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Portal:Hudson Valley

Introduction

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The Hudson Valley (also known as the Hudson River Valley) comprises the valley of the Hudson River and its adjacent communities in the U.S. state of New York. The region stretches from the Capital District including Albany and Troy south to Yonkers in Westchester County, bordering New York City.

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Hunter Mountain fire tower.jpg

The Hunter Mountain Fire Tower is located on the summit of the eponymous mountain, second highest of the Catskill Mountains in the U.S. state of New York. It was the first of 23 fire lookout towers built by the state in the region, and the next-to-last of the five still standing to be abandoned. Today it remains a popular attraction for hikers climbing the mountain. After it fell into disrepair in the 1990s and was recommended for removal by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which had operated the tower, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. Local enthusiasts were able to raise money, matched by DEC, to restore the tower and adjacent observer's cabin to serve as a museum, with volunteers in the cab on some weekends.

Panoramic views of not only the mountains but the adjacent Hudson Valley, Massachusetts, Connecticut and sometimes southwestern Vermont are available from it. Likewise, it can be seen from many of the surrounding mountains, the village of Hunter and the upper slopes of the ski area. It is the highest fire tower still standing in the state and the second-highest in the entire Northeast.

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Credit: Juliancolton
Despite its relatively southerly latitude, the Hudson Valley occasionally sees hints of the northern lights (aurora borealis) after particularly intense solar storms. Generally, a K-index rating of 6 or greater is required before northern lights are visible from the Hudson Valley. In this unedited long exposure image from near Millbrook on the night of May 30, 2013, the northern horizon is flooded with diffuse green and purple hues.

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A section of the Hudson Valley Rail Trail

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Henry Hudson (c. 1560/70s – 1611?) was an English sea explorer and navigator in the early 17th century. After several voyages on behalf of English merchants to explore a prospective Northeast Passage to India, Hudson explored the region around modern New York City while looking for a western route to Asia under the auspices of the Dutch East India Company. He explored the river which eventually was named for him, and laid thereby the foundation for Dutch colonization of the region.

Hudson discovered a strait and immense bay on his final expedition while searching for the Northwest Passage. In 1611, after wintering on the shore of James Bay, Hudson wanted to press on to the west, but most of his crew mutinied. The mutineers cast Hudson, his son and others adrift, and the Hudson's and those cast off at their side were never seen again.

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The town of Cornwall, viewed from a ridge on Schunemunk Mountain
Credit: Daniel Case

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