Hudson Valley Nature Options — Just a Couple Hours From NYC

Saugerties, NY

A travel expert’s socially distanced nature guide to Saugerties, NY

Summer travel looks a bit — or rather, completely — different this year. While some of us may typically hop on airplanes, or even hit up local beaches, we’ve instead been staying home for the safety of ourselves and others.

The CDC recommends staying home “because travel increases your chances of getting infected and spreading” Covid-19. And as cities reopen, the CDC recommends monitoring the virus’ spread. If transmission’s spiking in your community or the place you want to go, it’s probably best to keep staying home. Air travel right now is a mixed bag: Some flights are empty, but on crowded flights, it’s hard to socially distance. (Additionally, the CDC answers helpful questions about travel risk here.)

So if you’re feeling stir-crazy, have access to a car, and are able to take the necessary safety precautions, luxury travel expert Carla Thorson of Protravel has created road trip guides for towns and sites within a few hours of major cities. Very important: Be sure to keep a six-foot distance from others and wear a face mask in public, among other travel guidelines. Plus, check out the latest local guidance, and read on.

Up first: Saugerties, New York

About the Destination

A two-hour drive from New York, Saugerties is a charming village along the Hudson River that dates back to the 19th century. Saugerties is home to the famous Opus 40, a massive rock sculpture garden, and Bob Dylan’s legendary Big Pink House near Woodstock.

Note: Below are recommendations that are currently open. We will update this guide as more attractions open.

Natural Wonders

Perched next to the Hudson River, Saugerties has stunning views and plenty of gorgeous habitats. These places, in particular, are special:

  • Opus 40: Opus 40 is considered “the Stonehenge of North America. Created by Henry Fite, Opus 40 has six acres of plants, sculptures, meadows, and bluestone quarries. Open to limited visitors. 50 Fite Road, Saugerties.
  • Esopus Bend Nature Preserve: Go for picturesque, peaceful hiking trails. 4 Shady Lane, Saugerties.
  • Falling Waters Preserve: This spot has 168 acres, gorgeous waterfalls, and breathtaking views. Dominican Lane, Saugerties.

Nearby Nature

  • Kaaterskill Falls: Drive half an hour away to the Kaaterskill Wild Forest, and you’ll find the highest cascading waterfall in the state of New York. (See here for access restrictions.) Hunter, NY.
  • Overlook Mountain: A five-mile hike (uphill, mind you) gives you a historic fire tower, views of the Hudson River Valley and Catskills, and old building ruins. Woodstock, NY.

Food to Grab

If you’re driving around Saugerties, you can pick up socially-distanced meals along the way. (Keep an eye on the CDC’s latest restaurant guidance.)

This originally appeared on Medium.