Go outside today. St. Winifred will watch over you.
“One of the great things about Hudson is how quickly you can get into wilder places from the city,” says Michelle Hughes, one of three co-managers at the newly-opened Rolling Grocer 19. Many of our new Hudson neighbors echoed Hughes’ sentiment when we asked them what they love about living and working in the city. If you’re a nature fan looking for fun things to do in Hudson here are some of their ideas for hikes, swimming, fruit picking, grilling, and many ways to enjoy the mighty Hudson River. If you’re interested in our new neighbors’ suggestions on where to eat in Hudson, check out last week’s post, What to Eat in Hudson.
Leave the kids at the beach and take a moment for yourself in the shade.
Tamar Adler, a contributing editor for Vogue and former New York Times Magazine columnist fell so in love with Oakdale Lake when she moved to Hudson 3 ½ years ago, she wound up founding a nonprofit to support and improve it. Adler, author of Something Old, Something New and An Everlasting Meal, has a new podcast, called Scrambled!, which she’s recording in Hudson. It will be out on Luminary in October. She’s wowed by this “beautiful, underestimated freshwater lake right downtown.”
But it’s more than a lake, too. It’s a 14 acre public park on North 6th Street with swimming, trails, grills (pick up some meat and take it with you!), basketball, and a skate park — the perfect place for a picnic. Our friend Suzanne Snider, founder of Oral History Summer School, also told us she loves playing in the sand by Oakdale Lake with her daughter.
Many of our neighbors told us how much they love the Hudson River, which, as Audrey Berman, a co-manager of Rolling Grocer 19, points out, is “technically an estuary.” It’s tidal all the way up to Troy. Berman’s colleague Cece Graham, the third co-manager of the sliding-scale payment grocery store, says, “The waterfront of Hudson isn’t as developed as most waterfronts up and down the Hudson, but ours has the best sunsets and a water taxi which brings you to another great city, Athens.” The ride is $15 and you can buy tickets at the waterfront, though they can sell out.
Oral History Summer School’s Suzanne Snider also extols the pleasure of a waterfront sunset. So does Tina Dipper, program director at Perfect Ten, a daily out-of-school program offering educational and experiential opportunities just for girls ages 8 to 18. Its magical space/clubhouse is on a whole floor of Hudson’s fantastic library. “The river is always a great place to sit and reflect. It’s beautiful,” says Dipper.
Two ways to access the waterfront are city-run parks: the Promenade Hill Park at 1 North Front Street, has Hudson River views plus a playground. And the Henry Hudson Waterfront Park, accessible by Broad Street, has river access with a kayak and boat launch, plus a pavilion and picnic areas.
This fella still works. Hard. Every day.
Mona Talbott of Talbott & Arding, maybe the best spot on Warren Street for prepared foods, curated cheeses, and perfect baked goods, loves picking cherries at Fix Brothers. “It’s five minutes from town – dreamy lush orchards and ripe juicy fruit,” she says.
If you go in mid-July, you might also run into Taylor Cocalis of Suarez Family Brewery and Good Food Jobs. That’s when the morello (black sour) cherries are ripe. “Sign up for their email list, as the harvest date changes each season based on the weather that year,” says Cocalis. “The black sours are prized among many Middle Eastern, Eastern European, and Russian cultures. It’s fun to walk the fields of folks that come from hours away to pick them. It’s a real cultural treat to hear the different languages and see how different folks preserve them,” she adds. When she isn’t picking cherries, Cocalis is currently working on getting the brewery’s “can shack” up and running. It’s an outdoor space for people to gather, enjoy the outdoor weather and a can of beer, and bring their dogs.
After a September day in the vineyard, you'll need a pint.
PICK YOUR OWN CONCORD GRAPES
If you’re driving outside of Hudson around Livingston, near the Suarez Family Brewery, and it happens to be September, keep your eyes peeled for a Pick Your Own sign. “Every year in September, our neighbor puts out a sign for Pick Your Own. Usually they are 30 or 40 cents per pound. She has folks come from all over who have just passed the sign over the years or told their friends (many make wine out of them). It’s a totally under the radar thing that you would not know about unless you passed by,” says Cocalis. If you’re looking to GPS it, this amazing neighbor is just three doors north of Suarez Family Brewery. See you there!
Pick a road less traveled.
“My favorite walk is High Falls. It’s an easy waterfall hike fifteen minutes outside of Hudson,” says Anthony D’Argenzio, creator of This Old Hudson lodging and the art direction company Zio & Sons. “You can walk your dog there and there’s a big, beautiful waterfall.”
If you’re looking for Hudson River views and a hike, look no further. “I love walking into the Greenport Conservation Area through the old capped North Bay landfill at the end of 2nd Street. There are really sweet views of the river and you eventually connect up with the yellow and red trails in the park,” says Rolling Grocer 19’s Hughes. This is also Maddie Fischer’s favorite spot to run and hike. She’s the program manager for the School and Community programs at The Sylvia Center.
“One thing I love about Hudson is the access to the river,” says Sharece Johnson, the after-school coordinator at Kite’s Nest, a center for liberatory education with multidisciplinary classes for children and teens during the day, after-school, during school breaks, and throughout the summer. “I just recently went canoeing for the first time with some of our teens on the Stockport Creek and then entered into the Hudson River. I have taken a few boat trips in my life in the Hudson. This was my favorite.” Johnson, who also runs Kite’s Nest’s Social Justice Leadership Academy, was canoeing with a few other adults and around a dozen kids between the ages of 13 and 16. Nicole Cardish, the Farm Based Program Manager with The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, NY, is also a big fan of the waterways around Hudson. She prefers a kayak to a canoe and her companion is her dog, Julep.
A bridge to the arts.
We can’t get enough of this pedestrian path along the Rip Van Winkle bridge. It’s the best of both worlds — Catskill on one side, Hudson on the other. It connects two homes of historic artists: the Thomas Cole National Historic Site and Frederic Church’s Olana. This is the spot for the panoramic views of the Hudson Valley that inspired the artists. The path also boasts a unique view of the Hudson River; it’s a narrower, lusher point of the river and feels like a whole separate world. Are we the only ones who think the giant display of bushes that spell out Rip Van Winkle on the Catskill side is more iconic than the Hollywood sign?
If you’re hankering to pick blueberries, head here in season. This is the first year they will be offering you-pick pumpkins, too. It’s just outside of Hudson proper. And, if you’re visiting from out of town, you can even stay here. We have and it’s lovely.