Spring into the Valley!

Spring is starting to emerge its lovely head from the earth, crocuses peaking their heads through the small remaining patches of snow. Green leaves starting to bud and slowly unfurl with the promise of a beautiful springtime ahead.

Planning on visiting the Hudson Valley this spring? Here are a few things to put on your bucket list when you visit.

Photo of Olana Historic Site

Visit Olana!

Admission: $5 per vehicle on Weekends/Holidays during April – October. Free all other times. We recommend booking your tour in advance as they do fill up.

Olana has been featured many times in articles about the valley, but now is the time to come and check it out. Spring brings a plethora of spring flowers and budding trees along with the fresh crisp spring air. Olana State Historic Site, a National Historic Landmark, was the home and studio of Hudson River School painter Frederic Edwin Church, and is run by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Taconic Region.

There are self guided tours where you can walk from Fredrick Church’s family’s farm and orchards, past a lake created from lands that were originally swamp to the site of Church’s first studio and more vistas along the walking tour. Self-guided audio tours of the landscape are available at http://www.olana.org/digitaltour/ to download and play on smart phones and tablets.

Don’t forget to check out the aerial video tour of Olana, which is just amazing! 

Sail the Clearwater!

The Clearwater was founded by singer Pete Seeger, who was an activist and environmentalist. Many say that Pete Seeger was one of the most influential people of the twentieth century. He was very conflicted in the late 60s by the mess that the Hudson River had become, filled with toxic waste and pollution. Seeger together with other individuals sought to bring back the beauty of the Hudson. The organization built a 106 foot replica sloop similar to those that sailed the Hudson in centuries past. The  has been instrumental in the environmental movement for the past 50 years, educating, advocating and inspiring people.

Taking a tour on the Clearwater lets you see the region from the water and enjoy the wind in your hair. You can help the crew hoist sails or steer the boat as well as get a boat tour while getting an in depth education about the Hudson River’s history including learning about the biology of the river and ongoing environmental issues. Check out their sailing schedule at https://www.clearwater.org/come-sailing/public-sail-schedule/.

Hike Sam’s Point!

Sam’s Point is part of Minnewaska State Park Preserve, it has a fantastic waterfall, Verkeerderkill Falls, which has a 187′ waterfall that cascades off of the Shawangunk’s famous cliffs. The 8.3 mile loop trail is near Cragsmoor, New York and features a lake as well as the waterfall, and is rated as difficult to hike, but well worth it. It also has ice caves to explore, even in the heat of summer, the caves have a cool breeze running through them, as you may find snow in the caves up until mid July.

The ecosystem around the preserve is a rare and endangered one. It is one the few remaining Dwarf Pitch Pine barrens in the world. As you hike you will see fantastic views of the valley including the Catskills and the Roundout Valley and see as far as to High Point Monument in NJ! Sam’s Point is also part of the Hudson Valley’s Bird Conservation Area which has a great map if you are a bird watcher! The views of the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River are incredible!

Sam’s Point is one of the most Instagrammed places in the Hudson Valley, There have been about 1,700 photos taken at Sam’s Point so far. Check it out! https://www.instagram.com/explore/locations/895350864/sams-point-preserve/

Don’t forget to check out the Sam’s Point Trail Map and Sam’s Point Area Welcome Map before you go.

Click here for real time weather from the Sam’s Point Weather Station.

Bannerman Island Castle

Float on over to Bannerman Castle!

Bannerman Castle, former known as Pollepel, a location only accessible by boat, used to be considered haunted. You can find more history of the castle on their website which tells some fascinating stories about legends and actual history of the location, as well as the history of Francis Bannerman and construction of the replica Scottish castle he built in 1901.

The site offers a large variety of tours and events, from self guided tours, to a self guided tour with live music, a Guided Tour & Mini Hike to the Summit, a Tour of Bannerman Island from Beacon, NY, and a Tour of Bannerman Island from Newburgh, NY.

There is also the option of Kayak Tours; Storm King Adventure Tours from Cornwall, Hudson River Expeditions from Cold Spring and Mountain Top Outfitters offers kayak tours from Beacon .

The castle and grounds also host a score of other things to do and experience; Chefs Farm to Table Dinners, Movie Nights, Live Theater, and special seasonal and holiday tours throughout the season. Julius Caesar, Arsenic and Old Lace and Dracula (perfect for a creepy old castle!) are some of the upcoming theater events this year.

In the area and looking for some food lovers events to check out this month?

Mac and Cheese Fest, April 27, 2019
The Hudson Valley Mac and Cheese Fest will be at Brotherhood Winery from 1-5 p.m. Tour the winery and try mac and cheese samplings from restaurants around the Valley. Tickets start at $30. For more information visit: https://bap.ticketleap.com/

TAP New York, April 27-28, 2019
The TAP New York Craft Beer and Food Festival will be at Hunter Mountain from 2-6 p.m., April 27 and noon-4 p.m. Taste over 400 beers from more than 130 New York State micro-breweries. There will also be live music and a great selection of food. Tickets for the day start at $67, both days start at $123. For more information and to buy tickets, visit https://www.tap-ny.com/

Coffee and Tea Festival, April 28, 2019
A Cup of the Valley Coffee and Tea Festival will be at The Culinary Institute of America from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Check out imported coffees and teas and local edibles, exhibitions and demos about coffee and tea processes. The event also includes a latte art competition and a Japanese tea ceremony. Presale tickets are $17 and admission at the door is $20. For more information, visit https://acupofthevalley.com/

Taste of Rhinebeck, April 30, 2019
The Taste of Rhinebeck will be from 6-9:30 p.m., with over 20 eateries participating throughout the village of Rhinebeck. Tickets are $75 in advance or $100 at the door and include food and drinks and participating retailers. Find the registration tent at Foster’s Coach House. Call 845-871-1711 or visit http://www.tasteofrhinebeck.com/ for more information.

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