4 Must-Do Outdoor Activities in the Hudson Valley this Spring and Summer

Hudson-Athens Lighthouse, Hudson River, Columbia County

Could there be a more perfect time than spring and summer to venture out into the sun-kissed world of the Hudson Valley? With its meandering rivers, rolling hills, and a plethora of outdoor hotspots, this region is an adventurer's paradise. Whether you're a lifelong local, or just passing through, here are four outdoor activities that you simply can't miss out on.

1. A Historic Voyage to the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse

Columbia & Greene

Withstanding the test of time, the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse celebrates 150 years of shining over the Hudson River. This beacon of history is not only a structure of architectural wonder but also the heart of community events throughout its celebratory year.

Join the Boating Flotilla Parade on June 1, 2024, to see a majestic display of boats circling the lighthouse. The parade departs from Athens at noon, winding its way down to Catskill, past the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, and back up to Hudson. Expect live music, delectable food, and a lively atmosphere at the Hudson Riverfront Park. Or book a spot on a Scheduled Lighthouse Tour, where you can immerse in literary works like Virginia Woolf's 'To the Lighthouse,' read on a ferry that takes passengers to the lighthouse. It'll be an experience you won't soon forget.

2. Kayaking in the Great Northern Catskills


For a more personal communion with nature, head to the Great Northern Catskills and discover the thrill of kayaking. Escape the humdrum of daily life as you paddle through picturesque rivers and crystal-clear lakes, their tranquil waters reflecting the beauty of the lush surrounding forests. Kayaking in Greene County offers an array of experiences, ranging from leisurely floats matched with spectacular views to thrilling escapades for the more advanced kayaker.

A noteworthy locale is the scenic section of the Hudson River by Coxsackie and Athens, where you can kayak and take in this historic region's heritage and elegance. And for those looking to begin or improve their kayaking skills, guides at Screaming Eagle Outdoor Adventures will point you in the right direction, ensuring safe, enjoyable journeys along the waterways. Their kayak rentals and tours make it easy for novices and experts to relish the region's water sports.

3. Tee Off at Putnam County Golf Course


If you prefer the lulling green of well-kept fairways, then head to Putnam County Golf Course, which promises a day of leisurely outdoor exertion and scenic beauty. Nestled in the rolling hills of the Hudson Valley, the course provides a serene setting for golf enthusiasts.

Golfers can expect varied terrains, tricky bunkers, and picturesque views as they make their way through the impeccably maintained course. But the Golf Course isn't just for seasoned players; it hosts a multitude of events that cater to all levels of play, from social rounds with live music and dining experiences to comedy nights that will have you laughing all the way to the next tee.

4. Visit the Only Art Deco Amusement Park in America


For an adrenaline rush of a different kind, ride the waves of nostalgia at Playland, America’s only Art Deco amusement park. Here, history and heart-pounding fun collide. Climb aboard the "Dragon" coaster, celebrating 95 years of thrills, or take a plunge on the water-soaked log flume. Little ones can enjoy a fairytale-like experience in the expansive Kiddyland, while the brave can take on the original "Derby Racer," one of only two left in the entire United States.

Don't just plan a visit; seek out Playland on special occasions to make the most of your outing. Keep an eye out for reduced admission days, or perhaps plan your trip around events like First Responders Day to show support for local heroes. Whatever the season, Playland is a timeless treasure for the young and the young at heart.

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This program is supported by a grant awarded to Hudson Valley Tourism by New York State's Empire State Development and the I LOVE NY Division of Tourism.

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