The Ramble focuses on the Natural Heritage Area, which stretches from Albany to the northern border of New York City. The National Park Service describes the area as “the landscape that defined America” because of its wealth of historical, natural and cultural attractions.
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Over 200 activities are scheduled over four weekends in September. For nature lovers, there are guided walks and hikes through parks and along rivers, paddle treks, hawk watches, estuary explorations, biking routes for both road and mountain bikes, and narrated sightseeing and eco-cruises.
History buffs relive Colonial and Revolutionary eras and the Golden Age, participate in a historically themed scavenger hunt, tour a WWII destroyer escort, and learn the story behind Ichabod Crane and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
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The cultural side of the calendar covers the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival, a Shakespeare-inspired sculpture exhibit, an international folk cultures weekend, and museum events showcasing both the Hudson River School of the mid-19th century with its romantic landscape paintings and contemporary artists of today.
Most of the events are family-friendly and are either free or have a nominal admission or equipment fee. The Ramble website, www.hudsonrivervalleyramble.com, lists the activities by region — Upper, Middle or Lower Hudson — and category: walk/hike, bike tour, eco-activities, historic sites, and fairs and festivals. You can also download a pdf of the 40-page Ramble Guidebook. It has complete descriptions of every event and links to the organizers of that specific activity.
Information on accommodations, dining and travel logistics is found at the website for Hudson Valley Tourism, www.travelhudsonvalley.com. That's the place to look for special deals for the Ramble Weekends: September 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, and 26-27.
For more travel advice go to www.insightguides.com.