Patches of white snow are melting from the Hudson Valley landscape right now, and spring is coming in with longer days, more sunshine, and an explosion of flowers. The long winter should produce a bumper crop of colorful blossoms, emerald green golf courses, and spirit-lifting walks in the parks. The region is readying for warmer weather with big plans to get visitors into our great outdoors.
The Fields at Art Omi in Ghent are about to get a carpet of fresh green under their modern sculptures. The park is open every day during daylight hours, presenting the works of internationally recognized contemporary and modern artists. Explore over sixty acres of rolling farmland, wetlands, and wooded areas as you experience a wide range of large-scale works in a singular outdoor environment. Just south, 12 acres of meticulously maintained and awe inspiring landscapes of different varieties are found at Stonecrop Gardens in Cold Spring. From woodland and water gardens to raised alpine stone beds, the sites offers visitors a true taste of the horticultural beauty that thrives in the HudsonValley. As testament to the amazing displays, the estate was owned by a former chairman of the New York Botanical Gardens, leading to the creation of the Garden Conservancy, a national organization.
Pocket parks provide escape from urban surroundings and the newly reconstructed Dutch Gardenin New City is a welcome retreat. Brick lined paths lead to lavish formal gardens brimming with tulips in spring. A bubbling spring provides a soothing backdrop as you make your way to the teahouse and gazebo, great places to sit with a picnic lunch to contemplate nature any day of the week. From carefully manicured flora to a walk on the wild side, Sterling Forest State Park in Tuxedo is just a short drive from New City. April is prime time for catching the spring migration of birds. The 19,000 acres of pristine forest and wetlands have 27 well marked trails that connect to longer trail systems (like the 2100-mile Appalachian Trail). The stunning visitor center on SterlingLake is full of information to get you started.
And nothing could be springier than the Daffodil Tea at Wilderstein in Rhinebeck on April 12th. The afternoon affair is celebrated with fine tea, finger sandwiches, homemade cake, and a tour of the 1888 Queen Anne mansion. Wilderstein was the home to Daisy Suckley, cousin and confidante of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The home was dramatized in the recent film Hyde Park on Hudson with Laura Linney & Bill Murray.
There may still be snow at the ski resorts, but as it melts the greens are being prepped and it’s time to get back in the swing of things for golf season. The Empire Golf Expo in Albany from March 28ththrough the 30th can help you take on those fairways, avoid sand dunes, and locate the right ball retriever for those pesky ponds. The weekend-long event features 60 vendors, a variety of speakers, giveaways, the 19th Hole Taste of New York event, and more. So get your tickets, leave the golf glove at home, and get ready for a weekend of fun!
Cabin fevered families make tracks annually to the 100.7 WHUD Kids Fair in White Plains on Saturday, March 29th. It’s a full day of interactive exhibits, games, live animals, and music. Toddlers through teens will have a ball seeing all the fun resources available in the upcoming warmer weather. Then bring the kids outdoors to the Jeepers Peepers Spring Moon Walk on April 11th in Highland. Stroll along the Hudson Valley Rail Trail in the early evening listening for peepers and other signs of spring. This nearly three-mile (round-trip) guided moonwalk includes light snacks, beverages, and a bonfire.
It’s that time of year. Historic houses are being aired out, golf courses trimmed, and spirit-lifting blossoms in yellow, pink, and lavender will blanket the region in just a matter of weeks. After the long winter, the HudsonValley is ready to burst into spring with festive colors and events. Come see what’s fresh and green up and down the river!
The Fields at Art Omi, Ghent. 518-392-4747, www.artomi.org
Stonecrop Gardens, Cold Spring. 845-265-2000, www.Stonecrop.org
Dutch Garden County Park, New City. 845-364-2670, http://rocklandgov.com/departments/environmental-resources/county-parks-and-dog-runs/dutch-garden/
Sterling Forest State Park, Tuxedo. 845-351-5907, www.palisadesparksconservancy.org
Daffodil Tea, Rhinebeck. 845-876-4818, www.wilderstein.org
Empire Golf Expo, Albany. 518-669-3112, www.empiregolfexpo.com
100.7 WHUD Kids Fair, White Plains. 914-995-4050, www.countycenter.biz
Jeepers Peepers Spring Moon Walk, Highland. 845-691-2066, www.hudsonvalleyrailtrail.net