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Archive for the ‘Hudson River’ Category

Judah Schiller introduces ‘water biking’ to New York with ride across the Hudson River

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Written by Daniel Chazin, Poughkeepsie Journal, link to original post

This 129-acre preserve on the Hudson River in Philipstown is on private land, but an agreement with the landowner allows public access to the four-mile trail network. The trails are maintained by volunteers of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, who recently built a new trail to carry hikers away from the residential area and connect with the existing trails. The trail is open, and improvements to it will be made through September. The hike described here is a figure-eight loop that includes the new trail segment and offers spectacular views across the Hudson River.

Location: 1.8 miles north of the Bear Mountain Bridge (2.6 miles south of the intersection with Route 403 in Garrison), turn westward onto Mystery Point Road off Route 9D. A small parking area is on the left.

Time: 2.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Length: Four miles

From the kiosk at the end of the parking area, head south on the white trail. Almost immediately, a blue trail begins on the right. This will be your return route, but for now continue ahead on the white trail, which parallels Route 9D for about a quarter mile, then bears right, away from the road. After passing a connection to the blue trail, the white trail descends rather steeply to cross a stream in a ravine. It turns right and briefly parallels the stream, then bears left and climbs out of the ravine.

The white trail now begins a gradual descent toward the Hudson River, running close to the southern boundary of the preserve. About a mile from the start, the white trail ends at a dirt road. Turn right and proceed north on the road, passing the Manitou Marsh to the left and yellow and red trails to the right.

After passing a brick house to the right and abandoned wooden and brick buildings to the left, you’ll come to a T-intersection with another dirt road. Turn left and cross the railroad tracks on a wide stone-arch bridge. This is an active railroad, and you may see Metro-North or Amtrak passenger trains on their way to Poughkeepsie, Albany or New York.

On the other side of the bridge, turn left onto the blue-blazed River Trail, which parallels the railroad for a short distance, then turns right and crosses a woods road. The trail climbs over a shallow ridge and descends to the river, where it turns left and heads south, following a narrow footpath along a bluff overlooking the river. Use caution, as there are steep drop-offs to the right, and in one place the trail has been rerouted inland to avoid a dangerously eroded section. Soon you’ll reach a spectacular viewpoint, with Sugarloaf Hill to the north and the West Point Military Academy visible across the river.

After following closely along the river for about a quarter of a mile, the trail bears left and heads inland. At a junction with a red-blazed carriage road, turn right and continue to head south on the blue trail, which now runs slightly inland, with views of the river through the trees.

In another quarter mile, follow the blue blazes as they turn sharply left and head north. Soon, the trail bears right and begins to run close to the Metro-North rail line. It then bears left and reaches a carriage road. To the left, the carriage road is blazed red, but you should turn right and continue to follow the blue blazes, which head north along the road.

When you reach a T-intersection, turn right and continue to follow the blue trail until its end at the bridge over the railroad tracks. Turn right, cross the bridge, then immediately turn right and proceed south on the dirt road that parallels the tracks. When you reach the trailhead for the yellow trail, turn left and follow this trail steeply uphill on a rocky footpath. The yellow trail soon levels off and proceeds through an evergreen grove that was devastated by Superstorm Sandy, then reaches an intersection with a blue trail.

Turn right onto the blue trail, which soon descends into a ravine (the same ravine you crossed earlier on the white trail), climbs out of the ravine, then bears left and follows the top of the bank above the ravine. After awhile, the blue trail begins to parallel the entrance road, and it ends at a junction with the white trail. Turn left and follow the white trail a short distance back to the parking area where the hike began.

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by Leslie Lippai, Scarsdale10583.com, link to original post

If you forgot to buy a summer house in Westhampton Beach this year or aren’t going to Martha’s Vineyard for vacation, you might think your only option is to drive out east to Long Island for some beach and paddling fun before the season’s over. Well, although no one will ever confuse Easthampton’s Main Beach with Rye Playland — and kayaking on Georgica Pond is not exactly the same as paddling on the Hudson, it is possible to have a really good time in and on the water around Westchester.

The basics: Westchester County offers a variety of park passes for access to all county-owned parks, pools and beaches where one is required. Visit www.westchestergov.org to learn about your options. Always call ahead before leaving home to make sure a beach has not been closed temporarily after a storm and heavy rain fall. Also, make sure you read the parking signs about where and when you can park. And while it’s not advisable to fall into the Hudson, the river is getting cleaner each year and you should be fine if you overturn, just try not to swallow the water. Visit riverkeeper.org to get up-to-date information on all things Hudson River. Keep in mind that once late September rolls around, parking fees are slashed dramatically, the water is still warm and the crowds for the most part are gone, so it is a great time to jump in or paddle on. And what’s better after a nice day at the beach than ice cream or paletas. We’ve included some of the best shops in the area. Need a kayak or canoe? If you don’t want to buy a new one, check out craigslist for used kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards of all price levels. Don’t want to go it alone? kayakhudson.com offers tours all over our area and provides the equipment without the hassle of loading it in your car. For the truly brave, check out www.manhattankayak.com or www.nykayak.com, which will have you kayaking or doing standup paddle boarding on the water in lovely New York City in no time. How cool.

Armonk

Wampus Pond, Route 128. The pond is named after the Indian tribe who sold the land to New York in 1696. There are rowboat rentals on the weekend and holidays, a kayak launch and fishing for all to enjoy in addition to picnic facilities. Call (914) 273-3230 for more information or visit www.westchestergov.com/wampus-pond

Croton-on-Hudson BluePig

The beach at Croton Point Park is part of a 508-acre park located on a peninsula on the east shore of the Hudson River. The park has camping spots, walking paths, playgrounds, a kayak launch and spectacular views of the Hudson River: (914) 862-5290. Here are some reviews on the park from contributors at Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/croton-point-park-croton-on-hudson-2. For ice cream afterward, locals rave about The Blue Pig (121 Maple St, Croton-on-Hudson; 914-271-3850; thebluepigicecream.com). Popular this season are Pig M&M (vanilla ice cream with M&Ms), honey vanilla with lavender, garden mint chip, and olive oil. New this summer is an outdoor brick courtyard complete with twinkly lights.

Hastings-on-Hudson

Kinnally Cove is directly across the river from the Palisades Cliffs with ample parking. It is a great place to launch a kayak or canoe. There is permit parking (Monday-Friday) across from the lot but you can park after 6pm and on weekends without a permit. For more information, call Hasting’s rec department at (914) 478-2380. While there is no great local ice cream shop to be had in Hastings, the town has a hopping restaurant scene, including Juniper (juniperhastings.com)

Irvington

Scenic Hudson Park is on the Hudson River. The park is accessed via Bridge Street parallel to the Hudson River and the Metro-North tracks. This 4.5-acre park includes a kayak launch. For more information contact Irvington Recreation & Parks (914) 591-7736.

Larchmont

The most popular put-in site for kayakers is at the end of Beach Ave, often called “Dog Beach,” where a public road leads along the Long Island Sound. There is no parking near the launch and you have to leave your car several hundred yards away. If you have the strength to lift your craft over a five-foot retaining wall, try launching from where Ocean Ave curves to meet Magnolia. There is a turn-around loop and parking is allowed nearby. Also, off Lindsley Drive, at the edge of Flint Park, there are rocks that lead down to the water. Some people put in kayaks in here, although we are told it is muddy at low tide.

Mamaroneck

At nearby Harbor Island Park, at the intersection of Mamaroneck Avenue South and East Boston Post Road, you can launch a kayak or canoe year-round. At times the park is overrun by Canadian geese and their droppings, so watch where you step. Call (914) 777-7784 or visit www.village.mamaroneck.ny.us. Skip the ice cream and try a paleta. Paletas are Mexican frozen pops that are either water-based (made with fresh fruit and/or fruit juices) or milk/cream-based, and offered in a rainbow of colors and flavors. We like Paleteria Fernandez, 350 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck 914-315-1598. Hibiscus flower, cantaloupe, kiwi, and mango are just some of the fun and funky flavors to sample.

Mount Vernon

Not a beach or a place to launch a kayak, but definitely worthy of a mention is Willson’s Woods, on East Lincoln Avenue. The facility is one of the oldest in the Westchester county parks system and was acquired in 1924. The park is well-known for its waterpark, Willson’s Waves, complete with a wave pool where you can body surf on three-foot wave, splash downward on an 18-foot high water slide, wander through cascades and fountains in the water playground, or just cool off on the spray deck. The park also has areas for picnicking and fishing. Call (914) 813-6990 for more information.

New Rochelle

Glen Island Beach on Pelham Road offers picnic tables, miniature golf, playgrounds, fishing and more. There is also a kayak launch. Call (914) 813-6720 for information or visit http://parks.westchestergov.com/glen-island-park.

Rye

Rye Playland offers up sand, surf and walks along the boardwalk. There is also self-launch access to Long Island Sound for kayakers and canoers. Call (914) 813-7010 or visit www.ryeplayland.org. Ice cream for everyone at the charming Longford’s Own-Made Ice Cream (4 Elm Pl, Rye 914-967-3797; longfordsicecream.com). The “own-made” ice cream, crafted in Port Chester, boasts 36 flavors and 20 flavors of sorbet, gelato and LoYo.

lighthouse Sleepy Hollow

In this historic town, Horan’s Landing Park, at 9 River Street, offers direct and perfectly legal public access to the Hudson River. The park has a riverside path, sandy beach at mid-to-low tide (no swimming), and picnic tables. The kayak/canoe/boat launch is restricted to car-top vessels (sorry, no trailers). Launch your canoe or kayak here to explore the Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow waterfronts and the Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse (sleepyhollowlighthouse.com). More experienced kayakers can cross the Hudson to wander through the meandering channels of Piermont Marsh or paddle upriver to Croton Point Park. Pick up a copy of the Hudson River Water Trail Guide to help you plan your river adventure. Parking: limited parking on site, additional metered parking on Beekman Avenue. Call (914) 366-5109 for more information. Afterward, try the Lighthouse Ice Cream and Coffee Kompanies (27 W Main St, at the Tarrytown Harbor, Tarrytown 914-502-0339; lighthouseicecreamkompany.com) for high-quality, locally sourced ingredients, such as milk and cream from Salem, New York-based Battenkill Valley Creamery.

Yonkers

While not exactly a beach, The Brook at Tibbetts Brook Park offers lots of water fun for the kids. The park’s former 81-year-old pool has been replaced with a new aquatic complex complete with a spray playground for kids of all ages, in-pool basketball and volleyball, lap lanes for getting in a daily swim workout, and the signature lazy river that inspired the renaming of this water wonderland “The Brook.” (914) 231-2865

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New York state plans to open a stretch of land along the upper Hudson River this spring and fall. The land was purchased in December for $12.4 million. It includes a 10-mile track of the river flowing south from Newcomb. The river wanders through deep forests in nearly tranquil water interrupted by stretches of mild and moderate rapids.

The Department of Environmental Conservation is proposing a wilderness designation for the river and a swath of forest on both sides. It would allow two nearby parking areas for canoeists who want to leave the water.

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New York state has taken ownership of the Essex Chain of Lakes tract in the Adirondacks. The deal to buy the 18,294 acres from The Nature Conservancy for almost $12.4 million closed on Dec. 21. The purchase is the first in a five-year program of buying 69,000 acres of former Finch, Pruyn and Co. timberlands for a total of $48 million.

The land is in the towns of Minerva and Newcomb and includes 11 lakes and ponds, nearly 15 miles of Hudson River shoreline and 8.5 miles on the Cedar River shoreline. There won’t be public access to most of the property until the fall, when two hunting club leases on a total of 11,600 acres expires.

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By Paul Post, Troy record, link to original post

An Adirondack environmental group is calling for creation of a new 39,000-acre Upper Hudson River Wilderness Area on former Finch Paper Co. lands.

This summer, the state announced plans to purchase 69,000 acres over the next five years from The Nature Conservancy, which acquired the land from Finch Paper.

The 22,000-acre Essex Chain Lakes tract will the first tract purchased, in 2013. The group Protect the Adirondacks has a proposed a new wilderness area that would encompass much of this property.

“Protect envisions a new wilderness area that protects the Essex Chain Lakes and Hudson River,” Executive Director Peter Bauer said. “Wilderness classification is the best protection to create a motorless lakes system for the Essex Chain Lakes and protect the Hudson River as a wild river.”

Board co-chair Chuck Clusen added, “Wild country and wild rivers grow fewer each year and a new wilderness area for the Upper Hudson would provide permanent protection for 22 miles of one of the greatest rivers in America.”

The proposed wilderness area is centered on a stretch of Upper Hudson River from the town of Newcomb to North River. It would include more than five miles of the Cedar River and four miles of the Indian River as well as dozens of other lakes and ponds.

The new wilderness area would be created from roughly 19,000 acres of former Finch Paper and 20,000 acres of existing forest preserve lands in the Hudson Gorge Primitive Area (17,000 acres) and the Blue Mountain and Vanderwhacker Wild Forest Areas (3,000 acres).

The state Department of Environmental Con servation has indicated plans to continue floatplane access to First and Pine lakes on the edge of the proposed new wilderness area.

Bauer said his group recognizes the established floatplane use on these lakes and has drawn proposed boundaries to classify those lakes as wild forest. The group also recognizes public interest in access to the Essex Chain Lakes for canoe camping and has drawn boundaries for road access to this area through conservation easement and wild forestlands.

Bauer said he believes the new wilderness area would enhance the popular Hudson River-Indian River whitewater-rafting industry by managing, for the first time, the Hudson River as an integrated resource and by providing much improved day use and camping opportunities through the entire length of the Hudson River Gorge.

“An Upper Hudson River Wilderness will protect the whitewater-rafting industry over the long-term,” he said. “This industry has proven to be highly successful as well as sustainable and provides terrific opportunities and wild river experiences for visitors to the Adirondack Park” Bauer said.”

The proposed area would be larger than nine existing Adirondack Park wilderness areas. Five existing wilderness areas have more than 100,000 acres each. They are the High Peaks, West Canada Lake, Five Ponds, West Canada Lake and Silver Lake areas.

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We missed it for this year – the Annual Tenandeho White Water Derby was held April 1st.
Click here for some photos http://www.timesunion.com/news/slideshow/Paddle-power-at-39th-Tenandeho-White-Water-Derby-41181.php

Each year the Mechanicville Tenandeho Canoe Association and the City of Mechanicville NY proudly hosts the annual Mechanicville White Water Derby in late spring. The “downriver” race is held from the Coons Crossing Road down to the old elementary school on North Main Street at the confluence of the Tenandeho Creek and the Hudson River. Click here for more info and note it on your calendar for next year.

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Richard Harpham will kayak ~ 500 miles across NYS

British adventurer Richard Harpham and fellow explorer Glenn Charles are set to embark on a 500-mile kayak journey showcasing the sights and scenery of New York State.

The trip is being arranged in association with the New York State Division of Tourism and is due to begin in April, 2012.

It will focus on the heritage, culture and wildlife found in the region, as well as famous locations such as Niagara Falls, which will be the starting point for the itinerary. The pair will then kayak along the Erie Canal, a Unesco World Heritage site with 36 locks, before arriving in Albany and joining the Hudson river.

After paddling south towards Manhattan, the adventurers will finish their tour at the Statue of Liberty.

Mr Harpham, whose previous achievements include kayaking the Inside Passage from Seattle to Alaska and completing a combined kayak and cycle trip from London to Marrakech, said the aim of next year’s expedition is to inspire people to explore the dreams and possibilities in their lives.

“It will also be a fantastic journey across some of New York State’s most beautiful scenery and both Glenn and I are looking forward to the challenge,” he added.

More information about the project and details of a competition to join the adventure for five days is available on thespareseat.com.

source: Travelbite.co.uk

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By LESLIE LAKE, Wilton Villager, Link to original post

Drifting: Two Weeks on the Hudson

With the first dip of his canoe paddle into the northern Hudson River, Michael Freeman began what he says was his journey to discover America.

The discovery was less about the geographic America and more about Freeman’s desire to understand the country’s social, economic and environmental changes during a time he calls “America’s Midlife Crisis,” he said.

The Wilton native found the scenes he observed on his two-week journey from Henderson Lake, N.Y., to Manhattan so troubling that he compiled his experiences in a book, “Drifting: Two Weeks on the Hudson.”

His solitary canoe trip took him past the rusted, deserted remains of formerly thriving industrial towns; past West Point, his reminder of U.S. military involvement around the world; and past miles of terrain, and over waters, that have been affected by pollution.

While Freeman began the journey without a clear agenda in mind, he says that he was struck by the realization that towns along the Hudson were a microcosm reflective of many of the socioeconomic and environmental issues that are facing communities throughout the U.S. With an eye on the Hudson’s past, Freeman draws observations about the current state of labor, energy and warfare.

The genesis of the canoe trip came about when Freeman returned to the east coast after 10 years of living in Alaska and working as a fisheries assistant at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

“After living in Alaska for so long, I guess I was insulated from the changes going on in the rest of the United States,” Freeman said. “It’s funny, people who live in Alaska refer to the lower forty eight as America. It’s a very different world up there.”

“I returned east just before Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008,” he said. “I got married, my wife was working in New York and I wasn’t able to find work.”

He added: ”It seemed like the perfect time to relearn the part of the country that I had left and to rediscover the America I thought I knew.”

Of Manhattan Harbor Freeman said, “This was the perfect ending for the trip, as Manhattan is a symbol of financial might paired with a startling economic fragility.”

While the Hudson was the venue for Freeman’s book, he writes that the same scenes of economic and environment changes are being played out throughout the U.S.:

“From the river at least, Troy is red brick and white brick, brown brick and gray, most of it crumbling, save the odd machine shop limping along. Busted windows pock these old sweat shops, where labor unions once thrived at a time when they needed to thrive. They’re gone now the factories, the unions, the work. America’s brief history is repetition. Renewal, decay, renewal, decay.”

Freeman, a freelance writer whose essays have appeared in “Avian Life,” “Gray’s Sporting Journal” and “Connecticut Review,” explained the metaphorical significance of the book title this way: “We seem to be drifting as a country. We are not sure of ourselves.”

“I came away from this trip with more questions than answers,” says Freeman. “We are drifting as a country and our direction is unsure.”

“The Hudson is a great river and a great metaphor,” writes environmentalist Bill McKibben of the book. “This is a great exploration of both.”

“Drifting: Two Weeks on the Hudson” is published by SUNY Press. The book is available at www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com.

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Pilgrim’s Paddle: Day One on the Hudson

Pilgrim’s Paddle: Day Two, In Search of a Campsite

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