The Hudson River gets a bad rap. It’s understandable that people would want to stay away from it because of the heavy pollution…but even though the river has had a hard few centuries, it still manages to maintain life and beauty – a visit to Henry Hudson Park [Off of Route-144 on Barent Winne Rd, Selkirk, NY 12158] will surely reveal this. You’ve probably never heard of it, I never had until I passed this little sign it driving fast down Route-144 one day.
I planned my return on a sunny, early fall day. There aren’t any trails here, it’s simply a waterfront park. You can fish, bring a book to read, play ball, or picnic.
There is a boat launch, playground, and rest room facilities. Look out at the water, watch the boats go by, or admire the trees that line the fields.
You may catch some deer heading into the woods. What is really fantastic about this park is the birding. I parked my car in the roomy lot and walked the relatively short length of the park out to the left. No sooner did I make it to the end did a bald eagle appear, hurriedly flying north up the river. It traveled so quickly I couldn’t grab a shot, or maybe I was just too surprised and knew I’d better enjoy the sight than grab my camera for the fleeting image. I had just arrived, and there it was. Since then I have happily spotted osprey, pileated woodpeckers, and the ever reoccurring great blue herons at the park.
This is an amazing community asset, just fifteen minutes from downtown Albany. There are certainly regulars that come by here to fish, walk their dogs, or wait for the bald eagles. Walking the length from one side to the other, I made my way all the way to the right, walking past the chain linked fence. There was a man sitting at a picnic table with a fishing rod and his lunch. I didn’t want to disturb him, but I did want to see what was on the other side of the concrete.
I smiled and went past. Nothing too crazy, but on my return we started chatting. Not too long after another man with a huge camera came by, and a lady with her dogs. They all seemed to know one another from the little park. They asked if anyone had seen the bald eagles yet today…yet? I thought. Apparently the bald eagles nest across the river from the park and are seen daily. One of the men remarked that over the winter he saw four of them feeding on a block of ice in the river. We exchanged our bird stories and pictures from all over the area, and went our separate ways. For all of the birders out there, a visit to Henry Hudson Park is an easy game. Just park, walk the short distance out to the right, and hope to get lucky. I sent a few friends out this way and they all came back with bald eagle stories, I wish the same luck for you!