Hudson River

View of the Hudson in the  showing
View of the Hudson in the 1880s showing Jersey City

The Hudson River, called Muh-he-kun-ne-tuk in Mahican, is a river running mainly through New York State but partly forming the boundary between the states of New York and New Jersey. It is named for Henry Hudson, an Englishman sailing for the Netherlands, who explored it in 1609, though the first European to see it, in 1524, was the Italian Giovanni da Verrazano whose expedition was financed by the citizens of Lyon, France, under the auspices of King Francois I. Early European settlement of the area clustered around the river.

The official source of the Hudson is Lake Tear-of-the-Clouds in the Adirondack Mountains. The Hudson is joined near Albany by the Mohawk River, its major tributary and flows south until it reaches the Atlantic Ocean between Manhattan Island and New Jersey, forming New York Harbor, at New York Bay, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean. The Hudson as it passes through New York City is also known as the North River. There are also parts of the Hudson river that form coves. An example of this is Weehawken Cove (illustration, left), partly in Hoboken and partly in Weehawken.

Missing image
Midtown Manhattan from Weehawken Cove, Hudson River.

The Hudson and its tributaries—notably the Mohawk River—drain a large area, and the river is navigable for a great distance. The Erie Canal, opened December 26, 1825, connected the Hudson River to Lake Erie, enabling shipping between cities on the Great Lakes and Europe via the Atlantic Ocean.

The Hudson is sometimes called a "drowned" river. The rising sea levels after the retreat of the Wisconsinan glaciation, the most recent ice age, have resulted in a marine incursion that drowned the coastal plain and brought salt water well above the mouth of the river. The deeply-eroded old riverbed beyond the current shoreline, Hudson Canyon, is a rich fishing area. The former riverbed is clearly delineated beneath the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, extending to the edge of the continental shelf. The Mahican name of the river, Muh-he-kun-ne-tuk, means "the river that flows both ways" and refers to the tide-driven intermixing of fresh and salt water which takes place in the middle region of the Hudson.

The lower part of the river near Manhattan is a tidal estuary, with strong tides making parts of New York Harbor difficult and dangerous to navigate.

Looking upriver from Battery Park, New York
Looking upriver from Battery Park, New York

The Hudson is crossed at numerous points by bridges and tunnels. The width of the river in its southern half required major feats of engineering to bridge, the results today visible in the Verrazano-Narrows and George Washington Bridges, as well as the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels.

Notable landmarks on the Hudson include West Point, the Thayer Hotel, Bannerman's Castle, Metro-North Railroad's Hudson River Line (formerly part of the New York Central system), Hudson River Park, Liberty State Park, and Stevens Institute of Technology. Cities and towns on the New Jersey side include Fort Lee, Weehawken, Hoboken, and Jersey City. Cities and towns on the New York side include Troy, Albany, Kingston, Poughkeepsie, Beacon, Yonkers, and New York City (Manhattan, The Bronx).

Missing image
NASA image of the lower Hudson at New York
Missing image
View of the middle Hudson River.


From South to North:

es:Ro Hudson ja:ハドソン川 nl:Hudson (rivier) pl:Hudson (rzeka) pt:Rio Hudson sv:Hudsonfloden


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