hiking hills in hudson valley

August 6, 2017

With New York's beautiful Hudson Valley just a short 5 1/2 hour drive away from DC, this was the first stop on our road trip through New England. Located just 120 miles from NYC, Hudson is a weekend hot spot for city dwellers. Luckily, we arrived on a Tuesday so managed to miss the crowds. Although the shops were very quiet - and some even closed - we still peeked into a few and were impressed with the endless antique shops, each with their own style and flair. We mainly stuck to the main drag and downtown area of Hudson, feeling rather drab in the presence of the impressively hip style of both the residents and shops after sitting in a car for 5+ hours. The town's New York City vibe noticeably shines through.


After strolling about, we grabbed a bite to eat at Olde Hudson and picked up some more perishable provisions that were not packed before skipping out of DC. With a great selection of cheese, salamis, olives and dried fruit, Olde Hudson was the perfect place to dream up a picnic for our first evening in the Hudson Valley! Our supplies purchased, we sat down and enjoyed a smoked salmon salad with greens + a dill dressing (for me) and a pulled pork + slaw sandwich (for him).


After our light bites, we meandered over to Hudson Wine Merchants for a bottle of red to go with our dinner. The woman who helped us was incredibly kind, pinned down a few great options within the vague description I offered her, and encouraged us to go with a bottle that turned out to be fantastic. Bonus for being dog friendly, too! 


Honorable mentions:
Moto Coffee/Machine in Hudson for coffee, motorcycles + an impossibly hip atmosphere, as well as Talbott & Arding for additional cheese, sandwiches, salads + additional provisions.


After heading out of Hudson we went over to the spot we were staying for the next two nights in Germantown, which is a quick 15 minute jaunt from Hudson. This small town has one restaurant (which looked real nice), an awesome food market called Otto's Market, a tiny post office - and that's about it, which was exactly what we were hoping for.


Where we stayed was actually a surprise to me - a special spot my fiancé knew I'd love since I'd asked to go camping. GatherWild Ranch, where he had made reservations, turned out to be even better than camping with small yurt-like tents situated privately on the property. Each spot had its own campfire ring, a deck with chairs to read or simply relax, and a minimalist set up inside with just a comfy bed, a couple end tables and a basin/water jug that made for a perfect teeth brushing + face washing station. The property also has peach trees, blackberry bushes everywhere you look, and a trail that leads to the sheep who reside there. 

The next day we spent a few hours hiking in Woodstock (yes, where the infamous festival was held!) at Overlook Mountain - a 5-mile roundtrip hike with a steep incline up and a amazing views at the top! Here we had a picnic for lunch, tried to climb the fire tower (but failed due to my fear of heights), saw both a turtle + giant rattlesnake napping, and explored the abandoned hotel right off the trail on the way down.

Later in town we hit up Sunflower Natural Foods Market to grab some cashew butter and the Woodstock Farmer's Market (open Wednesdays) for dinner accoutrements, which included sunflower sprouts, SunGold cherry tomatoes, locally baked gluten-free bagels (perfect with the cashew butter!) for breakfast and super delicious smoked trout to go with our sunflower sprouts and tomato - which turned into an incredible dinner! We stopped in for a quick glass of wine at Garden Cafe, a vegan restaurant with fresh juice + great service, before heading back to our mini yurt to make dinner and s'mores by the fire.

That night at the fire, Jason, my then-boyfriend, became my now-fiancé! I'd say the Hudson Valley - with it's fantastic food, amazing scenery, sweet glamping + picture-perfect proposal - will hold a pretty special place in our hearts. But nevertheless, the next day was time to move on to the next stop on our road trip - Vermont - which has always been a place I've wanted to visit and it sure did not disappoint! 

Honorable mention:

3Fish Coffee in Albany for an awesome pit-stop latte just about a 45 minute jaunt from Germantown while heading north to Vermont! 








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