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Fall Kayaking Destinations: New York’s Hudson River Valley


The Hudson River is a kayaker’s dream, extending over 300 miles from northern Saratoga County in the Adirondacks all the way down to Battery Park in Manhattan. It’s a wonderful choice for reconnecting with nature and escaping the hustle and bustle of New York City and there’s no better time to experience it than during peak of fall color change.

Spend a relaxing afternoon paddling along the river itself or any of the many creeks and rivers that crisscross through the Hudson River Valley while taking in some of fall’s most spectacular colors or plan a multi-day excursion and see all there is to see.

Kayaking the Hudson

The Hudson River itself offers the longest paddle and is simply a wonderful river for a fall kayaking trip with many notable sites to see right from the river. Attractions include such things as marshes, islands and swamps; a plethora of bird species including bald eagles, great blue herons, spotted sandpipers, snowy egrets, kingfishers, cormorants, ospreys and several duck varieties; historic sites, downtowns, and hiking trails.

Plan your trip wisely and you can kayak past places such as Culinary Institute of America, Bannerman Island, West Point Military Academy and Constitution Island. There are also seven lighthouses that remain along the Hudson. Many of which now offer refuge for a host of wildlife.

The Hudson River Greenway Waterway

There are a surprisingly large number of kayak launch spots as well as camping accommodations along the Hudson thanks to the Hudson River Greenway Water Trail. The National Water Trail was developed with the goal of providing one or more designated launches and take-outs every 10 miles along both shores of the Hudson to provide a wealth of access points for kayakers of every level. With more than 100 designated access sites along the 256-mile trail, it’s safe to say they succeeded. It’s a great resource for planning your trip as they maintain a listing of itineraries as well as locations of kayak racks available for securing your kayak with your own lock.

Kayaking the Hudson River Valley

Taking on the 300-mile long Hudson is a challenging feat. The river is large and can be well-trafficked. Luckily, the Hudson River Valley offers many side paddles that can provide an equally stunning kayaking experience.

Constitution Marsh

This popular Hudson River side paddle is a 270-acre bird sanctuary that is part of the Hudson Highlands State Park, adjacent to Constitution Island.

Lake Taghkanic

Located east of the Hudson River and easily accessible by car, you can kayak your way around the entire Lake Taghkanic in about an hour. It’s an easy entry-level paddle with a great sandy beach for swimming in the summer and thick woods filled with oak trees that light the shore in bright yellows and reds in fall.

The Lower Esopus

West of the Hudson lies Harriman State Park with many lakes great for kayaking. Check out Lake Welch, Lake Sebago, Lake Tiorati, and Lake Kenawaki and you may spot herons, turtles, ducks, and eagles among the beautifully changing fall leaves.

Storing Your Kayak

Whether you’ve reached the end of your Hudson River Valley kayaking vacation or you own the vacation hot spot, there comes a time when you have to put the kayak away. Keep your shoreline neat and orderly with our hand-crafted kayak racks. Our kayak racks are exquisitely crafted out of 100% norther cedar logs and can safely and beautifully store and display your kayaks for years to come. The durable frames are naturally weather-resistant and can be custom built to accommodate a number of kayaks. Our kayak storage racks can be wall mounted, dock mounted, buried in the ground or free-standing. View our standard kayak racks online or contact us for a custom kayak storage solution.