Cold Spring is a quaint village in the Hudson Highlands of New York. It’s known for its charming Main Street lined with mom-and-pop-shop havens as well as its rich history. The village is also home to a number of attractions, making it a great place to visit for the day or even for a weekend getaway. But with so many attractions and activities to choose from, you would need to narrow it down to the best of the best. And after doing some research, I was able to put together a list of the 12 Best Things to Do in Cold Spring. These are the attractions and activities that I believe stand out from the rest and offer visitors a truly unique experience.
1. Explore the Main Street of Cold Spring
When you tour any town or village, the best way to get a feel for the place is to explore the main street. This is where you’ll find the best shops, restaurants, and attractions. And Cold Spring’s Main Street is no exception.
There’s so much to see and do on Main Street. You could easily spend a whole day here and not get bored. But one place that you definitely don’t want to miss is the mom-and-pop-shop haven. This part of the street is lined with beautifully preserved 19th-century buildings. Many of these buildings now house shops, galleries, and restaurants.
However, what people love most about this part of the street is the green park areas along the river. This makes it a great place to take a stroll, people-watch, and relax. There are also several benches where you can sit and enjoy the views.
If you’re looking for something to do on Main Street, be sure to check out the Cold Spring Antiques Center. This is a great place to find unique gifts and souvenirs. I bought a cute Cold Spring mug at one of the shops, and I use it all the time. And, of course, no visit to Main Spring would be complete without a stop at one of the many cafes and restaurants. There are plenty of places to eat on Main Street, so you’re sure to find something to your taste.
2. Visit the Bannerman Castle Ruins
If there’s one place that captures Cold Spring’s history, it’s Bannerman Castle. This castle was built in 1901 by Francis Bannerman as a storage facility for his massive collection of military surplus. He was an arm and ammunition dealer who needed a place to store his massive collection. So he purchased Pollepel Island and built himself a castle.
The castle was designed to look like a medieval Scottish castle, complete with turrets, towers, and a drawbridge. Unfortunately, Bannerman Castle was never completed due to Bannerman’s death in 1918. This was followed by an explosion in 1920 that destroyed much of the castle. And to add insult to injury, a fire broke out in 1969 that gutted the castle’s interior.
Despite all this damage, visiting the castle ruins is still one of the most popular things to do in Cold Spring. Visitors can take a ferry from Cold Spring Waterfront to Pollepel Island to explore the castle. And if you’re interested in learning more about the history of the castle, there are guided tours available. These tours take you through the ruins and tell you all about the castle’s history.
After the tour, you can explore the island on your own. There’s a hiking trail that takes you around the perimeter of the island with some great views of the Hudson River.
3. Discover West Point Foundry Preserve
If you want to learn about the history of Cold Spring, then you need to visit the West Point Foundry Preserve. This is a National Historic Landmark District that was once a major producer of weaponry during the Civil War, and it’s said that many of the cannons used in the war were made here.
The preserve is now a museum and education center, and it’s a great place to learn about the history of Cold Spring. There are several exhibits that detail the history of the foundry and its role in the Civil War. You can also see some of the original buildings and machinery that were used at the foundry.
In addition to the exhibits, there are also a number of hiking trails at the preserve. These trails take you through some of the most beautiful sceneries in the Hudson Highlands. Therefore, allocate at least 2 hours to explore the preserve, and maybe even longer if you want to go for a hike.
4. Hike Breakneck Ridge Loop
There’s no better way to take in the natural beauty of the Hudson Highlands than by going for a hike. And there’s no better place to hike than Breakneck Ridge Loop.
This is a very popular trail, so I recommend getting an early start to avoid the crowds. The hike is about 3.2 miles long and takes around 2-3 hours to complete. This is a strenuous hike with some very steep sections, so come prepared. After all, the name of the trail is Breakneck for a reason.
But even though it’s a challenging hike, the views along the way are more than worth it. There are several lookout points where you can stop to take in the stunning scenery.
We started our hike right off the main Breakneck Road/9D. After about a mile or so, we came to the first lookout point. This was a great spot to take a break and enjoy the views. We could see all the way down to the river and beyond.
After the first lookout point, the trail became much steeper and more challenging. But we were rewarded with even more amazing views at the flagpole viewing area. This lookout point offers unobstructed views of the Hudson River, perfect for taking some photos.
The last part of the hike was a bit more difficult. We had to use our hands to scramble up some of the rock faces. But once we reached the top of the Breakneck Ridge route, we had panoramic views of Cold Spring and the Hudson Highlands. We took a little break here to catch our breath and take in the views. We then began the descent back to the parking lot.
All in all, this was a challenging but rewarding hike. The views along the way are simply stunning and well worth the effort. So if you’re looking to get some exercise and take in the natural beauty of the Hudson Valley, be sure to add this trail to your list of the best things to do in Cold Spring, NY.
5. Get Wild in Hudson Highlands State Park
A visit to Hudson Highlands State Park is a must-do when you’re in Cold Spring. In fact, it’s one of the most popular attractions in Cold Spring and the perfect place to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
This park is huge, covering over 8,000 acres of land. And with over 70 miles of trails in the park, you could easily spend a day (or more) exploring all that it has to offer. One of the most popular trails is the Breakneck Ridge Loop, which I already mentioned. But there are plenty of other great trails to explore as well. I recommend picking up a map of the park at the visitor center so you can plan your route.
There are also several gentle walking trails if you’re looking for something a little less strenuous. These trails are perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic lunch. And there are several scenic lookout points along the way where you can stop to take in the views.
Hudson Highlands State Park is also a great place for kayaking and canoeing. The Hudson River is very calm in this section, making it perfect for a leisurely paddle. You can even rent kayaks and canoes right at the park. And although camping is not allowed in the park, there are several great camping options nearby. So if you’re looking to spend a few days exploring Hudson Highlands State Park, you can easily find a place to camp nearby.
As you can see, there’s no better way to get a feel for the town than by exploring its Main Street. There are a lot of activities to do in the Cold Spring Main Street area, and you’re sure to have a great time.
6. Jam at the Chapel Restoration
If you’re a music lover, you’ll want to add The Chapel Restoration to your list of things to do in Cold Spring. This Chapel was first built in 1833 for the Irish immigrants who were working on the nearby West Point Foundry. However, the Chapel was abandoned in the early 20th century and fell into disrepair.
But in the 1970s, the Chapel was restored and now serves as a venue for live music. The Chapel Restoration is now a popular spot for local and touring musicians to perform. And it’s not just music that you’ll find here. The Chapel Restoration also hosts poetry readings, art shows, and other cultural events. A food truck is usually on site, so you can grab a bite to eat while you enjoy the music.
During my visit, I had the chance to see a jazz band performance. They were simply amazing, and the Chapel made for a perfect setting. The acoustics were great, and the atmosphere was very intimate. This is definitely the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for a unique and enjoyable experience.
7. Visit the Old Cornish Estate
After their wedding in New York City in 1917, Edward Cornish and Selina Bliss decided to move upstate to Cold Spring. They purchased a large piece of land and built their dream home that featured a swimming pool, beautiful gardens, and a glorious mansion.
The Cornish family lived here until the death of the couple in 1938, which happened within a range of two weeks. After that, the mansion and gardens eventually fell into disrepair. And by the 1950s, the estate was burned down in a fire except for a few brick structures.
Today, the site of the Old Cornish Estate is a popular spot for picnics, hiking, and enjoying the Hudson Highlands. And although the ruins have been taken over by thick vines and vegetation, you can still imagine what the estate must have looked like in its prime. You can also see the foundations of the swimming pool and some of the garden features.
I found the Old Cornish Estate to be a really interesting and peaceful spot. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for fun activities to do in Cold Spring. Plus, this is the easiest hike in Hudson Highlands, making it perfect for all levels.
8. Tour Gallery 66 NY
Do you love modern art? Then you’ll definitely want to check out Gallery 66 NY. This gallery is dedicated to showcasing the work of local and regional artists.
This is a new art gallery that was opened with the aim of providing new and exciting things to do in Cold Spring. And since then, this art gallery has already made a name for itself as one of the premier art galleries in the Hudson Valley. The gallery features a wide variety of art, from painting and sculpture to photography and mixed media.
In addition, the gallery has an outdoor sculpture garden that’s perfect for a leisurely stroll or taking photos. There are also several public art installations throughout the property.
One of the things that makes Gallery 66 NY so special is the personal touch. I loved the colorful and vibrant paintings that were on display. But I also loved how the gallery staff took the time to chat with me about the artists and their work. Another thing that makes this gallery so great is the location. The gallery is situated in an old Victorian house, which only adds to the charm. And it’s just a short walk from the Cold Spring Metro-North station.
During the first Friday of every month, the merchants at Cold Spring offer discounts and specials. This is a great opportunity to check out the gallery if you’re looking to buy some art.
9. Moo-Moo’s Creamery
Ask any local in Cold Spring, and they’ll tell you that Moo-Moo’s Creamery is the best place to get ice cream. And as the saying goes, when in Rome…
Moo-Moo’s is a family-owned and operated ice cream shop that’s been serving up delicious ice cream for over 20 years. It all started with a secret family recipe that’s been passed down for generations. And since then, they’ve been perfecting the art of ice cream making.
The shop is small but cozy, and the ice cream is made fresh daily. There are over 20 flavors to choose from, so you’re sure to find something you’ll love. They even have vegan and gluten-free options. So no matter what your dietary restrictions are, you’ll be able to find something to enjoy.
I tried the chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, and it was absolutely delicious. The cookies were nice and crunchy, and the ice cream was rich and creamy. I also got to try a few other flavors, including the strawberry cheesecake and the salted caramel. They were both amazing as well.
But it’s not just the ice cream that makes Moo-Moo’s so special. It’s a warm and friendly atmosphere. The staff is always happy to help you choose the perfect flavor, and they make you feel right at home. So if you’re looking for a place to cool off on a hot day or just want to treat yourself to some delicious ice cream, be sure to stop by Moo-Moo’s Creamery.
10. Tiny Tots Park
We often forget about kids when we’re planning a trip. But the truth is, they need to have fun too. And when it comes to kids’ attractions in Cold Spring, Tiny Tots Park is the perfect place to take them.
This park is designed specifically for young children. It has a playground with age-appropriate equipment, perfect for kids below the age of 6. Popular activities here include swings, rides, slides, and climbing. The park also features hands-on activities that are both educational and fun.
In addition to the playground, there’s also a large field perfect for running around and playing games. The park also has a few picnic tables, making it the perfect spot for a family lunch or snack. And if you get tired, there’s also a small pavilion where you can take a break from the sun and have a picnic lunch. This is a great spot to relax and watch the kids play.
All in all, Tiny Tots Park is a great place to take the kids. It’s perfect for young children and offers a variety of activities to keep them entertained. So if you’re looking for the best things to do with kids in Cold Spring, NY, this is definitely a spot you should check out.
A visit to Cold Spring is not complete without ticking these top things off your list. From hiking and outdoor activities to history and culture, you’ll find something that interests you. I hope this list of the top things to do in Cold Spring has inspired you to visit this charming Hudson Valley town. So start planning your trip today!