North to Cold Spring

posted in: Hudson River | 0

We are in totally new boating waters, different bodies of water, different views, different history, which makes for a nice little adventure at the start of the season. Although we have had more gray skies than sunshine, the mountains and hills rising up from the river can still capture our attention.

The Hudson’s Indian name was “Muhheakantuck” which translates to “the river that flows both ways.” That’s for certain; we are constantly checking which way the current is going. And then we mostly disregard it and go ahead anyway, albeit at a slower pace. 😉

Lawrence Zetilin’s Hudson reference states “Cold Spring, at the 55 mile point and slightly north of West Point on the east shore, is in my opinion, the most interesting river town to visit on Hudson River trip.”  With that recommendation, on Thursday, June 7th we left Croton-on-Hudson to head north to Cold Spring, only 16 nautical miles north.

As we followed Magnolia out of the cove, we were treated to a view of Anthony’s morning routine. While Annette pilots, he chats on the headset and drinks his coffee. Haha!
Stony Point Lighthouse is nestled in the trees above the Hudson on the west side.
Built in 1826, Stony Point Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse on the Hudson River. Following the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, it was constructed to safely guide the increasing river traffic. The light house was decommissioned in 1925.
We passed the “Spirit of Jefferson” tour boat on our starboard side.
It was recently auctioned off for $165,000 in 2017. There were some men roaming around on the deck. A fixer upper?
You can’t help but notice occasional graffiti on both manmade and natural structures. Time and Love?
Early on, Al pondered these stone walls along the river, so very close to the water. Why were they there?
Aha! TRAINS! Passenger trains and freight trains
It is impossible to capture just how long these freight trains are! Al counted 100 cars on one  freight train.
Bear Mountain Bridge ahead -the “entrance to the Hudson Highlands”

Shortly after noon, with great anticipation, we saw West Point up ahead. We would have considered stopping here and taking a tour, but from everything we read, it is not easy to do by boat. Just seeing the complex from the water and knowing even a little of its history and purpose is still quite impressive.

The United States Military Academy,  established by President Thomas Jefferson in 1802, stretches several miles along the river.
That dock at the base has been closed to visitors since 9/11 unless you are a retired general.
It was originally established as a fortress overlooking the Hudson River during the Revolutionary War. The Norman-style buildings are constructed from gray and black granite. West Point has been called the “Gibraltar of America.”
Around the northern point of West Point we had a glimpse of this bench sitting on rock. A place for contemplation?
Around the bend of the north end, is a view of  West Point’s athletic fields and buildings.
Messages on the roofs — “SINK NAVY” and “BEAT AIR FORCE”

Arriving in Cold Point, we anchored in Foundry Cove. I’ll admit that I was concerned about anchoring here given the depths on the charts and cautions about deadheads and shallow spots, but both boats found a place to drop the anchor.

Overlooking Foundry Cove is small Greek Revival Chapel. Designed in 1833 by a 16-year old architect, first Catholic Church north of Manhattan. Abandoned in 1907. Restored as nondenominational chapel.
Kindred Spirit, anchored in Foundry Cove, Cold Spring

Trains once again formed the backdrop of sound and sight in this anchorage as well.   Commuter service to New York City is available via the Cold Spring train station, served by Metro-North Railroad. The train journey is about an hour and ten minutes to Grand Central Terminal

This freight train was unusually colorful as it raced by on the opposite shore.
That first afternoon in Cold Point was also chore time on Magnolia with an assist from Captain Al. Annett’e newly sewn front window covers needed additional snaps. Al is the snap guy with the snap tool, but it looks like he is just “supervising” in this photo. 😉
They earned their relaxation time!

Friday was designated “explore Cold Spring day.” We all confirmed that Lawrence Zeitlin is correct – Cold Spring is truly a charming place, easily reached from the boat.

We dinghied to the Cold Spring Boat Club where they allow you to use a dock for a visit and to sign their guest book, available in the mailbox.

The Boat Club keeps a nice record of visitor statistics asking you to record your visit’s purpose – breakfast, lunch, dinner, shopping, ice cream, overnight. You know that we definitely checked off one for certain!

The village was given the name “Cold Spring”  because George Washington liked the cold water from the town’s spring. We searched for this spring thinking this must be marked, given its significance. We did find a marker in the bushes near this gazebo on the property of a restaurant.

Is it true???? Or just a local yore?

The main street of the village is on the National Register of Historic Places due to the many well-preserved 19th-century buildings, originally constructed to house workers at the nearby West Point Foundry. The streets are now lined with antiques and collectible shops, and a variety of eateries. Take a walk with us as we meandered around.

This tunnel takes you from the waterfront area to the upper village area under the railroad tracks.
The Cold Springers have a sense of humor —     “HELL YEAH WE’RE OPEN!”                             “VOTED BEST BURGER IN TOWN BY SOME GUY WHO LIKES BURGERS.”                               “LIFE IS EPHEMERAL. DON’T WASTE IT LOOKING UP BIG WORDS.”
My favorite sign with my favorite guy.

Speaking of ice cream, the last item on our Cold Spring exploration was to find the ice cream shop, “Moo Moo”.

Really, really good ice cream! They had one of my favorite flavors – Mexican Chocolate (dark chocolate with cinnamon and a hint of chili)!
Cold Spring’s waterfront park, perfect for watching the river flow by. Al and Anthony enjoyed a peaceful moment.

When Al and Anthony got up from the bench, I read the memorial plaque. I don’t know who Toby was, perhaps a faithful dog, but this message evokes a Hudson River picture in my mind.








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