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For a leisurely afternoon excursion, slip into the river from the boat launch at Garrison's Landing, near the Garrison train stop. Across the Hudson River loom the buildings of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Paddle upriver, past Constitution Island and Constitution Marsh, and land at Cold Spring. For quicker access to the marsh, enter the water in Cold Spring, where kayak rentals (about $60 a day) are available.
Removed from the river's currents, Constitution Marsh is one of the most peaceful places on the Hudson to dip your paddle. Wide canals let you steer amid the marsh plants and wildlife—but take care not to lose your sense of direction in this maze of waterways. Keep in mind that because the Hudson is actually an estuary, tides affect the marsh. Avoid getting yourself grounded in the mud by leaving plenty of time to get back to the shore by low tide.
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