Whew! We made it through the winter of 2011-12 with barely a flurry or two. Okay, there were a few flakes here and there, and that bizarre October storm dumped some significant inches of the white stuff all over us before we even had a chance to think about digging out our winter coats. But still, after the previous two winters, when the weekly blizzard became the norm, this past season was nothing. But that doesn’t mean that we’re still not super excited for the summer. Bring it on!
That’s because here in the Hudson Valley there are so many amazing ways to celebrate this special season — and in our annual Summer Fun Guide, we help you get started. When I was young, one of my favorite rites of summer was horseback riding. There was a stable about 10 minutes from my house; I’d often go there with my mother or grandmother simply to visit the horses and take in the whole scene. I’d mill about, petting and cooing (I renamed all the horses with my own favorite monikers), and occasionally a busy teenager in big boots would let me help feed these (mostly) gentle giants. But the highlight was when I got to go on a trail ride. This happened a couple of times per season at my local stable and also whenever we went on vacation. I loved the feel of climbing on top of the horse, getting set in the saddle, and the rhythmic beat of the animal’s steady gait as we started on our journey. I loved the way my legs grazed against passing plants and all the things I was able to notice about my surroundings from my lofty vantage point.
As an adult, I sometimes rode, mainly on vacation — although there was one bizarre “trail ride” I took in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park where I somehow ended up alone and weaving in and out of traffic. When I moved to the Valley, I was surprised that there weren’t more places that offered trail rides. I was told, off the record, that this was mainly due to insurance issues. Still, we’ve rustled up a bunch of great stables that provide trail rides — as well as lessons and more. So whether you want to walk by the Hudson River or weave through the woods in Fahnestock State Park, check out our story on saddling up this summer.
There are dozens of other ways to have fun in the Hudson Valley sun. Go to a beach (there are plenty, on both our lakes and on the river, too; and yes, I’m talking about sandy beaches), try your hand at fishing, catch a crab, go to a baseball game, or get out for a run (or walk, bike, hop, skip, or jump) on one of several rail trails. I’m embarrased to say that I have only been on one of these amazing byways, but I’m currently shopping for a new bike and plan to travel down every single one of them this season — and with my two-year-old in tow.
For many of us, summer means hitting the links; our annual Golf Guide will surely help you get your game on. You’ll also want to check out our story on General Electric’s ongoing cleanup of the Hudson River. They are well into Phase Two of dredging toxic PCBs from our historic waterway, but the controversy continues. And finally, you’ll want to come to the block party this summer — color blocking, that is. It’s the year’s hottest trend and our local boutiques are at the forefront of this fashion phenomenon. The fun starts here.
Olivia J. Abel
Editor In Chief