Hudson River Driving Tour – Greene County Catskills
From farm stands to historic farmhouses, and a landmark lighthouse to the painter who captured light in a new way, discover the Great Northern Catskills’ River Region on the 30+ mile River Driving Tour.
The River Region of Greene County NY is rich in historical landmarks, breathtaking scenery, and idyllic farms offering all kinds of fresh produce, baked goods, and more to take home. Begin your tour at the Greene County Tourism Office in Leeds just off Exit 21 on the New York State Thruway from either direction. The helpful staff will point you in the right direction and provide some insider tips for places to grab a bite or snap a great pic.
From here, head to downtown Catskill where the Hudson River rushes toward the harbors in New York City. Stop your driving tour at Dutchman’s Landing Park to enjoy the scenic views of the river and the Hudson River Skywalk, a pedestrian bridge that spans the river and connects the towns of Catskill and Hudson. In the summer, the park plays host to a concert series and other events. Nearby, the Freightmaster’s Building, a vintage red brick building, is a maritime museum where you can learn about the Hudson River’s history as a transportation thoroughfare. After exploring the riverfront, drive to the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. Thomas Cole is known as the “Father of American Art,” for founding the Hudson River School style of painting. His home, Cedar Grove, is now a national historic site and open for tours. Special exhibits and events are hosted on a seasonal basis, and an on-site gift shop offers souvenirs and books to take home.
From Catskill, steer your driving tour toward the river town of Athens. The Hudson-Athens Lighthouse can be easily seen from the riverbank. This architectural gem was built in 1874 and was manned for nearly 100 years. Today, visitors can take a guided tour of the lighthouse on the second Saturday of the month from July through October. Stretch your legs at the Cohotate Preserve in Athens where self-guided nature walks reveal a beautiful new perspective of the Hudson River. Before heading out of town, stop by Black Horse Farms’ country market to stock up on New York State-made goodness. From gourmet foods to fresh baked goods, and gifts to organic produce, this is a must stop!
From Athens, drive to the River Region town of Coxsackie (pronounced ‘cook-sock-ee’), to visit the oldest house in the Hudson Valley. The Bronck Museum is now a National Historic Landmark. It was built in the mid-1600s and served as a working farm for eight generations of the Bronck family. The house and grounds are now open for tours. Don’t miss the unique 13-sided barn that houses a collection of horse-drawn carriages and other farming vehicles. If you’re cruising through Coxsackie in the summer, stop and stay a while so you can take in an evening showing at the Hi-Way Drive-In.
From Coxsackie, hop back in your car, truck or van and drive to Hannacroix where Four Mile Point Preserve offers nature walks and historical context. Once the site of an Indigenous people’s tool making workshop, the preserve offers a relaxing place to walk along the Hudson River.
Wrap up your driving tour of the River Region at Boehm Farm in Hannacroix. Open from July through December, the farm stand is stocked with fresh, in-season produce and fruit. In season pick-your-own apples, pumpkins and peaches are offered as well.