This past weekend, once again finding ourselves in the city on a long weekend with nowhere to go, we decided to venture out of the city on a day trip. We’ve seen those posters in the subway that urge you to “get out of town” and see the all the natural beauty that New York has to offer. Lacking a car, we had to find a place that’s convenient and accessible by train. After a quick search, we came upon Cold Spring, a small historical village nestled in the Lower Hudson Valley right on the bank of the Hudson River.
Taking Metro North on the Hudson line, this quaint little town with population hovering around 5,000 is about an hour and a half from Grand Central Station. Cold Spring has many attractions that range from hiking to arts to shopping. Our plan was to start the day hiking up to the top of Mt Taurus (more commonly known as Bull Hill), wander through the grounds of Boscobel House and end the day with dinner in town.
As you get off the train and walk up Main Street, you’ll be greeted with a myriad of antique stores, ice cream shops, cafes, and eateries. Surprisingly, there are no chain restaurants in sight. This in itself is amazing because I’ve seen McDonald’s in some remote places. The whole place reminds me of the fictional town of Stars Hollow on the show Gilmore Girls. I kept thinking I am going to run into Lorelei and Rory as they make their morning coffee run.
The small town feel continued when we walked into a general store to buy some essentials for the hike and were surprised to see the place empty. The owner was busy watering her plants in the back and left her store and her purse (!) wide open. It’s weird to see that there are still places where people can be this trusting. Maybe I am just jaded.
Noteworthy: A lot of the stores and restaurants (with an exception of a few) seem to close down around 5 – 6 pm. Plan accordingly.
A short distance away, right outside of the town limits, you’ll find many hiking paths that take you high above the river with stunning views of the valley below. The vista will be even more spectacular in the Fall when foliage changes from green to varying shades of red, orange, and yellow. Check back later this week for the detailed description of our hike to the top of Bull Hill with photos along the trail.
Also nearby, about 30 minutes on foot, you’ll find the Boscobel house, an elegant mansion that was converted into a historical museum. Aside from the house, the estate also features an herb garden, a rose court and a beautiful lawn overlooking the Hudson River. After paying the entrance fee, you can wander the grounds, spread out and have a picnic on the lawn or simply sit back and enjoy the view. Every summer, Boscobel hosts the Shakespeare festival that attracts many people to the area.
Noteworthy: If you are traveling on foot from Cold Spring to Boscobel, be careful of oncoming traffic. The cars are going pretty fast on Route 9 and there is no sidewalk. It’s pretty scary around the bends.
Cold Spring is close to the city and yet feels like it’s worlds away. It’s a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of New York City and immerse yourself in small town charm for a day or a weekend.
Train: $26 round trip per person from Grand Central
Admission: $11 per person to visit Boscobel grounds for the day