If you haven’t heard of Cold Spring yet, you will. Well-known for its nearby challenging trail, Breakneck Ridge, this town has so much more to show you.

Like a gift that keeps on giving, it’s far enough away from the city to truly call it a day trip yet close enough to explore and make it back in time for a reasonable dinner (by New Yorker-time standards). This town is an explorer’s dream. When you get to the Cold Spring Station, the main street is literally steps away from the station. This stretch of town is great for grabbing a bite, checking out local shops, curiosities and oddities. You’ll also find vintage and antiques galore; on Saturday mornings there is even a farmer’s market at the far end of the road next to a church. Go grab some apples for your hike - you’ll thank me later!

Once you’ve walked up and down, noshed and sipped, peeked and poked around a bit, let’s get off the street and onto a trail shall we? Find Kemble Ave and take it until the very end; you’ll walk right into West Foundry Park Reserve. You have an option now - take the trail to your left into the forest with some historical foundry ruins, a pond and giant dam with a cascading waterfall...or take the walk straight ahead and hook a right for some wetlands beauty that will circle back to the river and the other half of town.

Let’s go high and then circle low. The forest path splits after a bit and you can choose the level of difficulty you like. I chose the lower level only because an incredible hill shaped like a pyramid was inviting me over to check it out the amazing trees growing out of the side of it to climb one. To get up the hill, you have to climb up the roots of the tree to the base! Trees are incredible beings. This one is obviously female - look at those curves!

Continuing onward, we take the trail as it gradually inclines again. This is a great lookout point over the old foundry and the pond. Continue further still, you’ll eventually hear rushing water and spot the dam with the waterfall. If you’re nimble, you can lower yourself down to get into or next to it like I did...

It’s so beautiful there and the water is freakin’ cold! I’m definitely going back in the spring to test it again :)

Backtrack down the trail and when you see the pyramid hill, go around the back way. The path will eventually put you near the bathrooms (helpful after previous noshing and sipping). After you’ve finished your business, you can take the wetlands trail.

The marshes are peaceful and there are several spots with benches so you can relax to take it all in. If you continue walking, you’ll see the train station again. Don’t worry, we’re not going home yet. Take the platform back to the street and go in the tunnel next to the tracks - you’ll surface on the other side of town. Magic!!

There are a few cafes and eateries here too but the real attractions in the waterfront. Walk along it until you get to a chained off area. Ignore that (walk around it) and continue into the park. The view here is just wonderful. Surrounded by looming mountains and flanked by the Hudson, this spot is like a second home. Linger as long as you like - watch the hawks flying overhead and then let your eyes drift to the boats passing by. A freight train winding around the base of the mountain across the river may catch your eye. Take a deep breath and feel your self expand with these gentle, giant mountains. They’re breathing with you; the river is your heartbeat.

This is Mother at her best.

Originally published in Las Brujas de Yerbas

Winter ClarkComment