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In the Lower Hudson Valley nearer Manhattan, rugged hills rise nearly 1,000 feet above the river. Magnificent mansions with names like Kykuit, Lyndhurst, Philipsburg Manor and Van Cortlandt Manor perch on top. By the time the river reaches the upper valley, the landscape smoothes out a bit, yet the views are still as spectacular. Farms and estates occupied by the same families for centuries span the river banks.
Unknown to many, the Hudson River is also laden with several centuries of American history. General George Washington moved his headquarters to Newburgh and his friend Benedict Arnold served as commander of West Point.
In summer, flock to the crystal blue waters for sports, relaxation or just plain fun. In autumn, the trees light up the countryside with hues of amber, yellow and crimson. Enjoy the colours by boat trip around the lake or drive along meandering country roads.The area is also well known for its history and heritage. American novelist James Fenimore Cooper made Cooper’s Cave in Glen Falls famous in his novel, The Last of the Mohicans.
A scenic drive up Prospect Mountain Memorial Highway delivers breathtaking views of Vermont’s Green Mountains, New Hampshire’s White Mountains, New York’s Adirondack High Peaks and on a very clear day, the Laurentians of Canada.
Be sure to visit The Wild Center, the natural history centre located in Tupper Lake. Outdoor exhibits take visitors into the ecosystems that surround the Center with canoe trips on the river and daily guided trail walks. Indoor exhibits focus on the 50 species of animals that live around the Center. The Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake is also a must see.
Watkins Glen State Park has a descending stream that cascades 400 feet down past 200 foot high cliffs. Chemung County has become known as the Soaring Capital of America. You can take a sail plane into the skies while enjoying some of New York’s best views.
See and feel the spray up close on a Maid of the Mist boat trip, a Niagara must. Also not to be missed, are the illuminations - every evening at dusk the falls come alive with the colours of the rainbow. Book dinner at Terrapin Grille located in the Marriott Fallsview hotel for an incredible vantage point.