The Hudson Valley stretches from Westchester County up the Hudson River’s path to Albany, where the river shifts from a glacial valley to run the rest of its northern course through the Adirondack Mountains.
Historically, the region is an epicenter of European settlement in the Northeastern United States. The Algonquins referred to the Hudson as “River-Which-Flows-Two-Ways.” The Hudson River Valley was first settled in about 10,000 BC by Native Americans attracted by its abundance. The first European to discover the Hudson was Giovanni da Verrazzano, who sailed past the River’s mouth in 1524. It was not until 1609 that Henry Hudson, an Englishman sailing for the Dutch and looking for the mythical Northwest Passage to India, explored the length of the River up to present day Albany. Shortly thereafter, the Dutch began to establish settlements along the Hudson including New Amsterdam (Manhattan), Rondout (Kingston) and Beverwyck (Albany).
Now the “settlements” of the Hudson River Valley consist mostly of suburbs and more rural “exerbs” in the northern regions. Yonkers, near the very southern tip of the valley, and Manhattan below it are some of the only urban settlements in the Hudson River Valley.