Whatever Floats Your Boat
Updated: Jul 27, 2018
Take a boat ride on one of the local waterways this weekend. Enjoy beautiful views of the Hudson Valley that can only be seen from the water. Kids will love this adventure even if it is just in a small nearby pond. Gather family and friends or have some peace and serenity on your own private cruise. Paddling offers exercise and relaxation all in one.
Don't have a boat? No Problem. They say it is actually better to have a friend with a boat then to own one yourself. If your friend is busy, you can rent kayaks or canoes from New Paltz Kayaking Tours. They will drop the boats off for you at a location of your choice; there are lots of options to choose from. You have the FUN and they will do all the work. You can make your reservation right on their website or call 845-594-6353. They also rent bikes and fishing gear FYI. If you are wondering what to do with Dad for Father's Day next weekend, make your reservation now.
Where to boat in the Hudson Valley (Ulster County)? We have a few suggestions. Use the Hurds boating map below to help guide you to the perfect spot to launch your boat. The picture above was taken along the Kingston, NY waterfront on the Rondout Creek. A great little ride with views of marinas and bridges. You can launch your boat from Sleightsburgh Park which also offers easy access to the Hudson River. A great place to watch tug boats, sail boats, yachts, really all different types of watercrafts pass by.
It is probably best to venture out on the Hudson River in a motorized boat. We recommend launching from the Bob Shepard Highand Landing Park in Highland, NY. They are located just North of the Walkway over the Hudson. You can head north and make it up to the lighthouse in about 30 minutes. If you keep going you can grab a bite to eat in Kingston. Remember red, right, returning. Keep red buoys on your right when traveling from the sea.
Another option for great food and a boat ride is to launch from New Paltz. Meet New Paltz Kayaks at Sojourner Truth Park which is less than a half mile from Main Street. You can actually walk there from the Waterstreet Market in around 5 minutes. Here you will be taking a ride on the Wallkill River. FUN Fact: The Wallkill River is unusual because it flows north between to major south flowing rivers (the Hudson River & the Deleware River). The Wallkill River Watershed Alliance is hosting a Winding Waters Trail Paddle event this Sunday where New Paltz Kayaks will be supplying the kayaks for FREE. Check out this video to see wildlife and stunning aerial views.
There are a few other boating options that are a bit more unique and off the beaten path. Chodikee Lake is located in Highland, NY and has beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. Black Creek is full of wildlife and is narrow with lots of twists and turns. It runs by the rail trail and you can launch from Highland or Esopus. The Roundout Creek is similar to the Wallkill River and runs south west through a number of great towns including Kingston, Rosendale, High Falls, and Kerhonkson.
How to prepare for a boating excursion. Keep important items dry and afloat. Consider purchasing a dry bag or float for your keys, camera, or phone. Some phones are waterproof but they will sink, so best to keep them in the car or attach a key chain float. Dress in layers so you can acclimate to sun or shade. Pack sunscreen, hat or an umbrella, bug spray, drinks and a snack. Once you are out on the water there won't be many if any places to stop to buy a drink. Paddling does work up an appetite. Life vests are always a good idea even if you are a good swimmer.
When making your plans think about who you will be boating with. Will they be able to help paddle or are they just along for the ride? Are you looking for exercise or motorized fun? Do you want to be secluded in nature or traveling through towns? How much experience do you have paddling? Kayaks are probably the easiest vessel for beginners. New Paltz Kayaks will also give you a lesson with your rental.
Pictured above is a canoe rental in Piermont, NY, they also rent motorized boats. This location is much closer to NYC. Farm dog Cali is taking a cruise on a houseboat in the Erie Cannal. You can rent one of those longboats and become a lock master! Depending on your outing this funny boat saying may apply...
Most importantly have FUN. Keep an eye out for aquatic life, birds and other friends along the waters edge. Be safe, responsible and be sure to train young boaters how to boat responsibly. Paddling is a skill which requires practice. It is a great way to enjoy family, friends, and nature. Let us know how your boating adventure in Ulster County, NY goes!