This historic village on the Hudson River is great for kayaking and hiking to scenic vistas.
About 60 miles north of New York City, this Hudson River village is ringed by state parks. Visitors here can explore marshlands, vast forests, mountains, and, of course, the river itself. The historic small town is a fun destination for summer camping and autumn hiking when the brilliant foliage makes the vistas that much prettier. The Constitution Marsh Audubon Center is just south of town. This nature preserve is excellent turf for bird watching and kayaking the inlets among the rushes. Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve is to the north, a 6,000-acre forest where visitors can hike, fish, and hunt. The steep climb to Breakneck Ridge rewards hikers with panoramic views of the Hudson River Valley. Just off the shore is the tiny Bannerman Island, the site of an abandoned castle. Across the Hudson River is Storm King State Park. Hiking trails loop through this forest, with rocky paths leading to the top of Storm King Mountain. Boaters can launch into the river at the nearby Donahue Memorial Park. Campers can pitch a tent at the Fahnestock State Park, just 9 miles from Cold Spring. The sandy beach along Canopus Lake is a lovely spot for swimming. Rental kayaks are available. Further south in Harriman State Park, Beaver Pond Campground has camping along Lake Welch. A swimming beach and boat make the park popular with families if a bit crowded. There's a limited number of RV sites, but for full hook-ups, trailers should head south to one of the area's RV parks. The Hudson River Greenway Water Trail is an excellent resource for kayakers. The map gives the exact locations of launch sites along a 256-mile stretch of the river, plus amenities such as camping.