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The Hudson River is a
river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reaching another body of wate ...

river
that flows from north to south primarily through eastern
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
in the United States. It originates in the
Adirondack Mountains The Adirondack Mountains () form a massif In geology, a massif ( or ) is a section of a planet's Crust (geology), crust that is demarcated by geologic fault, faults or Lithospheric flexure, flexures. In the Plate tectonics, movement of the cr ...
of
Upstate New York Upstate New York is a geographic region consisting of the portion of New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department ...
and flows southward through the
Hudson Valley The Hudson Valley (also known as the Hudson River Valley) comprises the valley of the Hudson River The Hudson River is a that flows from north to south primarily through eastern in the United States. It originates in the of and flows ...

Hudson Valley
to the
Upper New York Bay Upper New York Bay, or Upper Bay, is the traditional heart of the Port of New York and New Jersey The Port of New York and New Jersey is the port district In Canada and the United States, a port authority (less commonly a port district) i ...
between
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
and
Jersey City Jersey City is the second-most populous city in the U.S. state of New Jersey, after Newark, New Jersey, Newark.
Jersey City
, eventually draining into the
Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
at
New York Harbor New York Harbor is at the mouth of the Hudson River where it empties into New York Bay near the East River tidal estuary, and then into the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of the United States. It is one of the largest Harbor#Natural harbors, ...

New York Harbor
. The river serves as a political boundary between the states of
New Jersey New Jersey is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic States, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, Northeastern regions of the United States. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York (state), New York; on the ea ...
and New York at its southern end. Farther north, it marks local boundaries between several
New York counties There are 62 county (United States), counties in the U.S. state, state of New York (state), New York. The first 12 were created immediately after the British took over the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam; two of these counties have since been ...
. The lower half of the river is a
tidal estuary An estuary is a partially enclosed coastal The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the sea or ocean, or as a line that forms the boundary between the land and the ocean The ocean (al ...
, deeper than the body of water into which it flows, occupying the Hudson
Fjord In physical geography Physical geography (also known as physiography) is one of the two fields of geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδ ...

Fjord
, an inlet which formed during the most recent period of North American
glaciation A glacial period (alternatively glacial or glaciation) is an interval of time (thousands of years) within an ice age An ice age is a long period of reduction in the temperature of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the o ...
, estimated at 26,000 to 13,300 years ago. Even as far north as the city of
Troy Troy (Greek language, Greek: Τροία) or Ilium (Greek language, Greek: Ίλιον) was an ancient city located at Hisarlik in present-day Turkey, south-west of Çanakkale. It is known as the setting for the Greek mythology, Greek myth of the ...
, the flow of the river changes direction with the tides. The Hudson River runs through the
Munsee The Munsee (or Minsi or Muncee) or mə́n'si·w are a subtribe of the Lenape The Lenape (, , or Lenape ), also called the Leni Lenape, Lenni Lenape and Delaware people, are an indigenous people of the Northeastern Woodlands Indigenous pe ...
/
Lenape The Lenape (, , or Lenape ), also called the Leni Lenape, Lenni Lenape and Delaware people, are an indigenous people of the Northeastern Woodlands Indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands include Native American tribes The term ...
,
Mohican The Mohican ( or , alternate spelling: Mahican) are an Eastern Algonquian The Eastern Algonquian languages constitute a subgroup of the Algonquian languages. Prior to European contact, Eastern Algonquian consisted of at least 17 languages, w ...
, and
MohawkMohawk may refer to: Related to Native Americans *Mohawk people, an indigenous people of North America (Canada and New York) *Mohawk language, the language spoken by the Mohawk people *Mohawk hairstyle, from a hairstyle once thought to have been tr ...
,
Haudenosaunee The Iroquois ( or ) or Haudenosaunee (; "People of the Longhouse") are an indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous pe ...
homelands. Prior to European exploration, the river was known as the ''Mahicannittuk'' by the Mohicans, ''Ka'nón:no'' by the Mohawks, and ''Muhheakantuck'' by the Lenape. The river was subsequently named after
Henry Hudson Henry Hudson ( 1565 – disappeared 23 June 1611) was an English sea explorer and navigator A navigator is the person on board a ship or aircraft responsible for its navigation Navigation is a field of study that focuses on the pro ...
, an Englishman sailing for the
Dutch East India Company The Dutch East India Company, officially the United East India Company ( nl, Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie; VOC), was a multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate A corporation is an organization—u ...

Dutch East India Company
who explored it in 1609, and after whom
Hudson Bay Hudson Bay ( iu, text=ᑲᖏᖅᓱᐊᓗᒃ ᐃᓗᐊ, translit=Kangiqsualuk ilua or iu, text=ᑕᓯᐅᔭᕐᔪᐊᖅ, translit=Tasiujarjuaq; french: baie d'Hudson), sometimes called Hudson's Bay (usually historically), is a large body of sal ...
in Canada is also named. It had previously been observed by Italian explorer
Giovanni da Verrazzano Giovanni da Verrazzano ( , , often misspelled Verrazano in English; 1485–1528) was an Italian (Florentine) explorer Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery Discovery may refer to: * Discovery (observation) ...
sailing for King
Francis I of France Francis I (french: François Ier; frm, Francoys; 12 September 1494 – 31 March 1547) was King of France from 1515 until his death in 1547. He was the son of Charles, Count of Angoulême, and Louise of Savoy. He succeeded his first cousin once ...
in 1524, as he became the first European known to have entered the Upper New York Bay, but he considered the river to be an estuary. The Dutch called the river the '' North River''—with the
Delaware River The Delaware River is a major river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its co ...

Delaware River
called the ''South River''—and it formed the spine of the Dutch colony of
New Netherland New Netherland ( nl, Nieuw Nederland; la, Nova Belgica or ) was a 17th-century colony of the Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonl ...
. Settlements of the colony clustered around the Hudson, and its strategic importance as the gateway to the American interior led to years of competition between the English and the Dutch over control of the river and colony. During the eighteenth century, the river valley and its inhabitants were the subject and inspiration of
Washington Irving Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American short-story writer, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short stories " Rip Van Winkle" (1819) and " The Lege ...

Washington Irving
, the first internationally acclaimed American author. In the nineteenth century, the area inspired the
Hudson River School The Hudson River School was a mid-19th century American art movement embodied by a group of landscape painters whose aesthetic vision was influenced by Romanticism. The paintings typically depict the Hudson River Valley and the surrounding area, ...
of
landscape painting (German, 1842–1921), ''View of Lærdalsøyri, on the Sognefjord'', 1901 Landscape painting, also known as landscape art, is the depiction of natural scenery such as mountains, valleys, trees, river A river is a natural flowing wate ...

landscape painting
, an American pastoral style, as well as the concepts of
environmentalism Environmentalism or environmental rights is a broad philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical real ...
and
wilderness Wilderness or wildlands (usually in the plural), are natural environments on Earth that have not been significantly modified by human activity or any nonurbanized land not under extensive agricultural cultivation. The term has traditionally re ...

wilderness
. The Hudson was also the eastern outlet for the
Erie Canal The Erie Canal is a canal Canals are waterways channels Channel, channels, channeling, etc., may refer to: Geography * Channel (geography), in physical geography, a landform consisting of the outline (banks) of the path of a nar ...

Erie Canal
, which, when completed in 1825, became an important transportation artery for the early 19th century United States.


Names

The river was called ' or ''Ca-ho-ha-ta-te-a'' ("the river") by the
Haudenosaunee The Iroquois ( or ) or Haudenosaunee (; "People of the Longhouse") are an indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous pe ...
, and it was known as ' ("river that flows two ways" or "waters that are never still") or ' by the Mohican nation who formerly inhabited both banks of the lower portion of the river. The meaning of the Mohican name comes from the river's long tidal range. The
Delaware Tribe of Indians The Delaware Tribe of Indians, formerly known as the Cherokee Delaware or the Eastern Delaware, based in Bartlesville, Oklahoma Bartlesville is a city mostly in Washington County, Oklahoma, Washington County in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The p ...
(Bartlesville, Oklahoma) considers the closely related Mohicans to be a part of the
Lenape The Lenape (, , or Lenape ), also called the Leni Lenape, Lenni Lenape and Delaware people, are an indigenous people of the Northeastern Woodlands Indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands include Native American tribes The term ...
people, and so the Lenape also claim the Hudson as part of their ancestral territory, also calling it '. The first known European name for the river was the Rio San Antonio as named by the Portuguese explorer in Spain's employ,
Estêvão Gomes Estêvão Gomes, also known by the Spanish version of his name, Esteban Gómez (Porto Porto or Oporto () is the List of cities in Portugal, second-largest city in Portugal and one of the Iberian Peninsula's major urban areas. Porto city is sm ...
, who explored the Mid-Atlantic coast in 1525. Another early name for the Hudson used by the Dutch was ''Rio de Montaigne''. Later, they generally termed it the ''Noortrivier'', or " North River", the
Delaware River The Delaware River is a major river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its co ...

Delaware River
being known as the ''Zuidrivier'', or "South River". Other occasional names for the Hudson included ''Manhattes rieviere'' "Manhattan River", ''Groote Rivier'' "Great River", and ''de grootte Mouritse reviere'', or "the Great Mouritse River" (Mourits is a Dutch surname). The translated name North River was used in the
New York metropolitan area The New York metropolitan area, also commonly referred to as the Tri-State area, is the largest metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core Urban means "related to a city". In ...
up until the early 1900s, with limited use continuing into the present day. The term persists in radio communication among commercial shipping traffic, especially below the
Tappan Zee The Tappan Zee (; also Tappan Sea or Tappaan Zee) is a natural widening of the Hudson River, about across at its widest, in southeastern New York (state), New York. It stretches about along the boundary between Rockland County, New York, Rockla ...
. The term also continues to be used in names of facilities in the river's southern portion, such as the North River piers,
North River Tunnels The North River Tunnels are a pair of tunnels that carry Amtrak and New Jersey Transit rail lines under the Hudson River The Hudson River is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean ...
, and the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant. It is believed that the first use of the name Hudson River in a map was in a map created by the cartographer John Carwitham in 1740. In 1939, the magazine ''
Life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities A bubble of exhaled gas in water In common usage and classical mechanics, a physical object or physical body (or simply an object or body) is a collection of matter within a ...
'' described the river as "America's Rhine", comparing it to the stretch of the Rhine in Central and Western Europe. Various stretches of the river have their own historical names, many created by early Dutch explorers and settlers. The stretches all have similar sailing conditions, and the names were commonly used until the early common use of the steamboat. These names include, from south to north, the Great Chip Reach, Tappan Reach, , Seylmakers' Reach, Crescent or Cook's Reach, Hoge's or High Reach, Martyr's or Martelaire Reach, Fisher's Reach, Lange Rack or Long Reach, Vasterack or Vaste Reach, Kleverack or Claverack, Backerack or Baker's Reach, Jan Playsier's Reach, and Hart's or Hunter's Reach.


Course


Sources

The source of the Hudson River is
Lake Tear of the Clouds Lake Tear of the Clouds is a small tarn (lake), tarn located in the town of Keene, New York, Keene, in Essex County, New York, Essex County, New York (state), New York, United States, on the southwest slope of Mount Marcy, the state's List of U.S. ...
in the
Adirondack Park The Adirondack Park is a part of Forest Preserve (New York), New York's Forest Preserve in northeastern New York (state), New York, United States. The park was established in 1892 for “the free use of all the people for their health and pleasur ...
at an altitude of . However, the river is not cartographically called the Hudson River until miles downstream. The river is named Feldspar Brook until its confluence with the , and then is named the Opalescent River until the river reaches Calamity Brook, flowing south from the outlet of Henderson Lake. From that point on, the stream is cartographically known as the Hudson River. The
U.S. Geological Survey The United States Geological Survey (USGS, formerly simply Geological Survey) is a scientific agency Agency may refer to: * a governmental or other institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurrin ...
(USGS) uses this cartographical definition. The longest source of the Hudson River as shown on the most detailed USGS maps is the "Opalescent River" on the west slopes of Little Marcy Mountain, originating two miles north of Lake Tear of the Clouds, several miles, past the Flowed Lands, to the Hudson River. and a mile longer than "Feldspar Brook", which flows out of that lake in the
Adirondack Mountains The Adirondack Mountains () form a massif In geology, a massif ( or ) is a section of a planet's Crust (geology), crust that is demarcated by geologic fault, faults or Lithospheric flexure, flexures. In the Plate tectonics, movement of the cr ...
. Popular culture and convention, however, more often cite the photogenic Lake Tear of the Clouds as the source.


Upper Hudson River

Using river names as seen on maps, Indian Pass Brook flows into Henderson Lake, and the outlet from Henderson Lake flows east and meets the southwest flowing Calamity Brook. The
confluence In geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is ...

confluence
of the two rivers is where maps begin to use the Hudson River name. South of the outlet of Sanford Lake, the Opalescent River flows into the Hudson. The Hudson then flows south, taking in Beaver Brook and the outlet of Lake Harris. After its confluence with the Indian River, the Hudson forms the boundary between Essex and Hamilton counties. The Hudson flows entirely into Warren County in the hamlet of North River, and takes in the
Schroon River The Schroon River ( ) is a U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline dataThe National Map accessed October 3, 2011 tributary of the Hudson River in the southern Adirondack Mountains of New York (state), New York, ...

Schroon River
at Warrensburg. Further south, the river forms the boundary between Warren and Saratoga Counties. The river then takes in the
Sacandaga River The Sacandaga River is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without r ...
from the Great Sacandaga Lake. Shortly thereafter, the river leaves the Adirondack Park, flows under Interstate 87, and through
Glens Falls Glens Falls is a City (New York), city in Warren County, New York, Warren County, New York, United States and is the central city of the Glens Falls, New York metropolitan area, Glens Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 14,70 ...
, just south of Lake George although receiving no streamflow from the lake. It next goes through Hudson Falls. At this point the river forms the boundary between Washington and Saratoga Counties. Here the river has an elevation of . Just south in Fort Edward, the river reaches its confluence with the
Champlain Canal The Champlain Canal is a canal that connects the south end of Lake Champlain to the Hudson River in New York (state), New York. It was simultaneously constructed with the Erie Canal and is now part of the New York State Canal System and the Lakes ...
, which historically provided boat traffic between New York City and
Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, ) is the second-most populous city in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the world's . Its southern and w ...

Montreal
and the rest of
Eastern Canada Eastern Canada (also the Eastern provinces or the East) is generally considered to be the region of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of s ...

Eastern Canada
via the Hudson,
Lake Champlain , native_name_lang = , image = Champlainmap.svg , caption = Lake Champlain-River Richelieu watershed , image_bathymetry = , caption_bathymetry = , location = New York (state), New York/Vermont in the United States; and Quebec in Canada , ...

Lake Champlain
and the
Saint Lawrence Seaway The Saint Lawrence Seaway (french: la Voie Maritime du Saint-Laurent) is a system of locks, canal Canals are waterways Channel (geography), channels, or artificial waterways, for water conveyance, or to service water transport vehicle ...
. Further south the Hudson takes in water from the Batten Kill River and Fish Creek near
Schuylerville Schuylerville () is a Administrative divisions of New York#Village, village in Saratoga County, New York, Saratoga County, New York (state), New York, United States. The village is located in the northeastern part of the Saratoga, New York, Town ...
. The river then forms the boundary between Saratoga and Rensselaer counties. The river then enters the heart of the
Capital District A capital district, capital region or capital territory is normally a specially designated administrative division where a country's seat of government is located. As such, in a Federation, federal model of government, no State (administrative div ...
. It takes in water from the
Hoosic River The Hoosic River, also known as the Hoosac, the Hoosick (primarily in New York) and the Hoosuck (mostly archaic), is a U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline dataThe National Map , accessed October 3, 2011 trib ...
, which extends into
Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * ...

Massachusetts
. Shortly thereafter the river has its confluence with the
Mohawk River The Mohawk River is a U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline dataThe National Map accessed October 3, 2011 river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an oce ...

Mohawk River
, the largest tributary of the Hudson River, in
Waterford Waterford ( ; from Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandi ...
. The river then reaches the Federal Dam in
Troy Troy (Greek language, Greek: Τροία) or Ilium (Greek language, Greek: Ίλιον) was an ancient city located at Hisarlik in present-day Turkey, south-west of Çanakkale. It is known as the setting for the Greek mythology, Greek myth of the ...
, marking an impoundment of the river. At an elevation of , the bottom of the dam marks the beginning of the tidal influence in the Hudson as well as the beginning of the lower Hudson River.


Lower Hudson River

South of the Federal Dam, the Hudson River begins to widen considerably. The river enters the
Hudson Valley The Hudson Valley (also known as the Hudson River Valley) comprises the valley of the Hudson River The Hudson River is a that flows from north to south primarily through eastern in the United States. It originates in the of and flows ...

Hudson Valley
, flowing along the west bank of
Albany Albany, derived from the Gaelic name for Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the C ...
and the east bank of Rensselaer.
Interstate 90 Interstate 90 (I-90) is an east–west transcontinental freeway and the longest Interstate Highway in the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Conti ...
crosses the Hudson into Albany at this point in the river. The Hudson then leaves the Capital District, forming the boundary between Greene and Columbia Counties. It then meets its confluence with Schodack Creek, widening considerably at this point. After flowing by
Hudson Hudson may refer to: People * Hudson (given name) * Hudson (surname) Places Argentina * Hudson, Buenos Aires Province, a town in Berazategui Partido Australia * Hudson, Queensland, a locality in the Cassowardy Coast Region Canada * H ...
, the river forms the boundary between Ulster and Columbia Counties and Ulster and Dutchess Counties, passing
GermantownGermantown or German Town may refer to: Places Australia * Germantown, Queensland, a locality in the Cassowary Coast Region United States * Germantown, California, the former name of Artois, a census-designated place in Glenn County * Germ ...
and
Kingston Kingston may refer to: Places * List of places called Kingston, including the four most populated: ** Kingston, Jamaica ** City of Kingston, Victoria, Australia ** Kingston, Ontario, Canada ** Kingston upon Thames, England Animals * Kingston (ho ...
. The
Delaware and Hudson Canal The Delaware and Hudson Canal was the first venture of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company, which would later build the Delaware and Hudson Railway. Between 1828 and 1899, the canal's barges carried anthracite, anthracite coal from the mines of ...
meets the river at this point. The river then flows by
Hyde Park Hyde Park may refer to: Places In England * Hyde Park, London, a Royal Park in Central London * Hyde Park, Leeds, an inner-city area of north-west Leeds * Hyde Park, Sheffield, district of Sheffield * Hyde Park, in Hyde, Greater Manchester * Hyde ...
, former residence of
Franklin D. Roosevelt Franklin Delano Roosevelt (, ; January 30, 1882April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American politician who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A member of the De ...

Franklin D. Roosevelt
, and alongside the city of
Poughkeepsie Poughkeepsie ( , officially the City of Poughkeepsie, separate from the Town of Poughkeepsie around it) is a city in the U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al ju ...
, flowing under the
Walkway over the Hudson The Walkway over the Hudson (also known as the Poughkeepsie Bridge, Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge, Poughkeepsie–Highland Railroad Bridge, and High Bridge) is a steel cantilever bridge spanning the Hudson River between Poughkeepsie (city), New ...
and the
Mid-Hudson Bridge The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Mid-Hudson Bridge is a toll suspension bridge which carries US 44 and NY 55 across the Hudson River The Hudson River is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towa ...

Mid-Hudson Bridge
. Afterwards, the Hudson passes
Wappingers Falls Wappingers Falls, officially the Village of Wappingers Falls, is a village A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet (place), hamlet but smaller than a town (although the word is often used to describ ...
and takes in
Wappinger Creek Wappinger Creek is a U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline dataThe National Map, accessed October 3, 2011 creek which runs from Thompson Pond to the Hudson River at New Hamburg, New York, New Hamburg in Dutche ...
. The river then forms the boundary between Orange and Dutchess Counties. It flows between Newburgh and
Beacon A beacon is an intentionally conspicuous device designed to attract attention to a specific location. A common example is the lighthouse A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lam ...
and under the Newburgh Beacon Bridge, taking in the
Fishkill Creek Fishkill Creek (also Fish Kill, from the Dutch ''vis kille'', for "fish creek") is a tributary A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem (or parent) river or a lake. A tributary does not flow dire ...
. In this area, between Gee's Point at the
US Military Academy The United States Military Academy (USMA), also known as West Point, Army, Army West Point, The Academy, or simply The Point, is a four-year federal service academy in West Point, New York. It was originally established as a fort that sits on ...
and
Constitution Island Constitution Island is located on the east side of the Hudson River directly opposite the U.S. Military Academy Reservation and is connected to the east shore by Constitution Marsh. It is the only part of the U.S. Military Academy Reservation o ...
, an area known as "World's End" marks the deepest part of the Hudson, at . Shortly thereafter, the river enters the
Hudson Highlands The Hudson Highlands are mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit area, and is larger th ...
between Putnam and Orange Counties, flowing between mountains such as Storm King Mountain,
Breakneck Ridge Breakneck Ridge is a mountain along the Hudson River between Beacon, New York, Beacon and Cold Spring, New York, Cold Spring, New York (state), New York, straddling the boundary between Dutchess County, New York, Dutchess and Putnam County, New Y ...

Breakneck Ridge
, and
Bear MountainBear Mountain may refer to: Mountains * Bear Mountain (Seward, Alaska), in the Kenai Mountains * Bear Mountain (Kern County, California), located in the Tehachapi Mountains * Bear Mountain (Santa Clara County, California), located in the Diablo Ra ...
. The river narrows considerably here before flowing under the
Bear Mountain Bridge The Bear Mountain Bridge, ceremonially named the Purple Heart Veterans Memorial Bridge, is a toll suspension bridge in New York State. It carries US 6 and US 202 across the Hudson River The Hudson River is a river A river ...
, which connects Westchester and Rockland Counties. Afterward, leaving the Hudson Highlands, the river enters
Haverstraw Bay 250px, Haverstraw Bay as seen from Haverstraw Haverstraw Bay, located in New York (state), New York, is the widest portion of the Hudson River. The width of Haverstraw Bay is approximately 3.4 miles (5.5 kilometers). The length approximately 5 mile ...

Haverstraw Bay
, the widest point of the river at wide. Shortly thereafter, the river forms the
Tappan Zee The Tappan Zee (; also Tappan Sea or Tappaan Zee) is a natural widening of the Hudson River, about across at its widest, in southeastern New York (state), New York. It stretches about along the boundary between Rockland County, New York, Rockla ...
and flows under the Tappan Zee Bridge, which carries the
New York State Thruway The New York State Thruway (officially the Governor Thomas E. Dewey Thruway and colloquially "the Thruway") is a system of controlled-access highways spanning within the U.S. state of New York (state), New York. It is operated by the New York S ...
between
Tarrytown Tarrytown is a administrative divisions of New York#Village, village in the administrative divisions of New York#Town, town of Greenburgh, New York, Greenburgh in Westchester County, New York, United States. It is located on the eastern bank of ...
and Nyack in Westchester and Rockland Counties respectively. At the state line with
New Jersey New Jersey is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic States, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, Northeastern regions of the United States. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York (state), New York; on the ea ...
the west bank of the Hudson enters
Bergen County Bergen County is the most populous county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publi ...
. The Palisades are large, rocky cliffs along the west bank of the river; also known as
Bergen Hill Bergen Hill refers to the lower The Palisades (Hudson River), Hudson Palisades in New Jersey, United States, where they emerge on Bergen Neck, which in turn is the peninsula between the Hackensack River, Hackensack and Hudson River, and their bay ...
at their lower end in
Hudson County Hudson County is a densely populated county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publis ...
. Further south the east bank of the river becomes
Yonkers Yonkers () is a city in Westchester County, New York Westchester County is located in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a co ...
and then the Riverdale neighborhood of the
Bronx The Bronx () is a Boroughs of New York City, borough of New York City, coextensive with Bronx County, in the U.S. state of New York (state), New York. It is south of Westchester County, New York, Westchester County; north and east of the New Yor ...

Bronx
in New York City. South of the confluence of the Hudson and
Spuyten Duyvil Creek Spuyten Duyvil Creek () is a short tidal estuary An estuary is a partially enclosed coastal The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the sea or ocean, or as a line that forms the boun ...

Spuyten Duyvil Creek
, the east bank of the river becomes
Manhattan Manhattan (), known regionally as ''The City'', is the most densely populated and geographically smallest of the five boroughs 5 is a number, numeral, and glyph. 5, five or number 5 may also refer to: * AD 5, the fifth year of the AD era ...

Manhattan
. The river is sometimes still called the North River at this point. The
George Washington Bridge The George Washington Bridge is a double-decked suspension bridge spanning the Hudson River, connecting the New York City borough of Manhattan with the Borough (New Jersey), New Jersey borough of Fort Lee, New Jersey, Fort Lee. The bridge is ...

George Washington Bridge
crosses the river between
Fort Lee Fort Lee may refer to: * Fort Lee, New Jersey Fort Lee is a at the eastern border of , in the , situated along the atop . As of the , the borough's population was 35,345, reflecting a decline of 116 (−0.3%) from the 35,461 counted in the , ...

Fort Lee
and the
Washington HeightsWashington Heights may refer to: Places ;Japan *Washington Heights (Tokyo), a former US Army barracks and housing area during the occupation of Japan ;United States *Washington Heights, Chicago, Illinois *Washington Heights, New Jersey, Washingto ...
neighborhood of Manhattan. The
Lincoln Tunnel The Lincoln Tunnel is an approximately tunnel A tunnel is an underground passageway, dug through the surrounding soil/earth/rock and enclosed except for entrance and exit, commonly at each end. A pipeline Pipeline may refer to: Ele ...

Lincoln Tunnel
and the
Holland Tunnel The Holland Tunnel is a vehicular tunnel A tunnel is an underground passageway, dug through the surrounding soil/earth/rock and enclosed except for entrance and exit, commonly at each end. A pipeline is not a tunnel, though some recent ...

Holland Tunnel
also cross under the river between Manhattan and New Jersey. South of the Battery, the river proper ends, meeting the
East River The East River is a salt water tidal estuary An estuary is a partially enclosed coastal The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the sea or ocean, or as a line that forms the boundary be ...

East River
to form
Upper New York Bay Upper New York Bay, or Upper Bay, is the traditional heart of the Port of New York and New Jersey The Port of New York and New Jersey is the port district In Canada and the United States, a port authority (less commonly a port district) i ...
, also known as New York Harbor. Its outflow continues through
the Narrows __NOTOC__ The Narrows is the tidal strait separating the borough (New York City), boroughs of Staten Island, New York, Staten Island and Brooklyn, New York, Brooklyn in New York City, United States. It connects the Upper New York Bay and Lower ...

the Narrows
between
Brooklyn Brooklyn () is a borough A borough is an administrative division in various English language, English-speaking countries. In principle, the term ''borough'' designates a self-governing walled town, although in practice, official use of the te ...

Brooklyn
and
Staten Island Staten Island () is a borough A borough is an administrative division in various English language, English-speaking countries. In principle, the term ''borough'' designates a self-governing walled town, although in practice, official use o ...

Staten Island
, under the Verrazzano Bridge, and into
Lower New York Bay , 2. East River, 3. Long Island Sound, 4. Newark Bay, 5. Upper New York Bay, 6. Lower New York Bay, 7. Jamaica Bay, 8. Atlantic Ocean on Staten Island, New York (state), New York Image:Raritan_Bay_from_Sandy_Hook.tif, 250px, View over the Ra ...

Lower New York Bay
and the .


Geography and watershed

The lower Hudson is actually a tidal estuary, with tidal influence extending as far as the Federal Dam in
Troy Troy (Greek language, Greek: Τροία) or Ilium (Greek language, Greek: Ίλιον) was an ancient city located at Hisarlik in present-day Turkey, south-west of Çanakkale. It is known as the setting for the Greek mythology, Greek myth of the ...
. There are about two high tides and two low tides per day. As the tide rises, the tidal current moves northward, taking enough time that part of the river can be at high tide while another part can be at the bottom of its low tide. Strong tides make parts of New York Harbor difficult and dangerous to navigate. During the winter, ice floes may drift south or north, depending upon the tides. The
Mahican The Mohican ( or , alternate spelling: Mahican) are an Eastern Algonquian The Eastern Algonquian languages constitute a subgroup of the Algonquian languages. Prior to European contact, Eastern Algonquian consisted of at least 17 languages, w ...
name of the river represents its partially estuarine nature: ''muh-he-kun-ne-tuk'' means "the river that flows both ways." Due to tidal influence from the ocean extending to Troy, NY, freshwater discharge is only about per second on average. The mean fresh water discharge at the river's mouth in New York is approximately per second. The Hudson River is long, with depths of for the stretch south of the Federal Dam, dredged to maintain the river as a shipping route. Some sections there are around 160 feet deep, and the deepest part of the Hudson, known as "World's End" (between the
US Military Academy The United States Military Academy (USMA), also known as West Point, Army, Army West Point, The Academy, or simply The Point, is a four-year federal service academy in West Point, New York. It was originally established as a fort that sits on ...
and
Constitution Island Constitution Island is located on the east side of the Hudson River directly opposite the U.S. Military Academy Reservation and is connected to the east shore by Constitution Marsh. It is the only part of the U.S. Military Academy Reservation o ...
) has a depth of . The Hudson and its tributaries, notably the Mohawk River, drain an area of , the Hudson River Watershed. It covers much of New York, as well as parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Vermont. Parts of the Hudson River form
cove A cove is a small type of bay or coast The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% of ...

cove
s, such as
Weehawken Cove 300px, Image of Weehawken Cove taken by NASA. (Image on the right with red line shows where it is.) Weehawken Cove is a cove on the west bank of the North River (Hudson River), Hudson River between the New Jersey municipalities of Hoboken, New J ...
in the towns of
Hoboken Hoboken ( ; Unami language, Unami: ') is a City (New Jersey), city in Hudson County, New Jersey, Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 50,005, having grown by 11,428 (+29.6%) fro ...

Hoboken
and
Weehawken Weehawken is a Township (New Jersey), township in the North Hudson, New Jersey, northern part of Hudson County, New Jersey, Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. It is located largely on the Hudson Palisades overlooking the North River (Hu ...
in New Jersey.


Salinity

New York Harbor, between the Narrows and the George Washington Bridge, has a mix of fresh and ocean water, mixed by wind and tides to create an increasing gradient of salinity from the river's top to its bottom. This varies with season, weather, variation of water circulation, and other factors; snowmelt at winter's end increases the freshwater flow downstream. The salt line of the river varies from the north in Poughkeepsie to the south at Battery Park in New York City, though it usually lies near Newburgh.


Geology

The Hudson is sometimes called, in geological terms, a drowned river. The rising sea levels after the retreat of the Wisconsin glaciation, the most recent Quaternary glaciation, ice age, have resulted in a Fjord, marine incursion that drowned the coastal plain and brought salt water well above the mouth of the river. The deeply eroded old riverbed beyond the current shoreline, Hudson Canyon, is a rich fishing area. The former riverbed is clearly delineated beneath the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, extending to the edge of the continental shelf. As a result of the glaciation and the sea level rise, rising sea levels, the lower half of the river is now a
tidal estuary An estuary is a partially enclosed coastal The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the sea or ocean, or as a line that forms the boundary between the land and the ocean The ocean (al ...
that occupies the Hudson Fjord. The fjord is estimated to have formed between 26,000 and 13,300 years ago. Along the river, the Palisades are of metamorphic basalt, or diabases, the Highlands are primarily granite and gneiss with intrusions, and from Beacon to Albany, shales and limestones, or mainly sedimentary rock. The Narrows were most likely formed about 6,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age. Previously, Staten Island and Long Island were connected, preventing the Hudson River from terminating via the Narrows. At that time, the Hudson River emptied into the Atlantic Ocean through a more westerly course through parts of present-day northern New Jersey, along the eastern side of the Watchung Mountains to Bound Brook, New Jersey and then on into the Atlantic Ocean via Raritan Bay. A buildup of water in the Upper New York Bay eventually allowed the Hudson River to break through previous land mass that was connecting Staten Island and Brooklyn to form the Narrows as it exists today. This allowed the Hudson River to find a shorter route to the Atlantic Ocean via its present course between New Jersey and New York City. Suspended sediments, mainly consisting of clays eroded from glacial deposits and organic particles, can be found in abundance in the river. The Hudson has a relatively short history of erosion, so it does not have a large depositional plain near its mouth. This lack of significant deposits near the river mouth differs from most other American estuaries. Around New York Harbor, sediment also flows into the estuary from the ocean when the current is flowing north.


History


Pre-Columbian era

The area around Hudson River was inhabited by indigenous peoples ages before Europeans arrived. The
Lenape The Lenape (, , or Lenape ), also called the Leni Lenape, Lenni Lenape and Delaware people, are an indigenous people of the Northeastern Woodlands Indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands include Native American tribes The term ...
, Wappinger, and
Mahican The Mohican ( or , alternate spelling: Mahican) are an Eastern Algonquian The Eastern Algonquian languages constitute a subgroup of the Algonquian languages. Prior to European contact, Eastern Algonquian consisted of at least 17 languages, w ...
branches of the Algonquian peoples, Algonquians lived along the river, mostly in peace with the other groups. The Algonquians in the region mainly lived in small clans and villages throughout the area. One major settlement was called Navish, which was located at Croton Point, overlooking the Hudson River. Other settlements were located in various locations throughout the
Hudson Highlands The Hudson Highlands are mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit area, and is larger th ...
. Many villagers lived in various types of houses, which the Algonquians called wigwams, though large families often lived in Longhouses of the indigenous peoples of North America, longhouses that could be a hundred feet long. At the associated villages, they grew corn, beans, and squash. They also gathered other types of plant foods, such as hickory nuts and many other wild fruits and tubers. In addition to agriculture, the Algonquians also fished in the Hudson River, focusing on various species of freshwater fish, as well as various variations of striped bass, American eels, sturgeon, herring, and shad. Oyster beds were also common on the river floor, which provided an extra source of nutrition. Land hunting consisted of turkey, deer, bear, and other animals. The lower Hudson River was inhabited by the Lenape, while further north, the Wappingers lived from Manhattan Island up to
Poughkeepsie Poughkeepsie ( , officially the City of Poughkeepsie, separate from the Town of Poughkeepsie around it) is a city in the U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al ju ...
. They traded with both the Lenape to the south and the Mahicans to the north. The Mahicans lived in the northern part of the valley from present-day
Kingston Kingston may refer to: Places * List of places called Kingston, including the four most populated: ** Kingston, Jamaica ** City of Kingston, Victoria, Australia ** Kingston, Ontario, Canada ** Kingston upon Thames, England Animals * Kingston (ho ...
to
Lake Champlain , native_name_lang = , image = Champlainmap.svg , caption = Lake Champlain-River Richelieu watershed , image_bathymetry = , caption_bathymetry = , location = New York (state), New York/Vermont in the United States; and Quebec in Canada , ...

Lake Champlain
, with their capital located near present-day
Albany Albany, derived from the Gaelic name for Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the C ...
.


Exploration and colonization

John Cabot is credited for the Old World's discovery of continental North America, with his journey in 1497 along the continent's coast. In 1524, Florence, Florentine explorer
Giovanni da Verrazzano Giovanni da Verrazzano ( , , often misspelled Verrazano in English; 1485–1528) was an Italian (Florentine) explorer Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery Discovery may refer to: * Discovery (observation) ...
sailed north along the Atlantic seaboard and into New York Harbor, however he left the harbor shortly thereafter, without navigating into the Hudson River. In 1598, Dutch men employed by the Greenland Company wintered in New York Bay. In 1609 the
Dutch East India Company The Dutch East India Company, officially the United East India Company ( nl, Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie; VOC), was a multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate A corporation is an organization—u ...

Dutch East India Company
financed English navigator
Henry Hudson Henry Hudson ( 1565 – disappeared 23 June 1611) was an English sea explorer and navigator A navigator is the person on board a ship or aircraft responsible for its navigation Navigation is a field of study that focuses on the pro ...
in his search for the Northwest Passage. During the search, Hudson decided to sail his ship up the river that would later be named after him. His travel up the ever-widening river led him to Haverstraw Bay, leading him to believe he had successfully reached the Northwest Passage. He landed on the western shore of the bay and claimed the territory for the Netherlands. He then proceeded upstream as far as present-day Troy before concluding that no such strait existed there. The Dutch empire, Dutch subsequently began to colonize the region, establishing the colony of
New Netherland New Netherland ( nl, Nieuw Nederland; la, Nova Belgica or ) was a 17th-century colony of the Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonl ...
, including three major fur-trading outposts: New Amsterdam, Wiltwyck, and Fort Orange. New Amsterdam was founded at the mouth of the Hudson River, and would later become known as
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
. Wiltwyck was founded roughly halfway up the Hudson River, and would later become Kingston. Fort Orange was founded on the river north of Wiltwyck, and later became known as Albany. The Dutch West India Company operated a monopoly on the region for roughly twenty years before other businessmen were allowed to set up their own ventures in the colony. In 1647, Director-General Peter Stuyvesant took over management of the colony, and surrendered it in 1664 to the British, who had invaded the largely-defenseless New Amsterdam. New Amsterdam and the colony of New Netherland were renamed New York, after the Duke of York. Under British colonial rule, the Hudson Valley became an agricultural hub. Manors were developed on the east side of the river, and the west side contained many smaller and independent farms. In 1754, the Albany Plan of Union was created at Stadt Huys, Albany City Hall on the Hudson. The plan allowed the colonies to treaty with the Iroquois and provided a framework for the Continental Congress.


American Revolution

During the American Revolutionary War, the British realized that the river's proximity to Lake George and Lake Champlain would allow their navy to control the water route from
Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, ) is the second-most populous city in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the world's . Its southern and w ...

Montreal
to New York City. British general John Burgoyne planned the Saratoga campaign, to control the river and therefore cut off the Patriot (American Revolution), patriot hub of New England (to the river's east) from the South and Mid-Atlantic regions to the river's west. The action would allow the British to focus on rallying the support of loyalists in the southerly states. As a result, numerous battles were fought along the river and in nearby waterways. These include the Battle of Long Island, in August 1776 and the Battle of Harlem Heights the following month. Later that year, the British and Continental Armies were involved in skirmishes and battles in rivertowns of the Hudson in Westchester County, culminating in the Battle of White Plains. Also in late 1776, New England militias fortified the river's choke point known as the
Hudson Highlands The Hudson Highlands are mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit area, and is larger th ...
, which included building Fort Clinton and Fort Montgomery (Hudson River), Fort Montgomery on either side of the Hudson and a Hudson River Chain, metal chain between the two. In 1777, Washington expected the British would attempt to control the Hudson River, however they instead conquered Philadelphia, and left a smaller force in New York City, with permission to strike the Hudson Valley at any time. The British attacked on October 5, 1777, in the Battle of Forts Clinton and Montgomery by sailing up the Hudson River, looting the village of Peekskill, New York, Peekskill and capturing the two forts. In 1778, the Continentals constructed the Hudson River Chain#The Great Chain (1778–1782), Great West Point Chain in order to prevent another British fleet from sailing up the Hudson.


Hudson River School

Hudson River School paintings reflect the themes of discovery, exploration, and settlement in America in the mid-19th century. The detailed and idealized paintings also typically depict a pastoral setting. The works often juxtapose peaceful agriculture and the remaining wilderness, which was fast disappearing from the Hudson Valley just as it was coming to be appreciated for its qualities of ruggedness and sublimity. The school characterizes the artistic body, its New York location, its landscape subject matter, and often its subject, the Hudson River. In general, Hudson River School artists believed that nature in the form of the American landscape was an ineffable manifestation of God, though the artists varied in the depth of their religious conviction. Their reverence for America's natural beauty was shared with contemporary American writers such as Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. The artist Thomas Cole is generally acknowledged as the founder of the
Hudson River School The Hudson River School was a mid-19th century American art movement embodied by a group of landscape painters whose aesthetic vision was influenced by Romanticism. The paintings typically depict the Hudson River Valley and the surrounding area, ...
, his work first being reviewed in 1825, while painters Frederic Edwin Church and Albert Bierstadt were the most successful painters of the school.


19th century

At the beginning of the 19th century, transportation from the US east coast into the mainland was difficult. Ships were the fastest vehicles at the time, as trains were still being developed and automobiles were roughly a century away. In order to facilitate shipping throughout the country's interior, numerous canals were constructed between internal bodies of water in the 1800s. One of the most significant canals of this era was the
Erie Canal The Erie Canal is a canal Canals are waterways channels Channel, channels, channeling, etc., may refer to: Geography * Channel (geography), in physical geography, a landform consisting of the outline (banks) of the path of a nar ...

Erie Canal
. The canal was built to link the Midwest to the Port of New York and New Jersey, Port of New York, a significant seaport during that time, by way of the Great Lakes, the canal, the
Mohawk River The Mohawk River is a U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline dataThe National Map accessed October 3, 2011 river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an oce ...

Mohawk River
, and the Hudson River. The completion of the canal enhanced the development of the American West, allowing settlers to travel west, send goods to markets in frontier cities, and export goods via the Hudson River and New York City. The completion of the canal made New York City one of the most vital ports in the nation, surpassing the Port of Philadelphia and ports in
Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * ...

Massachusetts
. After the completion of the Erie Canal, smaller canals were built to connect it with the new system. The
Champlain Canal The Champlain Canal is a canal that connects the south end of Lake Champlain to the Hudson River in New York (state), New York. It was simultaneously constructed with the Erie Canal and is now part of the New York State Canal System and the Lakes ...
was built to connect the Hudson River near
Troy Troy (Greek language, Greek: Τροία) or Ilium (Greek language, Greek: Ίλιον) was an ancient city located at Hisarlik in present-day Turkey, south-west of Çanakkale. It is known as the setting for the Greek mythology, Greek myth of the ...
to the southern end of Lake Champlain. This canal allowed boaters to travel from the St. Lawrence River, St. Lawrence Seaway, and then British cities such as
Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, ) is the second-most populous city in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the world's . Its southern and w ...

Montreal
to the Hudson River and New York City. Another major canal was the Oswego Canal, which connected the Erie Canal to Oswego, New York, Oswego and Lake Ontario, and could be used to bypass Niagara Falls. The Cayuga-Seneca Canal connected the Erie Canal to Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake (New York), Seneca Lake. Farther south, the
Delaware and Hudson Canal The Delaware and Hudson Canal was the first venture of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company, which would later build the Delaware and Hudson Railway. Between 1828 and 1899, the canal's barges carried anthracite, anthracite coal from the mines of ...
was built between the
Delaware River The Delaware River is a major river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its co ...

Delaware River
at Honesdale, Pennsylvania, and the Hudson River at Kingston, New York. This canal enabled the transportation of coal, and later other goods as well, between the Delaware and Hudson River watersheds. The combination of these canals made the Hudson River one of the most vital waterways for trade in the nation. During the Industrial Revolution in the United States, Industrial Revolution, the Hudson River became a major location for production, especially around Albany and Troy. The river allowed for fast and easy transport of goods from the interior of the Northeast to the coast. Hundreds of factories were built around the Hudson, in towns including Poughkeepise, Newburgh, Kingston, and Hudson. The North Tarrytown Assembly (later owned by General Motors), on the river in Sleepy Hollow, was a large and notable example. The River links to the Erie Canal and Great Lakes, allowing manufacturing in the Midwest, including automobiles in Detroit, to use the river for transport. With industrialization came new technologies for transport, including steamboats for faster transport. In 1807, the ''North River Steamboat'' (later known as Clermont), became the first commercially successful steamboat. It carried passengers between New York City and Albany along the Hudson River. The Hudson River valley also proved to be a good area for railroads. The Hudson River Railroad was established in 1849 on the east side of the river as a way to bring passengers from New York City to Albany. The line was built as an alternative to the New York and Harlem Railroad for travel to Albany, and as a way to ease the concerns of cities along the river. The railroad was also used for commuting to New York City. Further north, the Livingston Avenue Bridge was opened in 1866 as a way to connect the Hudson River Railroad with the New York Central Railroad, which goes west to Buffalo, New York, Buffalo. Smaller railroads existed north of this point. On the west side of the Hudson River, the West Shore Railroad opened to run passenger service from Weehawken, New Jersey to Albany, and then Buffalo. In 1889, the Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge opened for rail service between Poughkeepsie and the west side of the river.


20th and 21st centuries

Starting in the 20th century, the technological requirements needed to build large crossings across the river were met. This was especially important by New York City, as the river is fairly wide at that point. In 1927, the
Holland Tunnel The Holland Tunnel is a vehicular tunnel A tunnel is an underground passageway, dug through the surrounding soil/earth/rock and enclosed except for entrance and exit, commonly at each end. A pipeline is not a tunnel, though some recent ...

Holland Tunnel
opened between New Jersey and Lower Manhattan. The tunnel was the longest underwater tunnel in the world at the time, and used an advanced system to ventilate the tunnels and prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide. The original upper level of the
George Washington Bridge The George Washington Bridge is a double-decked suspension bridge spanning the Hudson River, connecting the New York City borough of Manhattan with the Borough (New Jersey), New Jersey borough of Fort Lee, New Jersey, Fort Lee. The bridge is ...

George Washington Bridge
and the first tube of the
Lincoln Tunnel The Lincoln Tunnel is an approximately tunnel A tunnel is an underground passageway, dug through the surrounding soil/earth/rock and enclosed except for entrance and exit, commonly at each end. A pipeline Pipeline may refer to: Ele ...

Lincoln Tunnel
followed in the 1930s. Both crossings were later expanded to accommodate extra traffic: the Lincoln Tunnel in the 1940s and 1950s, and the George Washington Bridge in the 1960s. In 1955, the original Tappan Zee Bridge (1955–2017), Tappan Zee Bridge was built over Tappan Zee, one of the widest parts of the river, from
Tarrytown Tarrytown is a administrative divisions of New York#Village, village in the administrative divisions of New York#Town, town of Greenburgh, New York, Greenburgh in Westchester County, New York, United States. It is located on the eastern bank of ...
to Nyack. The late 20th century saw a decline in industrial production in the Hudson Valley. In 1993, IBM closed two of its plants in East Fishkill, New York, East Fishkill and
Kingston Kingston may refer to: Places * List of places called Kingston, including the four most populated: ** Kingston, Jamaica ** City of Kingston, Victoria, Australia ** Kingston, Ontario, Canada ** Kingston upon Thames, England Animals * Kingston (ho ...
due to IBM losing $16 billion over the previous three years. The plant in East Fishkill had 16,300 workers at its peak in 1984, and had opened in 1941 originally as part of the war effort. In 1996, the North Tarrytown GM Plant closed. In response to the plant closures, towns throughout the region sought to make the region attractive for technology companies. IBM maintained a Poughkeepsie mainframe unit, and newer housing and office developments were built near there as well. Commuting from Poughkeepsie to New York City also increased. Developers also looked to build on the property of the old GM plant. Around the time of the last factories' closing, environmental efforts to clean up the river progressed. For example, GE participated in cleanup efforts to remove Polychlorinated biphenyl, PCBs from the site of its old factory in Hudson Falls, New York, Hudson Falls. The cleanup is part of an EPA Superfund site, and consists of dredging a 40-mile stretch of the river the Troy Dam to Fort Edward (village), New York, Fort Edward in order to remove the probable carcinogen from the ecosystem. Other conservation efforts also occurred, such as when Christopher Swain became the first person to swim all 315 miles of the Hudson River in support of cleaning it up. In conjunction with conservation efforts, the Hudson River region has seen an economic revitalization, especially in favor of green development. In 2009, the High Line was opened in the Chelsea (Manhattan), Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. This linear park has views of the river throughout its length. Also in 2009, the original Poughkeepsie railroad bridge, since abandoned, was converted into the Walkway Over the Hudson, a pedestrian park over the river. Emblematic of the increase in green development in the region, waterfront parks in cities like Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and
Beacon A beacon is an intentionally conspicuous device designed to attract attention to a specific location. A common example is the lighthouse A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lam ...
were built, and several festivals are held annually.


Landmarks

Numerous places have been constructed along the Hudson that have since become landmarks. Following the river from its source to mouth, there is the Hudson River Islands State Park in Greene and Columbia counties, and in Dutchess County, there is Bard College, Staatsburgh, the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, Franklin D. Roosevelt's home and Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, presidential library, and the Hyde Park campus of the Culinary Institute of America, main campus of the Culinary Institute of America, Marist College, the
Walkway over the Hudson The Walkway over the Hudson (also known as the Poughkeepsie Bridge, Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge, Poughkeepsie–Highland Railroad Bridge, and High Bridge) is a steel cantilever bridge spanning the Hudson River between Poughkeepsie (city), New ...
, Bannerman's Castle, and Hudson Highlands State Park. South of that in Orange County is the United States Military Academy. In Westchester lies Indian Point Energy Center, Croton Point Park, and Sing Sing Correctional Facility. In New Jersey is Stevens Institute of Technology and Liberty State Park. In Manhattan is Fort Tryon Park with the Cloisters, and the World Trade Center (2001–present), World Trade Center. Ellis Island, partially belonging to both the states of New Jersey and New York, is located just south of the river's mouth in
New York Harbor New York Harbor is at the mouth of the Hudson River where it empties into New York Bay near the East River tidal estuary, and then into the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of the United States. It is one of the largest Harbor#Natural harbors, ...

New York Harbor
. The Statue of Liberty, located on Liberty Island, is located a bit further south of there.


Landmark status and protection

A stretch on the east bank of the Hudson has been designated the Hudson River Historic District, a National Historic Landmark. The Palisades Interstate Park Commission protects the Palisades on the west bank of the river. The Hudson River was designated as an American Heritage River in 1997. The Hudson River estuary system is part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System as the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve.


Transportation and crossings

The Hudson River is navigable by large steamers up to Troy, and by ocean-faring vessels to the Port of Albany. The original
Erie Canal The Erie Canal is a canal Canals are waterways channels Channel, channels, channeling, etc., may refer to: Geography * Channel (geography), in physical geography, a landform consisting of the outline (banks) of the path of a nar ...

Erie Canal
, opened in 1825 to connect the Hudson with Lake Erie, emptied into the Hudson at the Albany Basin, just south of the Federal Dam in
Troy Troy (Greek language, Greek: Τροία) or Ilium (Greek language, Greek: Ίλιον) was an ancient city located at Hisarlik in present-day Turkey, south-west of Çanakkale. It is known as the setting for the Greek mythology, Greek myth of the ...
(at mile 134). The canal enabled shipping between cities on the Great Lakes and Europe via the Atlantic Ocean. The New York State Canal System, the successor to the Erie Canal, runs into the Hudson River north of Troy. It also uses the Federal Dam as a lock. Along the east side of the river runs the Metro-North Railroad's Hudson Line (Metro-North), Hudson Line, from Manhattan to Poughkeepsie. The tracks continue north of Poughkeepsie as Amtrak trains run further north to Albany. On the west side of the river, CSX Transportation operates River Subdivision (CSX Transportation), a freight rail line between North Bergen Yard in North Bergen, New Jersey and Selkirk Yard in Selkirk, New York. The Hudson is crossed at numerous points by bridges, tunnels, and ferries. The width of the Lower Hudson River required major feats of engineering to cross; the results are today visible in the
George Washington Bridge The George Washington Bridge is a double-decked suspension bridge spanning the Hudson River, connecting the New York City borough of Manhattan with the Borough (New Jersey), New Jersey borough of Fort Lee, New Jersey, Fort Lee. The bridge is ...

George Washington Bridge
and the 1955 Tappan Zee Bridge (1955–2017), Tappan Zee Bridge (replaced by the New Tappan Zee Bridge) as well as the Lincoln Tunnel, Lincoln and Holland Tunnel, Holland Tunnels and the Port Authority Trans-Hudson, PATH and New York Tunnel Extension, Pennsylvania Railroad tubes. The George Washington Bridge, which carries multiple highways, connects Fort Lee, New Jersey to the
Washington HeightsWashington Heights may refer to: Places ;Japan *Washington Heights (Tokyo), a former US Army barracks and housing area during the occupation of Japan ;United States *Washington Heights, Chicago, Illinois *Washington Heights, New Jersey, Washingto ...
neighborhood of Upper Manhattan, and is the world's busiest motor vehicle bridge. The new Tappan Zee Bridge is the longest in New York, although the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge has a larger main span. The Troy–Waterford Bridge, Troy Union Bridge between Waterford (town), New York, Waterford and Troy was the first bridge over the Hudson; built in 1804 and destroyed in 1909; its replacement, the Troy–Waterford Bridge, was built in 1909. The Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad was chartered in 1832 and opened in 1835, including the Green Island Bridge, the second bridge over the Hudson south of the Federal Dam.


Pollution

The Hudson River's sediments contain a significant array of Water pollution, pollutants, accumulated over decades from industrial waste discharges, sewage treatment plants, and urban runoff. Water quality in the river has greatly improved since implementation of the 1972 Clean Water Act (CWA). As of 2020, the concentrations of toxic pollutants in fish and crabs are lower compared to measurements taken in previous decades, but fishing restrictions and health warnings remain in effect. The most significant pollution of the Hudson River was contamination of the river by General Electric (GE) with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) between 1947 and 1977. These chemicals caused a range of harmful effects to wildlife and people who ate fish from the river or drank the water. Other kinds of pollution, including mercury (element), mercury contamination and discharges of partially-treated sewage, have also caused ecological problems in the river. In response to the widespread contamination of the river, activists protested in various ways. A group of fishermen formed an organization in 1966 that would later become Riverkeeper, the first member of the Waterkeeper Alliance. Musician Pete Seeger founded the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and the Clearwater Festival to draw attention to the problem. Environmental activism in New York and across the country, and increased attention from members of United States Congress, Congress led to passage of the CWA in 1972. Extensive remediation actions on the river began in the 1970s with the issuance and enforcement of CWA wastewater discharge permits and consequent control or reduction of discharges from industrial facilities and municipal sewage treatment plants. In 1984, EPA declared a 200-mile (320 km) stretch of the river, from Hudson Falls to New York City, as a Superfund site requiring cleanup, one of the largest such site designations in the country. Sediment removal operations by GE, pursuant to the Superfund orders, have continued into the 21st century.


Flora and fauna


Plankton

Zooplankton are abundant throughout both fresh and saltwater portions of the river, and provide a crucial food source for larval and juvenile fish.


Invertebrates

The benthic zone has species capable of living in soft bottom habitats. Within freshwater regions, there are animal species including larvae of chironomid flies, oligochaete worms, predatory fly larvae, and amphipods. In saline regions, there are abundant polychaete annelids, amphipods, and some mollusks such as clams. These species burrow in the sediment and accelerate the breakdown of organic matter. Atlantic blue crabs are among the larger invertebrates, at the northern limit of their range. The entire Hudson was once far more populated with native suspension-feeding bivalves. Freshwater mussels were common in the river's limnetic zone, but populations have been decreasing for decades, probably from altered habitats and the invasive zebra mussel. Oyster beds were once pervasive in the saltwater portion, but are now reduced through pollution and exploitation.


Fish

According to the NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program, about 220 species of fish, including 173 native species, currently are found in the Hudson River. Commercial fishing was once prominent in the river, although most were shut down in 1976 due to pollution; few survive today. American shad are the only finfish harvested for profit, though in limited numbers. Species include striped bass, the most important game fish in the Hudson. Estimates of the striped bass population in the Hudson range to nearly 100 million fish. American eels also live in the river before reaching breeding age; for much of this stage they are known as glass eels because of the transparency of their bodies. The fish are the only catadromous species in the Hudson's estuary. The Atlantic tomcod is a unique species that adapted resistance to the toxic effects of the PCBs polluting the river. Scientists identified the genetic mutation that conferred the resistance, and found that the mutated form was present in 99 percent of the tomcods in the river, compared to fewer than 10 percent of the tomcods from other waters. The hogchoker flatfish have been historically abundant in the river, where farmers would use them for inexpensive livestock feed, giving the fish its name. Other unusual fish found in the river include the northern pipefish, the lined seahorse, and the northern puffer. The Atlantic sturgeon, a species about 120 million years old, enter the estuary during their annual migrations. The fish grow to a considerable size, up to and . The fish are the symbol of the Hudson River Estuary. Their smoked flesh was commonly eaten in the river valley since 1779, and it was sometimes known as "Albany beef". The city of Albany was called "Sturgeondom" or "Sturgeontown" in the 1850s and 1860s, with its residents known as "Sturgeonites". The "Sturgeondom" name lost popularity around 1900. The fish have been off limits from fishing since 1998. The river's population of shortnose sturgeon have quadrupled since the 1970s, and are also off limits to all fishing as they are a federally endangered species.


Marine and invasive species

Marine life is known to exist in the estuary, with seals, crabs, and some whales reported. On March 29, 1647, a white whale swam up the river to the Rensselaerswyck (near Albany). Herman Melville, author of ''Moby-Dick'', lived in and near Albany from 1830 to 1847, and was known to have ancestry from
New Netherland New Netherland ( nl, Nieuw Nederland; la, Nova Belgica or ) was a 17th-century colony of the Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonl ...
, leading some to believe stories of the whale sighting inspired his novel. Non-native species often originate in New York Harbor, a center of long-distance commerce. Over 100 foreign species reside in the river and its banks. Many of these have had significant effects on the ecosystem and natural habitats. The water chestnut produces a vegetative mat that reduces oxygen content in the water below, enhances sedimentation, impedes small vessel navigation, and is a hazard to swimmers and walkers. The zebra mussel arrived in the Hudson in 1989 and has spread through the river's freshwater region, reducing photoplankton and river oxygen levels. Positively, the mussel clears suspended particles, allowing for more light to aquatic vegetation. In saltwater areas, the green crab spread in the early 20th century and the Japanese shore crab has become dominant in recent years.


Habitats

The Hudson has a diverse array of habitat types. Most of the river consists of deep water habitats, though its tidal wetlands of freshwater and salt marshes are among the most ecologically important. There is strong biological diversity, including intertidal vegetation like freshwater cattails and saltwater cordgrasses. Shallow coves and bays are often covered with submarine vegetation; shallower areas harbor diverse benthic fauna. Abundance of food varies over location and time, stemming from seasonal flows of nutrients. The Hudson's large volume of suspended sediments reduces light penetration in the area's water column, which reduces photoplankton photosynthesis and prevents sub-aquatic vegetation from growing beyond shallow depths. The oxygen-producing phytoplankton have also been inhibited by the relatively recent invasion of the zebra mussel species. The Hudson River estuary is the site of wetlands from New York City all the way up to Troy. It has one of the largest concentrations of freshwater wetlands in the Northeast. Even though the river can be considered brackish further south, 80 percent of the wetlands are outside the influence of the saltwater coming from the Atlantic Ocean. Currently, the river has about acres of wetlands, and rising sea levels due to climate change are expected to lead to an expansion of that area. Wetlands are expected to migrate upland as sea level (and thus the level of the river) rises. This is different from the rest of the world, where rising sea levels usually leads to a reduction in wetland areas. The expansion of the wetlands are expected to provide more habitat to the fish and birds of the region.


Activities

Parkland surrounds much of the Hudson River; prominent parks include Battery Park and Liberty State Park at the river's mouth, Riverside Park (Manhattan), Riverside Park in Manhattan, Croton Point Park, Bear Mountain State Park, Storm King State Park and the
Hudson Highlands The Hudson Highlands are mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit area, and is larger th ...
, Moreau Lake State Park, and its source in the High Peaks Wilderness Area. The New Tappan Zee Bridge between Westchester and Rockland counties has a pedestrian and bicycling path covering a distance of about 3.6 miles. Another pedestrian and bike path exists further north, between Dutchess and Ulster Counties: Walkway Over the Hudson, which has a one-way length of 1.2 miles. Fishing is allowed in the river, although the state Department of Health recommends eating no fish caught from the South Glens Falls Dam to the Federal Dam at Troy. Women under 50 and children under 15 are not advised to eat any fish caught south of the Palmer Falls Dam in Corinth (village), New York, Corinth, while others are advised to eat anywhere from one to four meals per month of Hudson River fish, depending on species and location caught. The Department of Health cites mercury, PCBs, 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin, dioxin, and cadmium as the chemicals impacting fish in these areas. Common native species recreationally fished include striped bass (formerly a major commercial species, now only legally taken by angling, anglers), channel catfish, Ictalurus catus, white catfish, brown bullhead, yellow perch, and white perch. The nonnative largemouth bass, largemouth and smallmouth bass are also popular, and serve as the focus of catch-and-release fishing tournaments.


See also

* Geography of New York–New Jersey Harbor Estuary * Hudson River Region AVA * List of fixed crossings of the Hudson River * List of ferries across the Hudson River in New York City * List of Hudson River islands * List of New Jersey rivers * List of New York rivers


References


Further reading

* For a comprehensive guide to aspects of the river.


External links


Hudson River Maritime MuseumBeczak Environmental Education CenterTocqueville in Newburgh
– an ''Alexis de Tocqueville Tour'' segment on Hudson River steamship travel in the 1830s {{Portal bar, Hudson Valley, Geography, New York (state), New York City, New Jersey Hudson River, American Heritage Rivers Rivers of New Jersey Rivers of New York (state) Borders of New Jersey Borders of New York (state) Superfund sites in New York (state) Rivers of Manhattan Rivers of the Bronx Rivers of Essex County, New York Rivers of Hudson County, New Jersey Rivers of Bergen County, New Jersey Rivers of Westchester County, New York Rivers of Rockland County, New York Rivers of Putnam County, New York Rivers of Dutchess County, New York Rivers of Orange County, New York Rivers of Ulster County, New York Rivers of Sullivan County, New York Rivers of Columbia County, New York Rivers of Greene County, New York Rivers of Rensselaer County, New York Rivers of Albany County, New York Rivers of Washington County, New York Rivers of Saratoga County, New York