Name / Description

Hudson River



European Discoverer

Henry Hudson (1609)

Length (miles)


Part of / Flows into

New York Harbor to south; Atlantic


US/New York and New Jersey

Additional Notes

315 miles long (507 km), rising in L. Tear of the Clouds, on Mt. Marcy in the Adirondack Mts., NE N.Y.; flowing generally south to Upper N.Y. Bay at N.Y. city; the Mohawk River is its chief tributary.

The Hudson is navigable by ocean vessels to Albany and by smaller vessels to Troy; leisure boats and self-propelled barges use the canalized section between Troy and Fort Edward, the head of navigation. Divisions of the N.Y. State Barge Canal connect the Hudson with the Great Lakes and with Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence River.
The Hudson is tidal to Troy (c.150 miles upstream); this section is considered to be an estuary. The main headstream of the Hudson is Feldspar Creek�Opalescent R. The upper course of the river has many waterfalls and rapids.
At the mouth are the ports of New York and New Jersey. The Hudson forms part of the N.Y.-N.J. border, and the 2 states are linked by the George Washington Bridge, the Holland and Lincoln vehicular tunnels, and RR tubes.
Sighted 1st by Verrazano in 1524, the river was explored by Henry Hudson in 1609. It was a major route for Native Americans and later for Dutch and English traders and settlers. During the Amer. Revolution both sides fought for control of the Hudson; many battles were fought along its banks.
In 1825 the Erie Canal linked the river with the Great Lakes, providing the 1st all-water trans-Appalachian route. Many industries are located on the Hudson�s banks, and pollution by raw sewage and industrial wastes became a serious problem in the 1900s; anti-pollution legislation passed in 1965 has sought to protect the river from further contamination. Although pollution continued throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, the state and municipal govts. and environmental groups have contributed a significant clean-up effort, including more anti-pollution regulation. A major sewage treatment plant was constructed in the 1980s along the river. The Hudson is featured in the legend of Rip Van Winkle and other stories by Washington Irving.

Related Images

Date: 2005

West bank of the Lower Hudson River

Related People

Carmer, Carl, Seeger, Pete

Related Vessels

Clermont, Mary Powell, Clearwater

Related Maps

Lower Hudson & East Rivers chart, Hudson River off W. 120th St., Hudson River Below G. Washington Bridge chart

Related Locations

Holland Tunnel, George Washington Bridge, Battery/NYC (UNLINKED)

Related Events

1987 - National Estuary Program launched (UNLINKED)

Related Water Bodies

Harlem River

Related Source

Charting the Sea of Darkness: The Four Voyages of Henry Hudson (1993)
Hudson River: A Natural and Unnatural History (1969)
River of Mountains: A Canoe Journey Down the Hudson
Hudson,The: An Illustrated Guide to the Living River

Related Glossary


External Links

New York-New Jersey Hudson Estuary Program