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Panoramas: Lower Valley
Storm King Road View
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For one of the most spectacular drives in the Hudson Valley you must take the Storm King Mountain Road between West Point and Cornwall-on-Hudson. Also known as Route 218, the Storm King Mountain Road hugs the eastern slopes of Storm King Mountain providing a challenging drive and spectacular vistas of the Hudson Valley.

At the highest point the road reaches is a very small pull off where you can park, get out and take in the breathless heights and the majestic Hudson River below. You are standing in what is known as the "North Gate" of the Hudson Highlands. Storm King Mountain forms the western pillar of the gate, the northernmost point of the Highlands. From here, the Hudson Valley turns into gently rolling hills, plains and farmlands. That is, until the Catskills spring abruptly up from its western flanks north of Kingston.

To the north stretches the Newburgh Bays and in the far distance the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, Interstate 84. Around the bend in the river below you on the left, tucked into a pass in the mountains, lies the charming hamlet of Cornwall-on-Hudson. On the island in the middle of the river is the decaying Bannerman's Castle.

To the south the Hudson Highlands rise on both side of the Hudson, part of the continuous chain of the Appalachian Mountains. At this point in their journey north, the Appalachians head at an angle to the north east on their way into Connecticut. South along the western side of the river, the United States Military Academy sits perched atop a bluff in the West Point Military Reservation, the green hills in the right foreground. West Point is out of view in this picture, behind the point in the near distance on the right.

Directly across from you is Putnam County with Route 9D right down on the river bank, tunneling through the pink cliffs reaching out into the river known as Breakneck Point. Evidence of New York's Empire past can be plainly seen in the form of the railroad tracks on both banks of the river cavalierly ignoring the banks of the river forming their own pathways.

Below on the river itself you can trace the routes of the many pleasure craft, cruise boats and commercial ships as they ply their way up and down the river. Still a major commercial highway, the many large ships share the river with uncountable pleasure craft, sail boats and canoes & kayaks.

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