Hunting for Adventure on the Historic Hudson River
Written by Barbara Barrett
If you’re looking for a trip that will leave you entertained, excited and refreshed, head for New York’s majestic Hudson River.
The port of Jersey City is an excellent place to begin your cruise.There are two outstanding resort marinas there, each offering panoramic views of the New York City harbor and Manhattan’s world-famous skyline. Liberty Landing Marina (201-985-8000, www.libertylandingmarina.com) is located in Liberty State Park.This full-service 520-slip facility has floating docks in the calm, deep waters of Morris Canal, just off the Hudson River, with striking views of the Big Apple.
Newport Yacht Club & Marina (201-626-5550, www.igy-newport.com) sits directly across the Hudson River from downtown Manhattan and offers 154 slips surrounded by a luxury nautical village, which features great shopping, dining and entertainment. When you’re ready to take a break from the bright lights of the city, cruise north to explore the rich history and natural beauty of the Hudson River.
CROTON-ON-HUDSON This little village, approximately 36 miles north of New York City, sits where the Croton and Hudson rivers meet. As you cruise to the town you will pass the Palisades, a towering series of cliffs that stretch from New Jersey to New York, and glide under the Tappan Zee Bridge. Fall cruisers will be dazzled by brilliant foliage displays. Croton-on-Hudson is home to Croton Point Park, a 508-acre facility with outdoor activities and year-round events. Visitors can enjoy hiking, birding, fishing and swimming at the sandiest beaches on the Hudson. The town is also home to the Croton Point Nature Center. Half Moon Bay Marina (914-271-5400, www.halfmoonbaymarina.com) is adjacent to the park. The 173-slip marina has world-class floating docks, manicured grounds, a picnic area and shopping and restaurants within walking distance.
STONY POINT Plan a stop at Stony Point, about 24 miles farther north, on the Hudson’s west bank. This quiet community was the site of a Revolutionary War battle. The Stony Point Battlefield Historic Site rests on a knobby promontory that projects into the river and boasts the oldest lighthouse in the Hudson Valley. The lighthouse was built in 1826 and restored and relit in 1995. Tours are available for visitors. A stroll through town will calm and revive you—Stony Point has an abundance of peaceful parks, shops and restaurants.
Dock at Stony Point Bay Marina & Yacht Club (845-429-0100, www.stonypointbaymarina.com) for a friendly welcome and terrific service. This 400-slip facility has all the essentials, plus a swimming pool, tennis courts, a well-stocked marine store and a facility for boat maintenance and repairs. There is a great selection of restaurants and bars that offer indoor or outdoor dining, right on the river. Grocery stores and a variety of restaurants are all nearby.
NEWBURGH Travel another 19 miles north to the lovely city of Newburgh, also on the west bank of the Hudson. Along the way, cruise by Bear Mountain State Park, named for the mountain that resembles a reclining bear. Farther upriver you will spot the United States Military Academy at West Point on its scenic spot high above the Hudson. A few miles north is Pollepei Island with its brooding ruins of the 19th-century Bannerman Castle, built by a nostalgic Scotsman. This mysterious historical gem can be reached by boat tours from Newburgh.
Dock at the Riverfront Marina (845-661-4914, www.riverfrontmarinanewburgh.com) in the middle of the Newburgh’s renovated waterfront district. This marina has 120 gated slips and all the comforts to make your stay memorable. It is a walk away from first-class restaurants, art galleries and shops. Climb the hill from the marina to wander along streets lined with historic homes and churches.
Navigating the Hudson River Here are some tips when cruising the Hudson River with its natural beauty and many miles to explore:
• Currents along the river can run from 1.5 to 2.5 knots and pay special attention to cross currents when entering a slip.
• Look for floating debris which can be found lurking under water as well.
• Give the right away to large ships, tugs, barges and ferries as the Hudson is a commercial shipping waterway. Boaters will have a safer trip by traveling just outside of the shipping channels when possible.