My Road to Recovery – Walking Amongst the Fall Colors in New York

As noted in my last post, I suffered a freakish tree accident in New York late last month.  My injuries were very serious, but I was certainly extremely lucky as my healthy condition can and will be regained over the next several months. As I want to continue to build upon my previous posts, which described travel, adventures, food, and entertainment, I figured that one recovery item that I could share would be my daily walks (my physical therapy) and coincidentally the fall colors.

My Road to Recovery description starts in Poughkeepise, NY, which is located is in the Hudson River Valley, New York  (1.5 hours outside of NYC). Now in mid-fall, the colors are popping with greens turning to vibrant oranges, yellows, and reds.   Not unlike the thousands of other tourists in the Hudson River Valley, I too left each day to walk amongst the colors and became a “leaf peeper” (nickname for those that come to view the fall foliage and photograph).

For those considering a trip to the Hudson River Valley, here are my two favorite routes in Poughkeepsie and its neighboring town, Hyde Park for leaf peeping.

Hudson Valley recommendation #1: Walkway Over the Hudson State Park

Officially opened on October 3, 2009, the Walkway Over the Hudson State Park provides pedestrians, hikers, joggers, bikers (and even Ms Traveling Pants) access to the Hudson River’s landscape (see picture from the East side overlooking the Hudson River and fall colors).

The walkway is built upon a railroad bridge that was erected in the late 19th century. Struck by a fire in 1974,  the bridge was abandoned and sat for decades as an oprhaned relic. Now reworked, the bridge stands 212 feet above the river’s surface and is 1.28 miles long, making it the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world.

On Columbus Day weekend, just one week after its grand opening, probably a thousand of locals, tourists, and I walked this bridge.  It was THE place to be with the gamant of visitors, including bikers, rollerbladers, dogs, owners, children, strollers, and more. Truly, the only way that I could describe the phenomenon was that people were coming out the of the woodwork to walk for the first time across the bridge and take in the colors. Despite all of the crowd’s energy and the beauty, I was pooped and made it to the river’s edge only.  So, I must return to walk the entire bridge when I am further along on my Road to Recovery.

Hudson Valley recommendation #2: Vanderbilt Mansion

The Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site is located in Hyde Park. Established in 1940, the grounds have been set aside as an arboretum for public enjoyment.  The park offers tours of the mansion and 211 acres of land with stunning Hudson River and Catskill Mountain views (see Mansion to the left and view of the Hudson at start of post).

Having taken the tour earlier in 2009 (roughly $8), I learned that this mansion was only a summer cottage for the Vanderbilts.   From May to September, the Vanderbilts would host social gatherings of New York City’s elite at the cottage.  So in essence, the Vanderbilts started the tradition that continues even today of New York City’s elite escaping the City to spend their summers in the Hudson River Valley.

Over the last weeks, I came numerous times to walk and take in the beautiful views. From the park’s road, you can see the Hudson River (both to the North and South) and the Catskill Mountains (to the North and West).  Having enjoyed its balance of majestic views and peaceful environment,  I have no doubt why the Vanderbilts chose such a place to entertain. Who could not be in awe of the vast grounds,  rose gardens, Hudson River, Catskill Mountains, or the worldly masterpieces inside?

So I will leave you with my two picks and share with you that I have relocated my Road to Recovery to be closer to family in Massachusetts.  I will continue to feature fall colors (now n New England) as well as daily insights.

As always remember that, “Every occasion in life can be categorized as either a good time or a good story.”

Thank you for letting me share my good times and good stories with you.

Ms Traveling Pants

2 Comments

  1. Great suggestions!

    There are also a few good hikes on the west side of the river, notably near West Park, in Black Creek Forest, where a 3 mile moderate and child-friendly loop brings one right next to the Hudson River.

    And of course, there is always the Mohonk Preserve and Minnewaska State Preserve, with their miles of trails and carriage roads…

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