Outdoor Adventure Awaits in the Lower Region of the Hudson River Valley
The Hudson Valley Lodging Association offers visitors a variety of lodging choices throughout the Valley, starting about 1 hour north of the New York metropolitan area, and ranging north on both sides of the Hudson River to within a half hour drive from the state capital of Albany.
To help you find the perfect accommodation to suit your needs, we have divided the Valley into Lower, Middle and Upper regions. The Lower Region includes the New York counties of Putnam, Orange, Rockland and Westchester.
Orange County was founded in the late 1600s when the Province of New York was split into 12 counties, each of which was named to honor a member of the British Royal Family. Orange County took its name in honor of the Prince of Orange – later to become King William III.
When Henry Hudson sailed his ship “Half Moon” up the Hudson River and into Orange County’s Cornwall Bay in 1609, he was the first in what would become a very long line of renowned travelers to the area. Among the men and women who arrived in Orange County are many who helped determine and develop the history and culture of the young American nation.
The United States owes its existence to the brave work of the Continental Army, which first occupied West Point in 1778. West Point, which George Washington considered the most important military position in America at the time, remains the oldest continuously operating Army post in the United States. The Great Hudson River Chain and high ground above the narrow “S” curve in the river enabled the Continental Army to prevent British Royal Navy ships from sailing up the Hudson and thus dividing the Colonies in two. As commander of the fortifications at West Point, however, Benedict Arnold committed his act of treason, attempting to sell the fort to the British.
In 1802, President Thomas Jefferson signed legislation establishing the United States Military Academy (USMA) on the West Point grounds. Since its founding, the USMA at West Point has been recognized as one of the world’s preeminent academic and military leadership schools. It’s alumni roll boasts US Presidents and leaders of several foreign countries, Senators, Congressmen, Astronauts, leaders of Industry, famous athletes and, of course, leaders of every great military campaign fought over the past 200 plus years. Orange County and West Point have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship – both growing steadily over the years while respecting and incorporating the natural surrounding beauty.
Orange is the only New York County located between two rivers, the Hudson on the east, and the Delaware on the west – affording the outdoorsman unique opportunities for swimming, fishing, sailing, kayaking or whitewater river rafting.
In addition to its rivers, and numerous creeks, ponds, and lakes, Orange County is full of gently rolling hills, and it is where the Great Valley of the Appalachians finally opens up and ends. In the southern portion of the county, the Wallkill Valley expands into a wide glacial lakebed known as the Black Dirt Region for its fertility.
There are so many outdoor activities that one can enjoy in Orange. Everything from hiking to biking, sailing to hot air ballooning, fishing and hunting, skiing and skating, apple picking and farmers’ markets, leaf peeping and Christmas Tree shopping – you are sure to kept in our wonderful outdoors. What makes Orange County so unique is that it offers incredible natural beauty and wonder only 1 hour from New York City.
Among the County’s other popular attractions are:
- Storm King Art Center
- Sugar Loaf Art & Craft Village
- Shawangunk Wine Trail
- Woodbury Common Premium Outlets
- Orange County Choppers
- Washington’s Headquarters
- National Purple Heart Hall of Honor
- Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame
- Gillinder Glass
- The Newburgh Waterfront
For more information about what you can see and do or where you can dine and lodge, see the Orange County Tourism site.