Friday, February 21, 2020

In My Footsteps: Hudson, New York

     It is consistently recognized as one of the best small towns in New York and America as a whole. Located just over 120 miles north of New York City this charming town is considered to be Upstate New York’s ‘downtown.’ With a population of 6,239 as of 2017 it sits across the Hudson River from the town of Athens. Hudson began as a whaling port far removed from the ocean and today is an up and coming port of art and culture far removed from New York City.

     Hudson began as a whaling town due to the British blockades of important American ports leading up to the Revolutionary War in the late 18th century. Named for explorer Henry Hudson it was around this same point that the town of Hudson was actually the 24th largest city in the United States in 1790. After a down period the town of Hudson has undergone a huge resurgence in the late 20th into the 21st century. It is now seen as an Upstate smaller version of Brooklyn with a thriving arts district and influx of youth combined with a firm pulse on its rich history.

     One must include taking in views of the sprawling Hudson River when visiting this charming small town. There are two tremendous places located near to each other that fit the bill. First is Promenade Hill Park. It is located high above the water, giving you an amazing view. There is a beautiful statue of St. Winifred which overlooks the water. It is a saint of Welsh origin sometimes referred to as the Patron Saint of Mariners. It was placed at the park in 1896. The spot was first known as ‘Parade Hill’ is the 18th and 19th century but was seen as ‘too common’ a name during the Victorian-era and the nickname ‘Promenade Hill’ eventually became its name.

The statue of St. Winifred at Promenade Hill Park (Christopher Setterlund)

     The second spot to take in water views is the aptly named Henry Hudson Riverfront Park. The southern-most section is called ‘Rick’s Point’ after former longtime Hudson Mayor Rick Scalera. It is here at water level that one gets a closer look at the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse located a half-mile west of the spot. Sitting stoically out in the middle of the water it was built in 1874 to help guide vessels around the Middle Ground Flats, a partially man-made island in the river. For closer views of the lighthouse one can walk a few hundred yards down the railroad tracks, but it is best advised to take a boat.
Henry Hudson Riverfront Park (Christopher Setterlund)

Hudson-Athens Lighthouse (Christopher Setterlund)

     For a mix of history and scenic views one cannot go wrong by driving a few miles south of the downtown area to the Olana Historic Site. Olana is the name of the mansion once home to famed 19th century landscape painter Frederic Edwin Church. The mansion, built in 1872, sits as part of a larger 250-acre property. The views of the Hudson River Valley, Rip van Winkle Bridge, and Catskill Mountains are breathtaking with the highest elevation on the property at 495-feet.

Olana (Christopher Setterlund)

     This has been only a small taste of what Hudson has to offer. There is history everywhere like the home of artist Thomas Cole, the founder of the Hudson River School of American Painting. There is the art and shopping along Warren Street. There is no shortage of delicious food at spots like Ca’Mea Ristorante, BABA Louie’s, and Wm. Farmer and Sons. Hudson is not considered one of the best small towns in America for nothing.

     Perhaps the best way to enjoy Hudson though is to simply park, walk, and explore! Have fun and happy traveling!

Check out my video on YouTube here: In My Footsteps: Hudson, New York

If You Go:
  • Promenade Hill Park – 2 Warren Street
  • Henry Hudson Waterfront Park – Water Street
  • Olana Historic Site – 5720 State Route 9G

Helpful Links:
My 5th book, Cape Cod Nights, is on sale at and through Arcadia Publishing

Cape Cod Sunsets 2020 Calendar available at Zazzle here: Cape Cod Living Store

Be sure to check out my websiteChristopher

No comments: