The Adirondacks may be a long drive for a day hike from the mid-Hudson, but that bit of geographic inconvenience doesn’t deter the people from the Adirondack Mountain Club from having a firm foothold in our region. Get on their e-mail list and you’ll find that these intrepid trekkers are busy organizing fabulous outings to nearby scenic and historic locations just about every weekend, weather permitting, and often more than one. There are midweek hikes and paddles as well. They’re great opportunities to sightsee, learn, stay fit and socialize all at once, and participation is free more often than not.
This weekend, for instance, features a strenuous four-mile night hike up Mount Beacon on Saturday evening, July 30. You’ll be able to cool down at the summit, watching the sunset from the Fire Tower and the Newburgh and Beacon night view from the site of the Casino. Headlamps are a must for the trip back down, and mosquito repellent a wise idea. To join the group and get details about where and when to meet, e-mail leader Tom Amisson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, July 31 presents a difficult choice between an ambitious trans-Hudson paddling jaunt and a history hiking tour that will appeal to the many who have become intrigued by the life and character of Alexander Hamilton since he became a Broadway phenomenon (or even before). Hamilton spent much of his time in the Hudson Valley during and after the Revolutionary War, living at times in Fish Kill Landing (now Beacon), the Fish Kill Supply Depot, Washington’s Headquarters in New Windsor, West Point and at his father-in-law’s house in Albany.
Starting at the Beacon Train Station, the three-to-four-hour walking tour will pass by Wiltse Landing, where Hamilton disembarked many times by sloop (including in October 1787, just after completing the first of his Federalist Papers) and proceed to Depeyster’s Point, where he lived in a rented house with his new bride Elizabeth. Tour leader Chris Cring will bring along copies of actual letters written and received while Hamilton was in each location, and discuss why he traveled to each area and how. Attendees should wear walking shoes, bring water and snacks and register in advance by e-mailing email@example.com or calling (845) 249-5305.
If sea kayaking floats your boat more than 18th-centuy history, and you have access to a dual-bulkhead craft of a minimum 13.5-foot length and a life jacket, you might prefer to join up with the hardy group who will be meeting Sunday morning in Rhinecliff. The flotilla will cross the mighty Hudson, paddle past the lighthouse at Kingston Point and up the Rondout Creek a ways, taking in its fascinating ruins of historic docks and sunken barges. Lunch, water and a camera are the recommended gear. To sign up for the six-hour outing, contact leader Mike Pettigrew at firstname.lastname@example.org or (845) 489-5620.
Intrigued? There are lots more offerings on the schedule of the ADK’s Mid-Hudson chapter, including multi-day outings coming up in New Hampshire and Maine. Check them out online at https://midhudsonadk.org/outings.