Month: July 2016

Walkway Over the Hudson – The Most Accessible Route

This article shows you how everyone, especially mobility-challenged people, can best enjoy the views on the Walkway Over the Hudson without worrying about walking distance, the lack of shaded rest stops, or accessibility issues.

The Walkway Over the Hudson is the “longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world,” according to the New York State Parks Department.  It provides stunning north and south Hudson River views that that were not available to pedestrians until 2008.

Today, its reach extends inland on either side of the Hudson River via the William R. Steinhaus Dutchess Rail Trail and the Hudson Valley Rail Trail, with the bridge itself in between for about 1.3 miles one way; 2.6 miles round-trip.

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We recently visited on our kick scooters, which made it easy for us to cover all the ground mentioned in this article. We realized, however, that this distance might be daunting for people traveling on foot, especially during a very hot, sunny weather.

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Rest assured that no matter where you are on the bridge, all views are spectacular, so do not worry about missing anything should you cut the distance traveled on your trip a bit short. The view below, for example, looks south over the  Mid-Hudson Bridge, and . . .

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. . . to the north, the Highland (below) and Poughkeepsie shorelines.

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Alternative Route and Sightseeing

While walking back and forth over the bridge (from points 1 to 5 on the map) is exciting and its deck is excellent, there are no rest stops along a round-trip of approximately 2.6 miles. If you walk using assistance, push a stroller, or would like a few more choices on what to do in the area, plan your trip so that you see its sights from the:

  • Bridge’s deck
  • 21 story glass elevator that connects the bridge with the Hudson River shoreline
  • Hudson River shoreline itself via the Waryas Park Promenade

To do this, enter the bridge from the Poughkeepsie-side (1 on the map).

At this time, feel free to walk on the bridge as far as suits your sightseeing needs.

Nearby the Poughkeepsie-side entrance is a 21 story glass elevator elevator (2 on the map) that will take you down to the shore and back.

The picture below shows my husband, Phil, and our kick scooters waiting for this glass-sided, elevator to arrive on the bridge. Bikes, strollers, and wheelchairs also fit inside.

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This glass elevator alone is worth a trip to the area! It offers breath-taking views every inch of the way down and up. Best, the elevator’s operator also serves as a friendly tour guide!

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At the foot of the bridge, continue heading south on a level, very accessible sidewalk.

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Just past the bridge’s foot is a small park is a small park. Cross a short, pedestrian bridge to arrive at the nearby Hudson Children’s Museum (3 on the map).

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At the far edge of the museum’s parking lot is the Waryas Park Promenade, a riverfront sidewalk next to Waryas Park public land that leads toward the very pleasant Poughkeepsie Ice House on the Hudson Restaurant (4 on the map).

Hungry? Thirsty? Need to get a load off your feet while enjoying river views? Stop at this large restaurant for light drinks, sandwiches and dinners. Indoors and patio seating is available.

Just past the restaurant’s building is the shady Waryas Park, complete with benches and a few tables. If you packed your own lunch, this is a nice place to eat it.

Continue walking south on the promenade to the Empire Cruise Lines dock where, perhaps, you can catch a Hudson River tour. (Note: It is best to plan your cruise by pre-booking tickets.)

The picture below shows the approach to the Poughkeepsie Ice House on the Hudson Restaurant with the Mid-Hudson Bridge in the background.

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The view below is the view from the Poughkeepsie Ice House on the Hudson Restaurant’s patio looking north toward the Walkway Over the Hudson.

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After relaxing on this Bridge Over the Hudson side trip, whether at the restaurant, nearby public park, or river cruise, reverse your route to trek back to the glass elevator. Below is what that approach looks like.

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Arrive Early

Like any attraction along the Hudson River, avoid crowds by visiting during the week, or arrive very early on beautiful weekend days. The later you arrive, the further you’ll have to walk from wherever it is that you find parking.

Links

Credits

This article was written by Karen Little for Littleviews.com and was published on July 30, 2016. Photos are by Karen and Philip Little. For permission to reproduce this article and/or photos, contact Karen Little at Karen@Littleviews.com. All rights to this article and photos are reserved by Littleviews.com and Karen Little.

Intercourse Canning Company in Intercourse, PA

Intercourse, PA, is home to two large canning companies that cater to tourists, employ many Amish women, and are within blocks of each other.

The best known is in the Country Kettle Village, a cute, “Amish crafts” shopping destination popular with bus tours and day trippers like myself.

Intercourse Canning Company, where I shopped, is just south of it, across Highway 340 (also known as Old Philadelphia Pike) on Center Street.

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Unlike its neighbor, Intercourse Canning Company almost exclusively sells canned goods, with only a scant selection of gift items other than food.

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All display areas are set on tables, or hug the walls, so you can easily see across the store. Tasting areas are very clean, which is easy to see because nothing blocks the light that streams in through its windows.

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Surprisingly to me, one whole display was devoted to pickled eggs. Although free samples were given away for other products, the eggs remained in their jars. I have no idea what they taste like, but apparently, pickled eggs are popular enough to be produced in a number of different flavors.

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I shopped specifically to buy spaghetti sauces and mustard. Fortunately (or unfortunately), there were only 20 jars left by the time my husband and I arrived.

It turned out that spaghetti sauce is their most popular item and they have a difficult time keeping it in stock. Had I read Internet reviews before arriving, I would have known that and quite possibly, if we arrived a few hours later, there would have been none left to buy.

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To demonstrate how picked over the spaghetti sauce display was by the time we arrived, the photo below shows you all that was available. After I bought mine, there were even fewer bottles on the shelf, and no quarts at all.

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Visit their website to see their full list of products, most of which are sold under their own label, the Intercourse Canning Company.

Their products include pickled goods, salsas, relishes, jams, jellies. sweet spreads. sauces, condiments, gourmet mixes, homemade noodles, and roasted coffee, almost all of which are available for sampling when you visit in person.

Novelty Items

Novelty items are not available online, but a few were scattered around the store. I found the Whoopie Pie Cookbook especially interesting.

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Clothing included baseball hats and T-shirts that announced “I love Intercourse (PA).” You’ll find various plays on this provocative community name, as well as on Blue Ball, Fertility, Eden, and Virginville throughout all most all of Lancaster County’s gift shops.

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GMO NOTE: While Amish farms produce beautiful crops, it should be noted that these crops are not necessarily GMO-free. If you seek GMO-free canned products, contact the people on the Facebook page, GMO Free PA for guidance.

Location

Intercourse Canning Company, 13 Center Street, Intercourse, PA 17534

Phone: (717) 768-0156

Check www.intercoursecanning.com for hours of operation, plus the times of canning demonstrations.

Links

Credits

This article was written by Karen Little and published on July 29, 2016. Photos are by Karen and Philip Little. For permission to reproduce this article, contact Karen Little at Karen@Littleviews.com. All rights to this article and photos are reserved by Littleviews.com and Karen Little.

Shopping at the Countryside Roadstand in Lancaster County, PA

Before stopping to examine Amish shops, farm stands, restaurants, and other attractions in Lancaster County, PA, leave the main routes (such as highways 30, 340, and 741) to explore side roads.

Enjoy the lush, hilly countryside, stopping here and there for closer examination. The three following photos provide a preview of what you might see, especially during the growing season and throughout fall.

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Note: Do not take direct photos of the Amish. They do not pose and they do not wish to be involved as models. You can take photos from a distance as long as individuals are not recognizable.

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During our recent trip to the area, our objective was to buy canned goods at the Intercourse Canning Company and visit a business acquaintance. Fortunately, that acquaintance suggested we take time off from our scheduled activities and shop at the nearby Countryside Roadstand.

The Countryside Roadstand is actually a large store located outside of main tourist areas. Had it not been suggested to us, we would not have found it. That said, many people do find it via “word of mouth” that includes Internet reviews.

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Unlike some tourist shops, the Countryside Roadstand exclusively sells Amish-made goods (not knock-offs) and does so at reasonable prices.

In a corral directly outside of the store there are farm animals that you can feed and pet, plus a large play area for children. Also nearby are lovely Amish country homes, complete with flower landscaping and well-tended fields.

The shop itself sells local crafts, canned goods, dairy products, baked deserts, and homemade root beer and lemonade (reason enough to go there). Snacks include homemade ice cream and soft pretzels.

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On their large front porch you’ll find dozens of bird feeders and houses that range in style from simple (see below) to ornate. Want to give your local feathered friends a mansion? This is the place to buy it!

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Just inside is a long counter featuring canned goods and fresh bakery. While their canned good selection is not as extensive as other stores, it does feature enough pickled products, jams, mustards, and sauces to whet your curiosity.

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Their magic sauce (or should I say “salve”) is found in their jars of ointments. If you have periodic joint pain and are looking for relief, try rubbing their Comfrey Salve on it. Do you have a variety of aches and pains, including periodic bug bites? Consider buying a jar of each pain-relieving salve they sell. These types of salves are usually not available in local drug stores, but they do work, and frankly, they make reasonably priced gifts for family and friends.

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Of all the products available, Amish-made patchwork pieces stand out. Simple items, like aprons, become heirloom pieces when their bib and skirt pocket is appliqued with patchwork. During our visit, these hand-made aprons were reasonably priced at $25 each.

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Additional patchwork pieces include table sets (placemats, napkins, coasters, and hotpads), runners of all lengths, and hot pads (which are washable), such as seen below:

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I would have included pictures of quilts and pillows here, but their huge selection was tightly packed along a wall and I wasn’t able to take a good photo of them without dismantling the displays. All items, of course, were beautiful and came in a wide variety of colors and patterns. You will also find a large selection of handwoven area rugs, decorative items, toys, and dolls.

There are a number of large “Amish-type” shops in Lancaster county, but not all products in them are made by the Amish or in the USA. The Countryside Roadstand guarantees that all the products it sells are made by the Amish exclusively, which is the type of authenticity I know most of us value highly.

GPS Directions

Getting here is half the fun, especially if you meander through the countryside. For a more direct route, however, program your GPS to 2966 Stumptown Road, Ronks, PA.

Location

Countryside Roadstand, 2966 Stumptown Road, Ronks, PA 17572

Phone: (717) 656-9206

Hours: 8AM to 6PM, Monday through Saturday. Closed Sunday.

There is no website! If you are looking for travel tips, check  Tripadvisor and Yelp, both of which offer numerous 5-star reviews.

Links

Credits

This article was written by Karen Little and published on July 28, 2016. Photos are by Karen and Philip Little. For permission to reproduce this article, contact Karen Little at Karen@Littleviews.com. All rights to this article and photos are reserved by Littleviews.com and Karen Little.

Visit Kingston, NY

Kingston, NY, is one of the beautiful stops along the Hudson River that attracts tourists and day trippers spring, summer and fall. The city itself is small, but its harbor is spectacular. There, popular activities include dining, cruising, exploring the Hudson River Maritime Museum, strolling, and biking.

The main attraction is the Rondout Creek waterfront, a waterway that empties into the Hudson River. To get there, set your GPS on “1 Broadway, Kingston, NY,” which marks the intersection of Broadway and West Strand Streets.

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The tourist area is roughly lined in red on the map below.

When traffic is low, such as during the week, you’ll find metered parking near the central intersection. As the area becomes busier, look for parking along Rondout Landing. If there is a festival, holiday, or special event, volunteers will guide you to parking locations. Weekends and festival days get very crowded, so if you plan on attending a special event, arrive very early.

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At one time, Rondout Creek was a major coal transfer area. Today, it is used to moor privately-owned boats and the turn-around point for the MV Rip Van Winkle, a popular Hudson River cruise boat. Southeast of the park, you’ll see the beautiful Kingston-Port Ewen Suspension Bridge, which is also known as the Rondout Creek Bridge.

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Along the docking area, you’ll walk next to what once was a shipping route that transported coal from eastern Pennsylvania via the Delaware and Hudson Canals to ports along the Hudson River and the Eastern seaboard. Boats were pulled through the area by mules or horses until 1898, when the canal closed, ceding coal delivery to rail.

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One of the more beautiful and active sights you might see is the MV Rip Van Winkle, a cruise boat approaching the Kingston Rondout Landing. Check its website at MV Rip Van Winkle and Hudson River Cruises – hudsonrivercruises.com – for the sailing schedule.

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The passenger terminal for river cruises is under the 9W Highway bridge.

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Most of the shops in the area are restaurants, with the two largest being the Mariner’s Harbor Restaurant at 1 Broadway, where we always eat, and the Old Savannah Restaurant, located nearby on Rondout Landing Road. Both have river-front patios.

As we always visit the area during the week, when tourist traffic is low, we can usually find a table on the Mariner’s Harbor Restaurant’s patio (the view seen below). If the patio is full, or the weather is cool, their river-front bar is also pleasant. Be aware, however, that this is a popular bus tour stop and passengers can quickly fill every seat. Rather than be disappointed, explore Kingston’s numerous other restaurants.

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Most of Kingston’s tourist-area restaurants feature interesting interiors and many have sidewalk seating. The first block from the waterfront, for example, on West Strand Street, provides several options.. These restaurants are on the ground floors of mid-1800 homes, all of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. For even more choices, stroll up Broadway.

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Kingston features a very complete visitor’s center near the intersection of Broadway and West Strand Street where you’ll find a small museum, helpful volunteers, and a load information about the area and the Hudson River coast.

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Almost across the street from the Visitor’s Center is Kingston Bike Rentals. Pedaling along the flat canal landscape is effortless, however, if you want to explore the greater community, you’ll need to climb a very steep hill.

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Many people spend their day visiting the Kingston’s Hudson River Maritime Museum, which is just past the cruise dock on Rondout Landing. There, they examine artifacts from the former shipping industry, enjoy the ambiance of the river, and expose themselves to wooden boat reconstruction and building trades. For more information, learn about classes and special events offered by the Riverport Wooden Boat School – www.riverportwoodenboatschool.org.

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On hot summer days, consider walking under an umbrella to shield yourself from the sun, especially if you stroll northeast on Rondout Landing, which has relatively little shade.

For the hardy, keep walking until you arrive at the Kingston Point Rail Trail, which itself is 1.5 miles long. Fortunately, there you’ll find a paved, flat, multi-purpose path, good for baby strollers and wheelchairs. Biking in the area, of course, is perfect.

Links

Credits

This article was written by Karen Little. Photos are by Karen and Philip Little. For permission to reproduce this article, contact Karen Little at Karen@Littleviews.com. All rights to this article and photos are reserved by Littleviews.com and Karen Little.