Hudson River Valley – Tappan Zee to West Point and north

Lyndhurst Statuary

"One of the finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture in Amerirca" Credit:National Trust

Leaving the Tappan Zee bridge behind, the Hudson continues northward unfolding one treasure after another.

Tarrytown, New York is a favorite commuter town, being a major stop on Metro North. With easy access from all directions, it became home to many tycoons in the mid nineteenth century.

Lyndhurst, was once the opulent home of former New York Mayor William Paulding, merchant George Merritt, and railroad magnate Jay Gould. It was designed in 1838 by the noted architect Alexander Jackson Davis, and enlarged and landscaped several times.

Lyndhurst is now owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


Ossining and Croton Bay to West Point

West Point FallThis section of the river is still within a day of metropolitan New York by land or sea. If by boat, it’s a good idea to fuel up before continuing north if you draw more than two and a half feet. The marinas are few and the entrances can be tricky, depth included. Local ordinances regarding tying up to the shore, even for short periods are changeable. By car, fueling is also recommended as stations are fewer in the smaller towns and the prices rise in proportion to the number of feet above sea level.

On the eastern bank, continue up Route 9 (Briarcliff-Peekskill Parkway) until you come to the Bear Mountain State Parkway. Cross the Jans Peek bridge; leave RT 9 at the traffic circle and continue north on RT 6 and US 202 (The Bear Mountain Bridge Road.) See Google map at bottom of page. Cross the bridge and take Route 9W on your right. Get off onto NY-218. At Highland Falls, leave 218 and follow the signs to the Academy, seen from across the Hudson in Garrison, NY.

West Point Military Academy

West Point Cemetery

© David Mark | Dreamstime.com

Tours are only available through the Public Affairs Office. Check the site for hours and other requirements. If you have a close relative who is interred in the on-site cemetery, ask at the Visitors’ Center for instructions to visit the grave site. Photo is of the mausoleum. The Cemetery office and entrance is down the road in a red brick building.

Visiting the cemetery: The cemetery office has an electronic program to locate the grave of a soldier buried there. There is also a manager who can help anyone having difficulty with the computer.

When leaving the grounds, take Washington Avenue north to rejoin NY 218. For a drive on a spectacular mountain road equaling the Var Valley in France, or the Grande Corniche in Moracco, STAY ON 218. This is Storm King Mountain, overlooking the Hudson River – bring camera! You’ll end up back on 9W, ready to continue to Poughkeepsie by staying on US-9W or crossing the Newburgh-Beacon bridge on NY-52, then jumping onto US-9.

HudsonRiverACL

View from an American Cruise Line's Hudson River itinerary Credit:American Cruise Lines

Stay at the Thayer Hotel to complete your West Point experience. A national historic treasure, it is located on the Academy property with a spell-binding view of the Academy, the River and the hills beyond. The Thayer has the perfect mix of grandeur, comfort, setting and elegance.

Meanwhile, on the River – It’s hard to visit West Point by water unless you are an alumnus, current member of the Army, etc. The West Point Marina is “members only”. Their website has applications to download. For non-military sailors, there are several good marinas north and south. Recommendation: stay at a marina and rent a car for a good, thorough tour.

Haverstraw Marina -A full-service resort marina, site of The Hudson Water Club Restaurant
606 Beach Road, West Haverstraw, New York 10993.

Stony Point Bay Marina – full service marina offering mechanical services, including generator and air conditioning, cleaning and detailing, hauling, storage and ramp services.

Half Moon Bay Marina – full service, plus Dockominiums for boats up to 100 feet on 173 floating docks. Croton Park next door has a beach for swimming. Gazebo and picnic area on site.

Haverstraw Marina Fuel Dock

Credit: Haverstraw Marina Fuel Dock; fuel and pump out

Dockominiums and their ilk: The latest type of ownership for RVers, boaters, skiers, etc. Condominium ownership guarantees you a place to stay, tax advantages, financing, possible income, as well as knowing where you left your toothbrush last week.

Day trips and short cruises:

OPBs (Other People’s Boats) – common phrase among ex-boaters meaning, “I sold my boat and I don’t want to go through that again.”

Hudson River Day Cruises aboard the Rip Van Winkle – mostly north of Poughkeepsie

Tall ship Clearwater sailing days – Sail aboard a 106′ replica of a classic wooden sloop from various ports along the Hudson River; groups and individuals.  On-hands, great learning experience for all.

There is enough to keep one busy in this part of the Hudson. Leave time, money and energy for the section north of Poughkeepsie – that’s where all the fabulous mansions are and lighthouses aplenty.

Star_2009_1ACL

STAR - courtesy of American Cruise Lines

AMERICAN CRUISE LINE

STAR is an ACL ship carrying one hundred passengers on the Hudson River itinerary. For a plan of the ship’s interior decks, click here.

Beginning November 5, 2011 she will start her run south via the Intracoastal Waterway and Chesapeake Bay, ending in the Historic South & Golden Isles.

Lighthouses on this section of the River

1883 Lighthouse at Sleepy Hollow Formerly called the Tarrytown Lighthouse
Stony Point Lighthouse – Not far from the Stony Point Battleground, south of the Bear Mountain Bridge

A Virtual tour of Lyndhurst

Google Map – Sleepy Hollow to Poughkeepsie via West Point
West Point Photo – Google

More of Gail Hunter’s Striped Pot articles


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