From hiking and boating, to swimming and rock climbing, the mountainous Hudson Highlands offers a variety of fun for outdoor enthusiasts.
A visit to the Hudson Valley Outfitters on Main Street in nearby Cold Spring offers one-stop shopping for hikers and kayakers, from local hiking info and maps to kayak rentals, lessons and planning kayak outings.
For those who prefer to do their touring by foot, Hudson Highlands State Park, Black Rock Forest in Cornwall and Fahnestock State Park in Philipstown offer short walks and longer hiking trails, as well as fishing and boating in season. Bear Mountain State Park features hiking, swimming, boating, fishing and ice skating in season, as well as rides on an old-fashioned carousel, for those who like to get their exercise sitting down.
Rock climbers will find some of the area's most ancient mountains and favored climbing spots covering southern Dutchess, Putnam and Orange counties, to the great Catskill Mountains. Area Hiking Trails (trails.com)
Left: Breakneck Ridge in Cold Spring
Large numbers of resident and breeding bird species are present in the Hudson Valley. A birder's list could include the Eastern bluebird, pileated woodpeckers, yellow warblers and hundreds of other species. Birds of prey can been seen throughout the Valley. Constitution Marsh Sanctuary in Cold Spring is an irreplaceable habitat and provides refuge for birds, fish and other wildlife of the Hudson River Estuary.
For information and maps, try these sites:
Mountain Skills Climbing School:
Rock/ice climbing, guiding, instruction, day trips, overnights, climbing equipment supplied.
Mid-Hudson Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club:
Rip Van Winkle Hiking Club:
New York Parks & Conservation Association:
State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation:
Exploring the natural and cultural history of the area comes easily in Cornwall at the Museum of the Hudson Highlands, which offers changing exhibits and outdoor environmental education programs for families.