Kayaking in the Hudson River Valley?

Hi, I am planning a trip to the Hudson River Valley at the beginning of August. We would like some recommendations for some flat-water kayaking. We were thinking to try to stay in or close to Saugerties. We are open to other suggestions. Our last time in the area a few years ago (we were doing some climbing and hiking up at the Gunks) we visited the light house in Saugerties and were enchanted by the area. How is the Kayaking in that area for sea kayaks?

Is there a good place to also rent kayaks? My wife and I both have boats but our daughter who lives in Brooklyn and plans to join us for the weekend does not. Is there a place in the area where we can rent her a sea kayak with all the goodies?

Any and all recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Hudson River is entirely apt for sea kayaks. It can get a bit bumpy when the wind is straight out of the south, and there is a 4 foot tide right up to the federal lock in Troy. Landing options are decent, a lot of the land on the eastern shore is undeveloped and/or near the rail line on the east side so you won’t be annoying property owners.

Unfortunately I have no idea what to tell you re the rental situation.

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@Marshall here is the principal of The River Connection in Hyde Park (https://www.the-river-connection.com/). I am sure he could point you in the right direction, if not set you up.

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Lots of kayaking options right from Saugerties. (cool town by the way - be sure to check out the art market at the J.J. Newbury building)

Rentals can be us right in town on the Esopus Creek with my friend Gail at ipaddlenewyork.com and speak to her as to going further afield on the Hudson.

Also I can suggest a number of other close by day trips from Saugerties but a phone conversation will be a lot more productive than what my thumbs will convey here.

See you on the water,
Marshall Seddon
The River Connection, Inc.
9 W. Market St.
Hyde Park, NY. 12538
845-229-0595 main
845-242-4731 mobile
Main: [www.the-river-connection.com]
Store: [www.the-river-connection.us]
Email: marshall@the-river-connection.com
Facebook: [The River Connection, Inc.]
Instagram: Instagram.com/marshall.seddon


Marshall is your go- to person in that area. His base of operations in Hyde Park is beautiful.


I just got off the phone with Marshall and he was incredibly helpful. Could not have been a nicer guy. Thanks Marshall!


Lots to choose from. My personal favorites stretch from Cold Spring/West Point/Hudson Highlands up through Catskill, Athens lighthouse/Coxsackie. (PS - I can also vouch for Marshall’s bona fides.

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Marshall is great! Only reason I did not mention him earlier was giving him time if he wanted to jump in himself.

I am not familiar with launches on the west side of the river around Saugerties…I am pretty sure there is a town launch but it may be tuned to power boaters. However there are quite a few state launches and unofficial parking areas on the east side and farther south on the west side with an hour or so drive.

I think you will not get the best experience by staying close to Saugerties. There are all sorts of wonders to the north and south which are easily accessible by car. Mine Dock road on the west side is an excellent entry for the Bear Mountain Bridge.

If you go up a little North…I’m guessing 1/2 way to West Point…there is a magical place right next to shore where you can do a little surfing when a ship goes by.

If you drive north of Saugerties to Dutchmen’s landing park, then you have an excellent entry to the Catskill bridge.

You can have a much longer trip if you time the tides …paddling up river at slack and taking advantage of the ebbing tide.

Stay well outside the channel–there are large ocean going vessels. Being in the water and out of the cockpit and in the path of one of these vessels, at best, is a small calamity because of all the authorities that will respond. At worst the ship cannot stop to avoid you or your boat.

In sum, chat with Marshall about locations to launch. Saugerties has Tivoli, a good park that you can launch from, on the east side. Catskill further north has what is now a lovely redone shore area and some nice islands and smaller streams on the east side with a bird sanctuary up the creek on the west. Etc.

But all of these, as well as Bear Mountain which is also nice, is a fair drive from Marshall and maybe the rental option he mentioned. If your time to connect with your daughter is only one day, this is a factor.

Anywhere on the Hudson you will encounter barges. Nearer a marina etc they are supposed to be going slower. But they are being controlled by a fallible human being, and the Town of Bethlehem had to restore a bit of their shoreline after one came thru and failed to slow down. Our paddling group still had one person just leaving the dock and we were sure she had gotten hurt until the wake stopped.

Power boaters, and jet skiers in some locations, should be assumed to have poor habits. Assume the worst and you should be OK.

But the Hudson is a real river, with impressive shorelines and lots of historical points of interest. Enjoy.

Hit the Water: Hudson Valley Kayak Rental Locations

Saugaties is actually quite a bit north of me. So my knowledge of it is a bit more limited compare to the area further south. There’s kayak rental at Cold Spring and also Beacon.