Upper Hudson Valley suggestions?

Old Jul 10th, 2022, 08:24 AM
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yk
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Upper Hudson Valley suggestions?

Hello! My family of 3 (son is almost 10) will be spending a week in the Berkshires in August. We do this every summer so we have been to most places in the Berkshires area. Now that my son is older, I'm thinking of spending one day or two (day trips) to the upper hudson valley area. Many years ago DH and I visited the FDR museum and Eleanor Roosevelt's Val-Kill in Hyde Park. I think we also visited Olana then. Are there other interesting places to visit (that are further to the north), such as historic sites/mansions or things that would interest a 10-year-old boy? Wondering if I should wait another few years before taking my son to FDR's place. Also considering a visit to Art Omi. Maybe Martin van Buren National Historic Site?

Also, last year the NY times published an article about biking in NY state. Has anyone done the upper hudson valley portion? We will be bringing our bikes with us on the trip.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...ire-trail.html

Thanks in advance!
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Old Jul 10th, 2022, 08:50 AM
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Have you visited the Vanderbilt mansion?

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Old Jul 10th, 2022, 10:37 AM
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I read "upper hudson" and immediately imagined the area 50-100 mi further upstream, north of Albany, up into the Adirondacks.... but as with all things "upstate" NY, the reference is all relative depending on your point of view.

I lived in what we would call that "Mid Hudson" region for many years and biked all or most of that Empire trail, https://empiretrail.ny.gov/ but not when it's been all connected as it is now. The stretch across the Hudson river at Poughkeepsie is definitely the most scenic. (this was my trip report when it first opened in 2009) Poughkeepsie - Walkway over the Hudson

Nearly all the rest is good biking trails along old RR tracks through the woods or near neighborhoods, with or some segments on roads. It's a great trail if you're in the area and want to stay off the roads, but not what I would call a destination. The stretch from Poughkeepsie to New Paltz would be a good ride, and New Paltz is a cute little town to stop for lunch (I don't have any specific recos).

Another part of the trail I find very scenic is the stretch just to the west of Albany along the Mohawk River/Erie Canal where you can see the locks in operation. If you are interested in that part I can give you more specific details..

The area just north of New Paltz is on dirt trail. It's been ages since I've been on that so I can't say if it's good or not. That general area (not necesssarily right on the bike trail) has some very nice hiking, with overlooks over the Hudson Valley.

Last edited by J62; Jul 10th, 2022 at 10:43 AM.
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Old Jul 11th, 2022, 10:58 AM
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Thank you so much for the info, J62. I'll do more research into the towns you mentioned and see how far a drive it is for us.

Michael, I think I've been to the Vanderbilt mansion the same trip we visited the other historic homes/sites.
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Old Jul 12th, 2022, 03:50 AM
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I don't think the Roosevelt home, Val-kill or the van buren historic site would be especially interesting to your son at his age.

maybe,the Rhinebeck aerodrome?

if you do go to New Paltz, the historic Huguenot street museum there is interesting.
we've never been to the Bronck museum in Coxackie but it's on our list of places to see and a good site to explore moe colonial era history

In addition to the Vanderbilt mansion in Hyde park, there are two state parks on estates along the river, the staatsburg (mills mansion)and Clermont state
historic sites

the walkway across the Hudson is interesting. Not recommended on a really hot day
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Old Jul 12th, 2022, 06:49 AM
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I don't know of a lot in what I'd call the upper Hudson area that is historic. There are a couple things south that you may not have seen that might interest him. Like George Washington's Headquarters near I84, which is the first national historic site or something. You need reservations for the tour, though.
https://parks.ny.gov/historic-sites/...s/details.aspx

And there is a Maritime Museum in Kingston devoted to Hudson Valley shipping history. Also some lighthouses around there, they have a lighthouse film at that Maritime Museum.
https://www.hrmm.org/hours-and-directions.html

I'm sure you can look at the Renssalear County website for maybe some ideas. I wonder if the Iron Works museum in Troy might be of interest?
https://hudsonmohawkgateway.org/the-...n-works-museum

I know my young nephew always liked seeing trucks/machines, stuff like that and how they are constructed and what they look like.
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Old Jul 12th, 2022, 02:29 PM
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If your son wants to continue exploring sites related to the Revolutionary War:
https://www.hudsonrivervalley.com/re...-hudson-valley
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Old Jul 12th, 2022, 02:31 PM
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And this site:
https://travelhudsonvalley.com/trave...lution-tour-2/
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Old Jul 22nd, 2022, 10:40 AM
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Thank you for all the additional ideas. VT, no we've never heard of/been to the Rhineback Aerodrome. looks very interesting. deladeb, I've stumbled across the Revolutionary website while exploring. Certainly lots of historic markers in that area. Christina, I think the Iron Works will be interesting to us too!

I don't think we will hit all these places on this trip, but fingers crossed we still have a number of years to come for us to visit them in the future.

J62, I've gone back to look at what you mentioned, and also gone to the Empire Trail website. I think the Erie Canal section you mentioned, just west of Albany, might works best for us. https://empiretrail.ny.gov/utica-wat...a-green-island The particular section I'm looking at is Cohoes to Niskayuna, which is about 10 miles (therefore 20 miles r/t). Does this segment have locks? The description doesn't mention it (not a dealbreaker, just curious).
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Old Jul 22nd, 2022, 05:24 PM
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That section from Cohoes to Niskayuna is a good ride. there is one section where you go down a hill, under the Northway (i-87), then back up a hill. I don't particularly like the part that starts in Cohoes.

There is only 1 lock in that are, Lock 7, in Niskayuna. I recommend you park at Lions Park on River Rd, then bike to the west to the lock 7, then go further west, up a big hill to the GE R&D center, then turn around. Then go the other way a few miles.....I can map out the total distance for you if you want... and you don't need to go up that hill - there's not much a view, and you can't get into the R&D center, or the Knolls navy nuclear power lab - both of which have great views.

If you want a longer stretch, with more locks you'd need to go furhter west of Schenectady. I'd have to look closer at maps to reco a good section


If you want to see the original locks, (no longer in operation, but builld in 1820 of massive rocks, you can visit the "Waterford Flight", (you'll need to look it up). No bike trails there, but i think it's neat to see those original locks. A bunch in a row (called a flight) to bypass the Cohoes falls.

If you are in town right after a large rainstorm, seeing the falls is impressive.

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Old Jul 23rd, 2022, 01:04 PM
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Thank you J62 for your explanation. And I really like the Empire trail website which not only has detailed maps, but also elevation chart for each segment so I can see what you meant about the hills.
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Old Jul 24th, 2022, 12:41 PM
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Does your son like baseball? We enjoyed visiting Cooperstown which I realize is a bit of a distance, but not that far, from some of the places you mentioned. I knew my son would love the Baseball Hall of Fame museum but my daughter and I were surprised how much we enjoyed it, as well. The town is very cute and has a lot to offer besides baseball. We actually wished we had scheduled more time to visit than just one day.
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Old Aug 1st, 2022, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by J62 View Post
That section from Cohoes to Niskayuna is a good ride. there is one section where you go down a hill, under the Northway (i-87), then back up a hill. I don't particularly like the part that starts in Cohoes.

There is only 1 lock in that are, Lock 7, in Niskayuna. I recommend you park at Lions Park on River Rd, then bike to the west to the lock 7, then go further west, up a big hill to the GE R&D center, then turn around. Then go the other way a few miles.....I can map out the total distance for you if you want... and you don't need to go up that hill - there's not much a view, and you can't get into the R&D center, or the Knolls navy nuclear power lab - both of which have great views.

If you want a longer stretch, with more locks you'd need to go furhter west of Schenectady. I'd have to look closer at maps to reco a good section


If you want to see the original locks, (no longer in operation, but builld in 1820 of massive rocks, you can visit the "Waterford Flight", (you'll need to look it up). No bike trails there, but i think it's neat to see those original locks. A bunch in a row (called a flight) to bypass the Cohoes falls.

If you are in town right after a large rainstorm, seeing the falls is impressive.
Hello J62, thanks again for taking the time to explain this to me. We did exactly this ride today, started at Lions Park, went 4 miles West just past the hill and the baseball field/park, then turned around, and went 2 miles east to the Shaker River. total 12 miles. We could have gone farther but it was pretty hot and my son was complaining about the heat. When we first got to Lock 7, there happened to be a barge in the lock so we got to see it operate! We also chatted with the lock operator to learn more about it (it takes 15 minutes to fill, but can empty as fast as 10 minutes). 27 feet difference; though the lock is about 40 feet deep. For each 10 feet there is 2 Million gallons of water.

Not sure if we will get to any of the other NYS sites this time; weather is a bit too hot, and somehow I thought we will have plenty of time but now I am not so sure anymore.
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Old Aug 1st, 2022, 03:37 PM
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I'm so glad that worked out for you. I never tire seeing the locks in operation, and #7 is my favorite.

12 miles on the Erie Canal. That's close enough to 15 to sing the song...
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