Explorers, revolutionaries, writers, painters, inventors, empire builders, sightseers, environmentalists...and kayakers. Unique in the nation's history and rich in its estuarine habitat, the Hudson River has inspired them all.
The Hudson originates in Lake Tear in the Clouds, on the slopes of Mount Marcy, the highest mountain in the Adirondacks. From there it flows 315 miles to the Battery in New York City. Bordered by the Catskills and Hudson Highlands in the west and Taconic mountain range on the east, the drainage area of the Hudson and its tributaries is about 13,400 square miles.
Most people don't realize that the Hudson is tidal for over half its length for 150 miles up to Troy. During the last Ice Age, glaciers thousands of feet thick gouged the River's bed to below sea level. At that time, so much of the world's water was bound up in ice that the Hudson flowed an additional 120 miles beyond Manhattan to reach the sea. As the glaciers retreated about 18,000 years ago, the ocean's waters rose and poured in behind them, mingling with fresh water from the River's newly thawed tributaries to form the river we see today.
The Algonquins referred to the Hudson as "River-Which-Flows-Two-Ways." The Hudson River Valley was first settled about 10,000 BC by Native Americans attracted by its abundance. The first European to discover the Hudson was Giovanni da Veranzzano, who sailed past the River's mouth in 1524. It was not until 1609 that Henry Hudson, an Englishman sailing for the Dutch and looking for the mythical Northwest Passage to India, explored the length of the River up to present day Albany. Shortly thereafter, the Dutch began to establish settlements along the Hudson New Amsterdam (Manhattan), Rondout (Kingston) and Beverwyck (Albany). The Dutch introduced a sailboat known as the Hudson River sloop to conduct trade along the River. The sloops were in use for 200 years and the present day Clearwater is modeled on these boats.
Table of Contents
page 1 Exploration
page 2 The Revolution
page 3 The North River and Clinton's Ditch
page 4 Druids at Heart
page 5 Ah Wilderness!
page 6 Industry
page 7 Empire Builders
page 8 The Need for Action
page 9 Storm Warnings
page 10 Rollin' River