Kayaking is a fun and relaxing way to explore bodies of water, spend some quality time in nature, observing popular landmarks. Where there’s a river flowing, you can be sure that a kayak will be going down it. Have you ever kayaked on the Hudson River? Better yet, can you kayak on the Hudson River?
Kayaking on the Hudson River is a beloved extramural activity of many. An excellent kayaking area is the Hudson Valley, a stretch of 100+ miles stretching from Westchester to Albany. Kayaking in Hudson River Park is highly-recommended and a unique experience to explore New York on the water.
You can kayak on the Hudson River. Everyone should aim to experience this at least once in their lives. Popular kayaking spots are numerous as you make your way down the 315-mile river, with many kayaking companies found along its banks. The Hudson Valley is a delightful area to kayak in, and so is the Hudson River Park.
Kayaking On The Hudson Valley
The Hudson Valley runs from Albany to Westchester in a north-south direction, stretching for more than120-miles.
Kayaking is big in this region. This part of the Hudson River has many beautiful landmarks, an abundance of launch spots, and various animal life – especially birds.
Kayaking Tours On The Hudson Valley
Whether you are just trying out kayaking for the first time or an expert, one area that you need to kayak in is the Hudson Valley. It offers so many kayak options with regard to popular landmarks and beautiful scenery.
There are many kayaking tours available in this prime kayaking area, and who better to show you the beauty of this area than experienced locals? Take a look at some of the kayak tours available:
Storm King Adventure Tours
Storm King Adventure Tours caters to all ages and skill levels when it comes to kayak tours. The kayak company is located at Cornwell-on-Hudson and offers the following tours:
- Bannerman Island Kayak Tour: The tour starts beneath the captivating Storm King Mountain, passing the famous Breakneck Ridge hiking trail to Bannerman Castle situated on Pollepel Island.
- Full Moon Tour: As the sun sets, you paddle to Plum Point. When dusk sets in, you make your way to Cornwall Bay sandbar to watch the moon rise from its slumber over the mountains.
- Moodna Marsh Tour: The tour for kayakers who love birds, fauna, and flora. A guide will lead you across tidal wetland – the confluence of Moodna Creek and the Hudson – where you can expect to see some Kingfishers, Great Blue Heron, Egrets, and possibly a bald eagle or two.
Should you be interested in taking a kayak cruise to Bannerman Castle by yourself, be sure to book a ticket for a guided tour of the castle and island. Docking is to be done at the Main Dock on the side of the island.
Hudson River Recreation
Situated in Tarry Town, Hudson River Recreation offers guided tours, rentals, and kayak lessons with locations in Sleepy Hollow, Croton Point, and Rye. Here are some of their popular tours:
- Sleepy Hollow Kayak Tour: The tour includes passing the infamous Tarrytown Lighthouse – the only surviving caisson-style lighthouse on the Hudson River – while you learn about the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. A trip to Tappan Zee Bridge follows.
- Croton Point Kayak Tour: The tour launches from Croton Point Park before exploring Half Moon Bay. The kayak journey makes its way to historical Teller’s Point. The tour is a great way for beginner paddlers to hone their skills with an experienced guide.
Atlantic Kayak Tours
Offering tours from Lake George to NYC – Atlantic Kayak Tours covers a large area of the Hudson River, giving people the chance to experience guided tours, per kayak, on some of the most scenic parts of the river. Here are some of them:
- Norrie To Kingston Tour: Paddle from Norrie to Kingston – stopping at Jones Island and Roundout Creek – before landing on the sandy beach at Kingston Point Park. The return trip includes a stop at the scenic Hudson’s Esopus Meadows.
- Saugerties Tour: Launch from Glasgo Mini Park Landing in Saugerties and make your way up to Ulster Landing Park. The tour heads past Kingston Rhine Cliff Bridge before exploring South Tivoli Bay and stopping on Cruger Island for a well-deserved break. Next up is the Saugerties Lighthouse before heading to the starting point.
Kayaking On The Hudson River Park
Hudson River Park is a 4.5-mile waterside park featuring numerous rebuilt North River piers formerly used for shipping activities. The park comprises 550 acres, making it the second-largest park in Manhattan.
More than 17 million people visit the Hudson River Park yearly, and kayaking is one of the activities that visitors enjoy the most. Some of the piers that you can kayak from are the following:
- Clinton Cove: Features a boathouse run by volunteers, offering free kayaking.
- Pier 26: Take a short habitat walk through five native ecological zones– coastal grassland, woodland forest, maritime scrub, and rocky tidal zone – on your way to the Downtown Boathouse to collect your free kayak, or launch your own one from here.
- Pier 84: Let the experienced guides of Manhattan Kayak Company take you out to hidden beaches, coves, and historical sites. Daily programs are offered for novice to elite levels of kayakers.
- Pier 96: Grab a kayak for free (first come, first serve) at the Manhattan Community Boathouse and adventure away. The water at Pier 96 is typically a lot calmer than most other Hudson River Park locations.
Hudson River Park General Policy For Users Of Kayaks
The Hudson River Park General Policy, established by the Hudson River Park Trust, declares the following when it comes to kayaking in the Hudson River Park:
- Users are responsible for any person on the craft, and the operation of a kayak is at the user’s own risk.
- Users must be strong swimmers – as the drowning rate is higher in kayaking accidents than in any other craft.
- Users must be familiar with all local, state, and federal boating regulations and rules – obeying them at all times.
- Users should know about the environmental and water conditions before heading out.
- Users must wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) at all times.
- Users must ensure that their kayak and relevant equipment are in good condition.
- Users must avoid contact with the water – as the water is heavily polluted – especially after a rainy session.
- Users must have emergency equipment on board – Sponges, paddle float, pumps, and PFD.
- Users must not disturb wildlife or natural land features.
- Users should carry an electronic communications device – VHF marine radio (Channel 16 for emergencies) or a mobile phone – and a whistle, airhorn, signal mirror, and strobe light (night kayaking should be done with navigational lighting only.)
Kayaking on the Hudson River can be done alone, in groups, on kayak tours, and in most parts of the river. When kayaking alone, inform at least one person of your whereabouts, pack in some form of communication device, and equip your kayak with the necessary safety equipment.
Kayaking can be a beautiful experience and dangerous simultaneously as there is water involved. It’s an absolute thrill to kayak on the famous Hudson River, and if you have not had the chance to experience it, I hope you do soon!