The Mid-Hudson Valley is rich in outdoor activities, including river cruises, hiking and biking, and cross-country skiing. Besides more traditional outdoor sports, thrill-seekers may want to check out barnstorming flights on biplanes over the Hudson Valley at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome. Flights take off before and after air shows (15 min.; $40 per person).
Boating & Sailing -- Hudson River Cruises, Rondout Landing at the end of Broadway, in Kingston (tel. 800/843-7472; www.hudsonrivercruises.com), sets sail aboard the Rip Van Winkle, a modern 300-passenger vessel. The standard 2-hour cruises ($20 adults, $18 seniors, $12 children 4-11) visit the Mid-Hudson Valley in spring, summer, and fall; there are also specialty live-music, murder-mystery, and kiddie cruises. In Newburgh, Hudson River Adventures (Newburgh Landing; tel. 845/220-2120; www.prideofthehudson.com) operates 2-hour sightseeing cruises ($18 adults, $17 seniors and children 4-11) Wednesday to Sunday from May to October on the Pride of the Hudson, a 130-passenger boat.
The Sloop Clearwater, part of an environmental project to clean up the Hudson River, is a 75-foot, single-masted replica of a 19th-century ship, which embarks on 3-, 6-, and occasional 8-hour cruises along the Hudson from April to mid-November. It sets sail from Saugerties, Kingston, and New York City's 79th Street Boat Basin, among other ports of call along the river. Sail prices on the Sloop or its sister ship, Mystic Whaler, range from $35 to $50 for adults, with discounts available for children, students, and seniors. For schedules and more information, call tel. 800/67-SLOOP (ext. 107) or visit www.clearwater.org.
Golf -- There are more than 150 golf courses in the Hudson River Valley. Dinsmore Golf Course, Old Post Road (Rte. 9), Staatsburgh (tel. 845/889-4071; greens fees $14-$26), the second-oldest golf course in the United States, is part of the 1,000-acre Mills-Norrie State Park, which includes the Mills Mansion State Historic Site. With panoramic views of the Hudson River and majestic Catskill Mountains, it was named "Best Public Golf Course in the Hudson Valley" by Hudson Valley Magazine. Putnam County's Centennial Golf Club, Simpson Road, Carmel (tel. 845/225-5700; www.centennialgolf.com; greens fees $20-$135), a hilly 1999 design by Larry Nelson, is one of the most picturesque in the Hudson Valley. The Garrison Golf Club, 2015 Rte. 9, Garrison (tel. 845/424-3604; www.garrisongolfclub.com; greens fees $35-$95), is a classic old 18-hole course with spectacular views high above the Hudson across from West Point. It has a yoga and spa center and distinguished restaurant on the premises.
For additional course information, course previews, and discount pass books, see www.hudsonvalleygolf.com.
Hiking -- Four miles north of Cold Spring on Route 9D, an excellent trail leads to South Beacon Mountain, the highest point in the East Hudson Highlands (a 6-mile round-trip). The 5-mile Breakneck Ridge Trail, also in Beacon, with views of the Hudson and Shawangunk and Catskill mountains, was voted the top hiking trail in New York State on www.trails.com. Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park, a 7,000-acre park southwest of Beacon (Rte. 301, Carmel; tel. 914/225-7207), is also a terrific place for hiking, with a number of trails and loops (suggested hikes include Three Lakes Trail and East Mountain-Round Hill). Less strenuous trails can also be found in Mills-Norrie State Park (tel. 914/889-4100), the site of the Staatsburgh Mills Mansion. On the other side of the Hudson, Bear Mountain Loop near Newburgh is a popular trail.
Spa/Wellness -- The Rhinebeck campus and Wellness Center at Omega Institute for Holistic Studies (150 Lake Dr., Rhinebeck, NY tel. 877/944-2002; www.eomega.org), on 185 acres with a lake, gardens and rolling hills, offers retreats and wellness, spiritual growth and environmental workshops, yoga, hiking trails, tennis and basketball, and more.
Swimming -- Canopus Lake in Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park, southwest of Beacon (Rte. 301, Carmel; tel. 914/225-7207), has an attractive beach and swimming area open to the public.
Winter Sports -- Fahnestock Winter Park (Rte. 301, Carmel), part of Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park between Cold Spring and Beacon, is one of the best spots for Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding. Besides tons of trails, it also offers equipment rentals and lessons. For information and condition reports, call tel. 845/225-3998.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.