Getting to Know Cold Spring


Yesterday I drove over the Bear Mountain Bridge on a quest to discover something about the treasures that Putnam County has to offer–all in aid of getting some material for our book on the historic Hudson Valley and for my project on Hudson Valley architecture. First stop: the lovely village of Cold Spring, which turned out to have so much to offer that it ended up being the only stop for the day. Here I’ll share a few of my photos of Cold Spring that I got on my first visit.

Cold Spring is just north of Garrison. Drive up Route 9D and turn left when the signpost points to the right for Route 301. You’ll find yourself driving down Main Street, and what an amazing Main Street it is. Even if you’re not into antiques and the other goodies that the shops have to offer, the buildings themselves are a feast for the eyes, and you’re not likely to resist visiting one of the many cafes to try their special baked goods and coffee.  I enjoyed a raspberry scone and a pumpkin-flavored coffee at the Cup-o-ccino Cafe.

A public Parking Lot is well signposted, but on weekends and holidays you can also park for free at Cold Spring’s railroad station. One advantage to this is that you’re right across the road from one of Cold Spring’s main historic attractions, the Chapel of Our Lady, which was originally build in 1833 as a place of worship for the West Point Foundry workers, many of whom were Irish. Perched high above the river, the front porch of the chapel has stunning views of the Hudson River Gorge, including the awesome Storm King Mountain to the north and the West Point Military Academy to the south.

Kayaking and culture–the adventurous can rent (or bring their own) kayaks for a trip on the Hudson, and for those who enjoy theater and music, Cold Spring has plenty to offer. Nearby Boscobel features a renowned Shakespeare Festival each year as well. On Saturdays Cold Spring hosts a farm market on the grounds of the Butterfield Hospital, where you can buy fresh produce, home-baked fresh bread, local cheese and wines, and flowers.

And for those who, like me, drive over the Bear Mountain Bridge to get to Cold Spring, there is the bonus of knowing that you have driven on the Appalachian Trail! This famous long-distance hiking trail, which stretches from Georgia to Mt. Katahdin in Maine, actually goes over the beautiful Bear Mountain Bridge.