The village of Cold Spring is nestled along the banks of the Hudson River, just 60 miles north of New York City. Today the village beckons visitors to come and enjoy a delightful small-town atmosphere, some interesting sight-seeing and some great hiking and kayaking.
Cold Spring was once home to one of America’s largest munitions factories at West Point Foundry – today you can take a self guided walk through the remains of the foundry. Other interesting landmarks include Bannerman Castle, The Chapel and Stonecrop Gardens. Hikers can enjoy several trails which wend their scenic way through the Hudson Highlands State Park and kayaking enthusiasts can access the Hudson River for a day on the water.
1. Bannerman Castle
Tucked away on tiny Pollepel Island (aka Bannerman Island) in the Hudson Islands State Park, Bannerman Castle is a wonderful destination for a day trip on the Hudson River during the summer months. Guided walking tours of the castle and the island are available on Saturdays and Sundays from either Beacon (or from Newburgh on Sundays only) from May to October. The castle and its beautiful grounds host several special events, fundraisers and theatrical shows during the summer – you can check their website for details. Another novel way to explore the island is by kayak – guided kayak excursions are available from Cold Springs and include all the necessary equipment and a guided tour of the island.
Bannerman Castle, Fishkill, NY 12508
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2. Stonecrop Gardens, Cold Spring, New York
© Stonecrop Gardens
Occupying an elevated, cool location in the Hudson Highlands, Stonecrop Gardens opened to the public in 1992, after starting off as a private garden. Covering around 15 acres, the gardens are home to an astonishing diversity of plants from around the world. You will find several themed gardens including woodlands, wetlands, alpine and grass gardens, all carefully laid out with the intention of encouraging garden enthusiasts to follow suit. You can also admire an English-style flower garden, an Alpine display house and hundreds of dwarf bulbs in the Pit House. The gardens are open from Monday to Saturday (and select Sundays) from April through October.
Stonecrop Gardens, 81 Stonecrop Lane, Cold Spring, NY 10516, Phone: 845-265-2000
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3. West Point Foundry Preserve
When it became obvious to President James Madison in the early 1800’s that the USA was hopeless unprepared to stave off hostile attacks, a number of munitions factories were established, including West Point Foundry in Cold Spring. The historic foundry produced essential munitions including cannons and thousands of shells for the Civil War and was eventually shut down in 1911. Anyone interested in exploring the huge abandoned site may download an online mobile guide and follow a few of the trails leading through the site which is located in the 87-acre West Point Foundry Preserve. You can reach the site along a short trail from the Cold Spring Metro North Station.
West Point Foundry Preserve, 80 Kemble Ave, Cold Spring, NY 10516, Phone: 845-473-4440
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4. Hudson Highlands State Park
Scenically nestled along the east bank of the Hudson River, the Hudson Highlands State Park stretches from Peekskill to Beacon in the east Hudson Highlands. The park offers locals and visitors a huge outdoor recreation area where you can pursue activities like fishing, hunting, birding and hiking. There are several scenic hiking trails including a 5.1 mile portion of the Appalachian Trail which runs through the southern part of the park. One of the most popular and challenging trials is the 4.6 mile Breakneck Ridge Trail – a steep ascent followed by a scenic mountain-top trail. You can also enjoy kayaking on the river – a launch site is available at Annsville Circle.
Hudson Highlands State Park, 3011 Route 9D, Cold Spring, NY 10516, Phone: 845-265-3175
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5. Magazzino Italian Art, Cold Spring, New York
© Magazzino Italian Art
Designed by Spanish architect Miguel Quismondo and purpose-built in 2016, Magazzino is an art museum dedicated to showcasing Italian artists through the ages. The design of the building represents a stark, modern warehouse, which is what Magazzino means in Italian.
The modern, light-filled interior space is filled with two-and-three-dimensional works by a number of prominent Italian artists from the Arte Povera Movement, showcasing a core collection of post-war Italian art. The museum is located about 10min drive from the Cold Spring train station and a regular free shuttle picks up visitors who travel up by train from New York City.
Magazzino Italian Art, 2700 Route 9, Cold Spring, NY 10516, Phone: 845-666-7202
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6. Bull Hill (Mt. Taurus), Cold Spring, New York
Bull Hill forms part of the Hudson Highlands State Park and is named after a bull which used to roam the hill and terrorize inhabitants. After the poor bull was driven off the mountain by a hunting party, the mountain was named Mount Taurus in his memory. Today Bull Hill offers a variety of hiking trails. The most popular trail is called the Bull Hill Full Loop and you can find the Washburn Trailhead near the Little Stony Point parking area north of Cold Spring. The full loop is around 5.5 miles and will give you a fair amount of exercise and lead you past a scenic waterfall.
Bull Hill, Philipstown, NY 10516
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7. The Chapel, Cold Spring, New York
© The Chapel
The oldest Catholic Church north of Manhattan was built on the banks of the Hudson River in 1833 to serve the ecclesiastical needs of the many Irish immigrants who came to the area between 1820 and 1860. The original chapel opened with great fan-fare but was sadly destined to become a derelict ruin after it was abandoned in 1906 and ravaged by fire in 1927. Today, thanks to the efforts of the team behind the Chapel Restoration, this historic landmark is once again a familiar public gathering place for Cold Spring locals. The dramatically restored chapel now hosts regular music and storytelling events and can be hired for weddings. The chapel is well worth a visit for anyone interested in history and architecture.
The Chapel Restoration, 45 Market Street, Cold Spring, NY 10516, Phone: 845-265-5537
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8. Glynwood, Cold Spring, New York
If you are visiting Cold Spring (or are lucky enough to live in the area) and would like to try some of the best organic locally-grown vegetables in the area you need to make your way to Glynwood Farm. More than just your regular farm, the Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming is a non-profit organization which strives to teach up-and-coming farmers and food technologists all about regenerative agriculture. They have a brilliant Farm Store which you can visit from May to November on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays to stock up on the freshest-of-fresh wholesome organic vegetables and pasture-raised meat. During the winter months you can buy their meats and self-items from the store on Thursday afternoons.
Glynwood Farm, 362 Glynwood Rd, Cold Spring, NY 10516, Phone: 845-265-3338
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9. Vera’s Marketplace and Garden Center
© Vera’s Marketplace and Garden Center
Foodies beware – you will not be able to walk out of Vera’s Marketplace without parting with some of your hard-earned dollars. Vera’s was established by Italian immigrants Vera and Tony Giordano in 1982 and today welcomes all visitors to come and buy fabulous fresh local and organic produce and beautiful cut flowers. But that is not all – this enterprising couple stock a wonderful variety of choice imported Italian specialties and also make great apple doughnuts and fresh mozzarella cheese. The on-site garden center is the place to go for beautiful plants (and good gardening advice) and there is always something special waiting for visitors.
Vera’s Marketplace and Garden Center, 3091 Rout 9, Suite 102, Cold Spring, NY, Phone: 845-265-2151
10. Butterfield Library, Cold Spring, NY
© Butterfield Library
The Butterfield Library is a much-loved public library housed in a pretty historic building. Although the library is decidedly on the small side (as befits a village library) it is remarkably well stocked and has links to several other community libraries so that requested books (including audio books) can easily be obtained. The library hosts a regular story time for young visitors and there are also regular talks and lectures for adults. There is a pleasant outdoor garden area where you can relax for a while with a good read. The library also offers various other useful facilities including accepting passport applications and assistance with tax returns.
Butterfield Library, 10 Morris Ave, Cold Spring, NY 10516, Phone: 845-265-3040
11. Moo-Moo’s Creamery, Cold Spring, New York
© Moo-Moo’s Creamery
Locals will be quick to tell you that your visit to Cold Spring would be incomplete without visiting Moo-Moo’s Creamery, one of the town’s most popular meeting-places. Moo-Moo’s is locally famous for serving what many of their fans believe to be the world’s best ice cream. It all started with a secret family recipe and the use of the freshest and most wholesome natural ingredients. Over the years the number of flavors of delicious small-batch ice cream has grown and you can anticipate choosing a few of the daily 16 flavors. The setting is also pretty good – you can enjoy your delicious treat on the porch overlooking the beautiful Hudson River.
Moo-Moo’s Creamery, 32 West Street, Cold Spring, NY 10516, Phone: 845-554-3666
12. Hudson House, Cold Spring, New York
© Hudson House
Built in 1827, Hudson House has been a Cold Spring landmark and a beacon of hospitality excellence for over 175 years. The historic building has been carefully preserved and offers guests a wonderfully nostalgic hotel experience in the Hudson Valley. You can choose from a room or suite overlooking the beautiful Hudson River and spend a few days enjoying activities like hiking, sight-seeing, boating and kayaking and antique-hunting on Main Street. The hotel boasts two on-site restaurants – the River Room overlooks the Hudson River and serves delectable specialties while the Tavern Room offers a more casual atmosphere and relaxed pub-style dining.
Hudson House, 2 Main Street, Cold Spring, NY 10516, Phone: 845-265-9355
The top attractions to visit in Cold Spring, New York near me today according to local experts are:
- 1. Bannerman Castle
- 2. Stonecrop Gardens, Cold Spring, New York
- 3. West Point Foundry Preserve
- 4. Hudson Highlands State Park
- 5. Magazzino Italian Art, Cold Spring, New York
- 6. Bull Hill (Mt. Taurus), Cold Spring, New York
- 7. The Chapel, Cold Spring, New York
- 8. Glynwood, Cold Spring, New York
- 9. Vera’s Marketplace and Garden Center
- 10. Butterfield Library, Cold Spring, NY
- 11. Moo-Moo’s Creamery, Cold Spring, New York
- 12. Hudson House, Cold Spring, New York
Attraction Spotlight: Stonecrop Gardens in Cold Spring, NY
Resting in a magnificent setting in the Hudson Highlands in Cold Spring, just sixty miles north of New York City, Stonecrop Gardens is a beautifully maintained public garden under the leadership of Caroline Burgess. Originally the home of Anne and Frank Cabot, Stonecrop began as a private garden and has since become an important destination for plant enthusiasts and garden lovers alike.
Established in 1958 when Garden Conservancy founder Frank Cabot and his wife, Anne built their home on 60 acres of wooded land high on a hilltop outside Cold Spring, Stonecrop began as a private garden. Unfazed by the rocky ground and strong winds, the garden featured a variety of alpine plants, and, as the garden grew, several new and experimental plants, too. With a mission to “inspire gardeners to explore the endless and diverse variety of the plant kingdom and to encourage experimentation in the garden,” Stonecrop became a public garden in 1992 and has been delighting visitors ever since.
Stonecrop features a diverse and inspiring variety of display gardens made up of a collection of gardens and plants, including raised alpine stone beds, a grass garden, woodland and water gardens, cliff rock gardens, and a sheltered English-style flower garden. Stonecrop is also home to several greenhouses, including a large Conservatory, small Tropical Room, an exclusive Alpine House, and a Pit House with an extensive collection of choice dwarf bulbs. There are also two growing greenhouses on site.
Stonecrop features several different plant habitats and the species which thrive in them, ranging from a 2,000 square-foot conservatory housing tender specimens such as orchids and tropical, to raised alpine stone beds and woodlands and water gardens. Other highlights of the gardens include a cliff rock garden, an enclosed English-style flower garden, greenhouses of alpine and succulents, and systematically ordered beds representing over 50 plant families. A new T-Range Greenhouse houses half-hardy plants through the winter, which are then mixed with hardy perennials, annuals, vines, and shrubs to create spectacular displays in the flower gardens. The gardens are open all year round and provide inspiration through all the seasons from blooming bulbs in the spring and explosions of color in the summer to spectacular foliage in the fall.
Stonecrop Gardens is located on Stonecrop Lane in Cold Spring, approximately 55 miles north of New York City on Route 301. The gardens are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, as well as select Sundays between the months of April and November.
Stonecrop offers an Internship Program for students and learners who wish to learn how to grow care for and use plants in a garden setting. The goal of the course is to provide students with invaluable practical horticultural exposure and experience, as well as all the horticultural skills necessary to become a professional in the field. The internship offers a ‘hands-on’ approach where students become interactively involved in the running and maintain the garden, learning new skills along the way.
Activities and responsibilities in the program include Ornamental Horticulture (planting, mulching, weeding, dead-heading, pruning, pest and disease identification, and management, labeling, mapping, record keeping, and selling and public relations), Propagation of alpine, woodland, and flower garden plants, and Greenhouse Management. Other duties include soil preparation and compost production, watering (indoor and outdoor), rotating household tasks, and rotating weekend duty. Students take part in various internal projects while on the program, including a designing, installing, and maintaining a vegetable plot, plant identification tests, lecture presentations on a horticultural topic of choice and partaking in various field trips. The Stonecrop Internship Program runs from February through December and includes a full 40-hour work week with alternating weekend duties.
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81 Stonecrop Lane, Cold Spring, New York 10516, Phone: 845-265-2000