Photo Credit: Bash Bish Creek Taconic State Park
Tucked away in the Hudson Valley, New York is a bucolic countryside setting with a plethora of cultural events, locations, and activities. The historic Columbia County is a treasure trove full of exquisite architecture, shopping, art, and nature. Miles of greenery makes Columbia County ideal for visitors who love the outdoors and hiking.
Columbia County: Drives
Photo Credit: Clermont State Historic Site, Daniel Region
Columbia County has three bicycling or driving routes available for visitors to enjoy. The first route is a thirty-minute drive, showcasing scenes of rolling hills and farmlands. The area includes Taconic State Park, which is full of picnic sites and campgrounds. Crystal streams snake through the forests where rainbow trout can be caught and the Bash Bish Falls is a sight to see. The area is perfect for taking a scenic stroll or making a mile-long hike to the falls.
The second route is a seventy-minute drive with panoramic views of the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River. The trip winds through little green valleys containing picturesque old farmhouses and estates. Brief, historical side trips can be made during the drive if you want to visit the Luykas Van Alen House, the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, or the Shaker Museum and Library.
Photo Credit: Upper Stuyvesant Falls: Joan Lezette
The third route is described as fifteen miles of history. The drive is highlighted by orchards, horse farms, and fantastic vistas of the Catskill Mountains. The town of Hudson is one of the stops and it’s known for its unique, varied architecture and antique dealers. Another area visitors will encounter during the historic drive is Frederic Church’s Olana, a prized mansion in the Hudson Valley, which is the home of one of the country’s premier landscape painters. The estate has the feel of Victorian elegance and the look of a Persian palace. Guided tours of the villa are available, but you can also stroll down Olana’s lovely trails on your own. The Clermont State Historic Site is reminiscent of a golden age. You can take a tour of the grand 500-acre Hudson River estate, the Clermont great house, which is the former home to seven generations of the distinguished Livingston family. The area is bordered by the Hudson River and the formal gardens are perfect to stroll through or stop for a picnic.