America's Great Loop
|:: Cruising the Hudson River ::
|© 1993 - 2017 CaptainJohn.org
|The next leg of your journey is the Erie Canal - click NEXT
With the estates of the Rockefellers, Vanderbuilts, and Mills, and the mansions of Franklin
Roosevelt, Martin Van Buren, and many others this unbeatable cruise extends through the Hudson Valley
and past such legendary villages as Sleepy Hollow.
Personally I believe this 134 mile leg of the Great Loop (from the Statue of Liberty to the entrance of the
Erie Canal) is at the top or our list as one of the most interesting areas you will boat through - provided or
course, you take time to visit some sites. The Statue of Liberty is not on the Hudson river, but she is so close to
it, she welcomes you to this wonderful waterway through the Hudson Valley.
From Lady Liberty your cruise past Governors Island and past the East River, will have you rubber
necking all the way to the Erie Canal. With over 50 Marinas within this 134 mile stretch, it should give you an
idea of just how popular boating on the Hudson River really is.
Seriously, how much better can it get than taking a Hudson River excursion with the one you love and
getting a first hand view of this historic shoreline from the deck of your very own vessel? Not only can you visit
the estates of Roosevelt, Martin Van Buren, the Mills, the Vanderbilts, the Rockefellers, and Samuel F. B.
Morse, you will boat right beside the Livingston's Clermont Estate - this is the location (and name sake) where
Fulton's steamboat, "the Clermont" was built and demonstrated for the very first time. In addition, you will cruise
past Dobb's Ferry, and West Point.
Entering NY Bay from the south, the first landmark you will see will be the Statue of Liberty. The Statue
with the equivalent height of a 22-story building, was (In 1886) it was the tallest structure in all of New York. The
Statue of Liberty faces Southeast and as you cruise by with her on your port side, her left side faces the Hudson
River which is just ahead.
If you cruise just east of Lady Liberty (between Liberty Island and Governors Island) then you will cruise
past Ellis Island. It too will be on your port side as you approach the Hudson River. The Troy Lock and Dam, is
134 beautiful miles away, and you won't have any problems taking your time on this leg of your voyage. You can
expect a lot of Charter and Ferry Boat traffic between Liberty Island and on past the Hudson River's famous
The Hudson River, south of Federal Lock 1 is technically not a river at all. It is a fiord which is subject to
tidal changes of up to five feet. You will want to remember that tidal changes can be a real challenge when you
are tied to a fixed (non floating) dock or pier. Tides also have to be considered when you anchor since every
five or six hours the tide will reverse sending the boat 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Keep in mind the
current is roughly 2 knots, and it also changes direction every six hours or so until you reach the non-tidal
waters past the first Lock on the Erie Canal.
The tidal flow can work with you or against you. Normally, on our voyage up the Hudson we experience
a tidal flow change as much as 2 knots. The Hudson River has very deep sections of water and very high
cliff-like walls. At first, you are not likely to realize the depth of this canyon until you see the size of a freight train
hugging the sheer wall on the western shore, or see a commuter train racing along near the water on the
eastern shore and start noticing some really huge buildings are dwarfed in comparison to the cliffs. There are
many interesting places to stop see and do on this leg of your journey.
| The Hudson River is a popular getaway destination offering spectacular mountain views, historic estates,
wine trails, shopping, outdoor adventures, river tour boats, Lighthouse tours, and more. Literally, millions of
visitors visit the Hudson river and Hudson Valley where all these bountiful choices are but a stone’s throw away
from where you are going to be cruising.
The New York Harbor Region includes the NJ side of the Hudson River. This is an extremely busy area.
There are commercial ships, tour boats, ferry boats and, of course, recreational boaters on the water all the
time during the boating season. The waters around the Statue of Liberty are especially busy. The river is
usually quite choppy. However the view and the voyage is more than worth the effort.
The good news is, that the farther you cruise north, the less and less traffic you will see. There are ample
marinas and services along the river. Tugs and other commercial ships also run the river.
The tides under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge can be quite swift. Sail boaters will have a better time of
it traveling with the tide. Liberty Island does not have public docking and there are buoys designating a do not
enter area around the Island.
If you have followed the seasonal plan, most likely you are here on the Hudson in May. That means you
have plenty of time to spend time to enjoy the sites. Certainly, no other place in the world has the amount of
(cheap) public transportation as the NY, NJ.
So, we suggest you stop and visit the area. Don't miss: Times Square, Kingston, Sleepy Hollow, or The Culinary
On the Hudson, you have Lighthouses, and mansions. You are at one of the Northeast's most
popular tourist areas. There is lots to see and enjoy, and much of it is free.
This leg of your voyage is 134 beautiful miles, and for some reason,
the Hudson River seldom gets more then a mention in many Great Loopers' blogs,
websites, or even Guide Books.
Fact is however, the Hudson Valley is home to many of the most visited sites in
America. From the US Military Academy at West Point, the Mohonk Mountain House,
the Culinary Institute of America, and many more.
|FYI - The Hudson River is 315 miles long . The deepest point is near West Point at 216 feet
deep. As the tide rises in the Atlantic, salt water is pushed upriver as far as Newburgh. The
highest tide on the river is 4.7 feet at Troy, while West Point sees only a 2.7 foot rise.
| The Hudson River stretches from its point of origin in the Adirondack Mountains of New York to the
river’s mouth at The Battery in Manhattan where it empties into New York’s Upper Bay. The lower portion of the
Hudson from the Federal Lock and Dam at Troy, NY south to New York City is the area of the river that we will
be covering and is technically a tidal estuary rather than a river.
The Hudson River is an especially important waterway for us Loopers as it connects us with the Great Lakes or
the St. Lawrence River. Its importance stems from the fact that it provides one of the few navigable passages
connecting to the New York State Canal System.
Navigation on the Hudson River between New York City and Kingston, NY is pretty straightforward with
well marked channels and plenty of good water. Above Kingston the channel narrows considerably with middle
grounds, flats, and shoals as far north as Albany, NY. From Albany north to Troy, NY, once again good water is
available almost bank to bank.
On average, the lower portion of the Hudson River has (2) high and low tides every 24 hours with tidal forces
affecting the river as far north as Albany and Troy. Once near the Troy Lock however, the tidal current does
not flood and a persistent ebb current exists.
The salt line of the river varies depending on seasonal patterns with snow melt runoff and the typical spring
rains pushing the salt line below the Tappan Zee Bridge. Summer seems to see the salt line establish itself just
south of Newburgh, NY and in the times of drought the salt line may push as far north as Poughkeepsie, NY.
The navigation season for the Hudson River is unrestricted except in the event of heavy ice conditions
during the winter months and generally the Lower Hudson can be a problem for a week or two after the opening
of the Erie Canal, which is generally around May 1. During such times, vessels may encounter debris and
difficulties in navigation north of the Tappan Zee Bridge.
Length - From its official headwaters at Henderson Lake in New York, the Hudson flows 274 nm southward
to New York City. While the overall length of the Hudson River is of interest, more important is the lower Hudson
River that stretches 134 nm (248 km) from The Troy Lock & Dam (Erie Canal entrance) south to The Battery in
New York City. The Hudson is well marked along its entire length to the Eire Canal and NY State Canal System
with lighted buoys, ranges, fixed lights, and directional lights. You won't get lost on the Hudson River.
Channel depths along the river vary; with a least depth of 43’ being found mid-channel from the mouth of
the river to a point a little over 5 miles north of The Battery. Above this point, the project depth is 32’ to the
Turning Basin in Albany, NY, with a small section at 30’ found in the vicinity of Edgewater, NJ. From Albany to
the head of navigation at Troy, NY the project depth is 14’. Depths of 216’ can be found in the vicinity of West
Overhead clearances on the Hudson River between New York City and the head of navigation at Troy,
NY. are not a problem. There are two bridges, the Railroad swing bridge at Albany and the Green Island Lift
Bridge at Troy that both operate on restricted schedule. Minimum bridge clearance of the fixed bridges on the
Hudson River is at Troy, NY with a reported clearance of 55’. Sailboats can have their mast stepped at Troy.
|Be sure to visit the "CIA" that's the Culinary Institute of America.
They have 5 Top Award Winning restaurants at the Institute.
After lunch you can take a tour of the institution
and watch them teaching America’s future chefs.
|www.captainjohn.org - Cruising America's Great Loop - Once Around Is Not Enough -
West Point on the Hudson RIver
Obviously, this is your chance to visit and explore New York City with all its famous sites to see and visit.
Starting with Lady Liberty, you have the 9/11 Memorial, Times Square, Central Park, the Empire State
Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street, Rockefeller Center, Chinatown, Grand Central Terminal, Coney Island,
Fifth Ave, Little Italy, Metropolitan Museum of Fine Arts, and lets not forget Broadway or the Trump Tower.
NYC alone is packed with a wonderful experience of things to do and see!