Hudson Valley, New York: Culture and Nature
By Lucie Laura
Beginning just above New York City is the idyllic and sophisticated Hudson Valley, a world-class destination where culture and nature flow together harmoniously. The Hudson Valley extends from New York City to Albany, the capital of New York State, and through it flows the Hudson River.
Panoramic Views from the Walkway Over the Hudson
To get a sense of the size of this area, I visited the exciting Walkway Over the Hudson. The former railway bridge spanning over the mighty Hudson River is raised at about a height of 64.6 meters and provides incomparably stunning views of the surrounding nature. From the middle of the bridge, I enjoyed the vistas.
Outdoor Fun at Bear Mountain State Park
Next, I made my way over to Bear Mountain State Park, which looks like a bear lying down. On a clear day, this nature reserve with forests and a large lake provides views all the way to Manhattan from the top of the mountain. The park offers over 298 kilometers of hiking trails, including part of the Appalachian Trail, one of the longest hiking trails in the world running through 14 states. It’s a really great feeling to set foot on this famous path and stand here overlooking the Hudson Valley. In winter you can also enjoy cross-country skiing, and every October the park is transformed into a small German Oktoberfest! The park is also perfect for families; in addition to the beautiful carousel, there is a small zoo. And for those that might want to spend the night here, rooms can be rented at the romantic and historic inn right in the park.
Art in the Storm King Art Center
After a short lunch break, we continued to the Storm King Art Center outdoor museum. I have never before experienced such a beautiful combination of art and nature. A walk through the property and all its meadows, hills, swamps and forests turned into a relaxing hike, stimulating the body and soul equally. On my stroll through the hills of the Art Center, I encountered abstract steel constructions from 1960 to today and sculptures by world famous artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Henry Moore and Louise Nevelson. There is a cafe and a minibus around, so that you can always hop on and off.
Kykuit, The Rockefeller Estate
Finally, I had to see the estate of John D. Rockefeller also known as Kykuit. This word comes from Dutch and means “view.” The beautiful 40-room building houses an exquisite and versatile art collection and offers the perfect ending to my discovery tour through the Hudson Valley. I strolled through the romantic gardens and took one last look onto the majestic Hudson Valley.
My trip to the Hudson Valley was one of the best travel experiences I have ever had, because the range of breathtaking scenery and impressive culture surprised and enchanted me. I cannot wait to come back to New York’s Hudson Valley.