The Hudson Valley in southern New York may invoke images of a bustling urban setting, given its proximity to New York City. However, the Hudson Valley has a number of wonderful places that feature natural environments and beautiful scenery. Below are a few great locations to visit if you are in need of a natural getaway.
Though this destination is man-made, its surroundings are breathtaking. The castle bears some interesting history, as it was built as an armory, rather than a living space. Nestled on its own isolated island in the middle of the Hudson River, the Bannerman Castle shows how architecture can withstand the test of time, as well as how the natural elements work to overshadow it. Visit the island by signing up for a guided tour, as the area can be dangerous on your own.
One of the best escapes from city life, the Mohonk Preserve offers a number of engaging activities, from horseback rides and cliff climbing to hiking trails and a butterfly garden. With more than 8000 acres of natural landscape under their protection, the preserve seeks to provide education and immersion. Stunning mountains, fields, and rivers are among the features you will be able to take in at Mohonk.
Formed as a private garden sixty years ago, the Stonecrop Gardens have hosted a number of stunning plants The original owners, the Cabots, were fond of alpine plants, and they began their own mail-order nursery to supply others with their desired plants. Spread over 15 acres, the gardens provide a peaceful location to relax and appreciate nature in a controlled environment.
The gardens will only be available for visits from the public through the 31st of October, and they will reopen in spring 2019.
Storm King Highway
Visiting this location won’t allow for much time out in nature, but this stretch of Route 218 provides an incredible, renowned scenic view. Winding around Storm King Mountain, this narrow road is carved out of the cliff face, and at the lookout, you’ll have a magnificent view of the Hudson River and the land below. Regarded as one of New York’s most scenic routes, this section of highway offers a notable outlook, as the road is bordered by rock on one side and a steep drop into the river on the other.
In addition to these destinations, New York has a number of state parks that are open year round. Many offer guided tours as well as independent activities. If you want to escape the excitement of a city or just immerse yourself in the natural elements, visit some of the locations featured above!