron Jay Gould. Also, Sunnyside, the home of Washington Irving, author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip van Winkle.
Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow
Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow
  • Pair this with a visit to Irving's grave site in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, at Sleepy Hollow. Also in Sleepy Hollow is Kykuit, the Rockefeller estate in the hamlet of Pocantico Hills and The Old Dutch Church and Burying Ground where Ichabod Crane sought sanctuary from the Headless Horseman in Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
  • Caramoor Center, in Katonah. Take afternoon tea and tour or attend one of their evening concerts at this Mediterranean villa set on an 80 acre estate.
  • Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, features modern, contemporary, and African art.
  • Donald M Kendall Sculpture Gardens in Purchase. Corporate collection of PepisiCo of more than 40 major sculptures among 12 gardens.
  • United States Military Academy, West Point, +1 845 938-4011, [17].
The Vanderbilt Mansion overlooks the Hudson River.
The Vanderbilt Mansion overlooks the Hudson River.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum, and Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, both in Hyde Park.
  • Olana, the mountaintop villa of painter Frederic Church in Hudson.
  • Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, Lindenwald, retirement home of the 8th President in Kinderhook.
  • Storm King Art Center, Old Pleasant Hill Rd, Mountainville, +1 845 534-3115, [18]. Five hundred acre landscape dotted with modern sculpture.
  • Mount Gulian Historical Site in Beacon, is about the Verplanck family which contains an assortment of stories about husbands and wives, army generals, and an escaped slave.
  • Hike in Bear Mountain State Park Start the hike from Bear Mountain Inn, cross the road and wind through a wild animal preserve, Cross the Hudson River via the Bear Mountain Bridge, join up with the Appalachian Trail, then split off to "Anthony's Nose," a scenic overhang where the entire valley can be viewed. If you do this hike at the end of Sept or beginning of Oct you may be lucky enough to catch the Oktoberfest near the Bear Mountain Inn afterward.
  • Visit a farmer's market or farmstand. The upper reaches of the Hudson Valley are still largely agricultural, so keep an eye out for fresh, local products sold right off the farm. Pick your own fruit, berries or produce at Grieg Farm, 223 Pitcher Ln, Red Hook, +1 845 758-1234.
  • Take a cruise on the river aboard one of many boats. Pride of the Hudson, +1 845 220-2120, [19] departs from Newburgh. Commander, +1 845 534-7245, [20] departs from West Haverstraw, West Point, and Peekskill. Rip van Winkle, +1 845 340-4700, [21] and Teal, +1 845 679-8205, [22] both depart from Kingston.
  • Take sailing lessons, at the Croton Sailing School, Senasqua Rd, Croton-on-Hudson, +1 800 859-SAIL, [23].
  • Take a guided kayak tour through the Hudson Highlands: Hudson Valley Outfitters, 63 Main St, Cold Spring, +1 845 265-0221, [24]. Or paddle the entire tidal portion of the river via the Hudson River Water Trail [25]. Join the annual Great Hudson River Paddle [26] as it wends its way from Albany to New York City.
  • New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, [27]. Join a group hike sponsored by the trail conference. You could also venture off by yourself with a NYNJTC topographic trail map to the Hudson Palisades trails, Harriman-Bear Mountain trails, or the east and west portions of Hudson Highlands State Park.
  • Watch bald eagles. In winter, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation recommends the following viewing points: Riverfront Park, Peekskill; Charles Point's China Pier, Peekskill; George's Island Park, Verplanck, town of Cortlandt; Constitution Island from the North Dock at West Point; Norrie Point State Park, Hyde Park; Iona Island, viewable from the turn-out off Route 6 just south of the Bear Mountain Bridge on the east side of the Hudson River.
  • Follow Ichabod Crane's route, [28]. Fans of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow can follow the route of Ichabod Crane from Tarrytown to Sleepy Hollow. But don't expect to find the "Western Woods" or anything else from the 1999 movie Sleepy Hollow. Tim Burton's production is only loosely based on Irving's story, and was filmed largely in Hertfordshire, England
  • Rock-climb in Shawagunks (the Gunks) [29], one of the largest and most accessible cliffs on the East Coast. You can buy or rent basic climbing equipment from EMC or Rock and Snow in New Paltz.
  • Woodbury Common, 498 Red Apple Court, Central Valley, New York, +1 845 928-4000, [30]. Located approximately 1 hour from Manhattan. Daily 10AM-9PM. Over 220 outlet stores with lots of great brand names offering discounts between 25%-65%. By car: take the New York State Thruway (I-87) to Exit 16; by bus: take the Gray Line bus from the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 42nd Street and 8th Avenue, buses leave daily at 8:30AM, 9:45AM, 11:15AM, noon (round trip $34).


As home to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, the area is blessed with the services of many of its graduate chefs.

Get out

A natural extension to your trip in the Hudson Valley is to head south to New York City (presuming you didn't start there), which is easily accessible by public transportation and by private automobile. But also consider heading north into the Adirondacks, a mountain range in northeastern New York and the location of the Adirondack State Park, the largest state park in the continental United States. Amtrak's [31] Adirondack route cuts through these mountains en route to Montreal. New England is also easily accessible from the Hudson Valley, particularly the Berkshire Hills in western Massachusetts, and the Connecticut shore.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

Simple English

File:Wpdms ev26188 hudson
The Hudson Valley area

The Hudson Valley is a valley of the Hudson River. It runs from about Westchester County to Albany.


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