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Take a Detour to These Tranquil Hidden Gems in the Hudson Valley

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I was going in a completely different direction this week – literally and figuratively -but that all changed when I took Scout Finch (remember Scout Finch, our golden retriever?) to the free Putnam County rabies clinic at Hubbard Lodge at Fahnestock State Park.

First, a big shout-out to the Putnam County Department of Health for hosting the rabies clinic and for continuing to hold it in the park. Hubbard Lodge is nestled in my favorite park, practically in my backyard, a treasure of a gift that keeps on giving.

The drive to Hubbard Lodge, along Route 301 from Carmel to Cold Spring, is gorgeous all year round. It’s so close that while I cannot call it a detour, every time I see it through a new lens. The route is also often a hotbed for tag sales (and I’ve never not stopped at one) and misfit items at the end of a driveway marked “free.”

My day did not disappoint.

Being a consummate thrifter and DIY-enthusiast, I found a cast-off table to re-finish and some exquisite Chinese pottery. Stay tuned for the finished project. But I digress. The road winds through Fahnestock State Park and several other hidden gems that should be on your must-go list this summer. They are unrelated, but all focus on the stunning natural landscape and bounty that epitomizes the Hudson Valley.

I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the Hudson Valley, where it is precisely, what makes it unique, what makes the residents so interesting, what defines the Valley lifestyle and is it a “thing” that is even definable.

I follow many interesting bloggers, tastemakers, designers, and people-about-town from regions across the country that are indeed definable. The South, of course, the Midwest, Chicago specifically, New England, NYC, etc., all have their distinct vibe and identity; ageless, timeless, and forever cool.

So, back to the Hudson Valley, there are a lot of people documenting and doing cool things, from Westchester to the Capital Region. I am jumping in to join them in a way, but to dig deeper and try to home in on the lifestyle part, through places, tastes, experiences, and people. This is the rubric through which I will try to tie all my detours together.

This brings me back to those hidden gems:

This Week’s Picks:

Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming

362 Glynwood Road, Cold Spring, NY 10516


Enter Glynwood from Route 301 and follow the winding road to the farm that, since 1993, has used its 224 acres as a farmer training facility, a leader in advances in sustainable food production, and to educate the broader community on gardening, farming, and healthy living. If you are not there for a (reservation only but free) farm tour, you can still visit the well-stocked farm store, PYO (pick your own) herbs and flowers and join the community-supported agriculture.

My personal faves: Ask a Farmer (your questions) and to pick-up your (pre-ordered) Pastured Plate Bundles — seriously, how cool is your healthy curated, farm-fresh dinner? Takes the “it’s what’s for dinner tonight” to a new level.

Stonecrop Gardens

81 Stonecrop Lane, Cold Spring, NY 10516


Enter Stonecrop in the same manner as Glynwood; turn off Route 301 onto Stonecrop Lane, a long and winding road up around 1,100 feet to the top of the 15-acre farm and gardens that have been open to the public since 1992. Stonecrop is open for tours by reservation and is a diverse indoor garden (inside the stunning conservatory) and outdoor and water gardens that began as the private gardens of the founder of the Garden Conservatory, Frank Cabot, and his wife, Anne. There are over 50 varieties of plants, and the property is adjacent to the Topfield Equestrian Center for therapeutic riding so you can park and picnic alongside the horse paddocks.

As a gardener who braves the Zone 6B challenges, Stonecrop had me at Native Plant Tours and Submit Your Plant for Review.

Canopus Recreation Area – Fahnestock State Park

1498 Route 301, Carmel, NY 10512


A quick turn off Route 301 brings you right to Canopus Lake, one of the many recreation areas within the 14,086 acres of Clarence Fahnestock State Park. It is no secret how much I love this park and its diverse native offerings. Canopus Lake is a 1.5-mile-long lake within the park where you can swim, boat, and hike. There is a new pavilion that houses facilities and the Acorn Café and shop, boat rentals, and picnic area. It feels like a mini-Adirondack getaway. And, if you are especially adventurous, you can make a weekend out of your visit at one of the 80 campsites within the park.

Other noteworthy spots: Pelton Pond for hiking, the Taconic Outdoor Education Center, fishing, birding, and, when it is not summer, sledding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing at the Winter Park.

This is natural New York at its best here in the Hudson Valley.

In one day, I experienced these places, their tastes, and the people who are making it happen here in the Hudson Valley. Next week I will be venturing farther than six miles from home, so follow me on my Detours Along The Way and keep an eye out for our new event calendar.

Follow Nancy Sorbella for more of her adventures on Instagram @DetoursColumnist, Twitter @jsorbella or on Facebook at Nancy Niskin Sorbella.

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