The crunch of kaleidoscope-colored leaves under your feet as you hike through the fall foliage of Black Rock forest on your quest to find the reservoir that supplies Cornwall, a petite New York town, with water is just one of the many experiences that this area has to offer. Nestled in the gorgeous Hudson Valley, perched next to the Hudson River, Cornwall is a town perfect for families and artists alike. Located an hour from the Big Apple, Cornwall offers diverse experiences for every season.
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Winter: Usually lasting from November to March, there is a reason why so many residents are snowbirds. However, just because there’s snow on the ground does not mean the town is asleep. Be sure to bundle up as you walk the glittering streets lined with welcoming snowmen on your way to 2Alices, the lively café on Hudson Street. From themed nights such as Trivia Thursdays to local bands making the floor length windows shake to reading the newspaper on a Sunday morning, 2Alices is the center for local entertainment.
Spring: As the flowers begin to bloom, so does the town. Storm King Art Center is home to fantastic larger than life sculptures set upon the rolling hillside. Pretend to be a modern art critic as you roam freely from piece to piece. And the best part: unlimited access to the 1.5-mile campus is only $12 for adults and $8 for students.. For dinner pick up a large pie from one of the 3 pizzerias in town for picnic. This humble writer’s suggestion is picking it up from Village Pizza on Hudson Street and heading down to Donahue Memorial Park. The park is right on the Hudson River complete with its own picnic table under massive weeping willows. Make sure you stay for the sunset or take a guided kayak tour to watch the day fade into night over the ruins of Bannerman’s Island with Storm King Adventure Tours.
Summer: If you plan on getting away for America’s Independence Day, be sure to attend Cornwall’s all-day festival. From the morning pet show to the “Main Street Mile” traditional race, all topped off with a spectacular fireworks display, there is always something to do. As you work your way through the vendors at the craft sale, pause for a moment to smell hamburgers from various backyard barbecues, watch children competing in 3-legged races and feel the water splash out of the dunk tank as a town official falls in. Most importantly, find a spot along Main and Hudson Street to view the parade at 5 o’clock. Relax in the knowledge that on the day America became a liberated country, you are receiving the ideal American experience.
Fall: By far the most gorgeous time of year for the Hudson Valley. The number one recommendation from this writer: Take a hike. Although you may encounter some wildlife along the way (Cornwall is only a few miles from Bear Mountain), the views from the top will take your breath away. If physical feats aren’t really your thing, drive Orrs Mills Road to view a train trestle nestled into the hillside. Whatever you do, don’t forget your camera!
Cornwall is picturesque town and one of New York’s best-kept secrets. That said, there are not many hotels around. Instead, try the Cromwell Manor located conveniently next to Jones Farm (home of the best donuts in town).
And if you cannot decide which seasonal experience you would like, come visit again! As the town slogan goes, a Henry Hudson quote, “[Cornwall is] A pleasant place to build a town.”
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