Introduction to Columbia County Neighborhoods
None other than Henry Hudson himself was the first European to set foot on what is now Columbia County, when his ship, the Half Moon, pulled over for a few repairs and to look for food. Today, the county, which rolls and sweeps from the eastern bank of the river that bears his name to the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, is still mostly agrarian. Its fertile soil supports a cornucopia of local fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses and other delights. Countless summer and fall festivals celebrate this agricultural bounty with music, fun and, of course, fresh food. Outdoor amenities are perhaps the county’s greatest treasures. Choice spots for hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing, cycling and leaf-peeping abound. The 5,000-acre Taconic State Park features an invigorating hike up to Bish-Bash Falls, a 200-foot waterfall (which, yes, is technically in Massachusetts). Hunting of another sort—for antiques, arts and crafts—is also plentiful. The village of Hudson supports more than 65 antique shops Warren Street and its side streets. Historic homes, including Olana, the Moorish-inspired home of Frederic Church, one of America’s premier landscape painters, and the Georgian home of our eighth president, Martin van Buren, dot the landscape. For culture, Chatham’s Mac-Hayden Theater presents family-friendly musicals in a charming and intimate 350-seat theater-in-the-round. And sports fans can catch car-racing thrills at Lebanon Valley Speedway and Dragway.