HC Blog

Lower Manhattan Skyline

Issue 9 | June 2021 |

It may be a stone’s throw from NYC skyscrapers, but Hudson County is brimming with action-packed and serene outdoor adventures. From wildlife and plants at the biodiverse Meadowlands marshes in Secaucus to the mind-blowing Manhattan views from a Hudson River kayak trip, each neighborhood has its own special way for visitors to enjoy Hudson County’s green space.

Lower Manhattan Skyline

Here are six of our favorite eco-tours and outdoor adventures in Hudson County

1. Kayak the Hudson River

If you’re looking for an aqua adventure that doesn’t break the bank, head over to the waterfront town of Hoboken, where the Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse, a 501c3 nonprofit, runs an array of free paddle excursions. Now, the Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse is scenic in and of itself—it’s right on the Hudson River with views of Midtown Manhattan. But on the water, the beauty gets even more mind-blowing.From the Hoboken shores, you can paddle out along the sky-high Manhattan skyscrapers, with vessel options available for kayakers, standup paddleboarders, canoers, or those brave enough to try a Ke Aloha Outrigger. More of a beachcomber? No problem. You can still join Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse for some outdoor waterfront fun. The team hosts regular beach clean-up days, and they’re always looking for volunteers to help out.

2. Eco-Cruise through the Meadowlands Marshes
While each and every Hudson County outdoor adventure is special, it’s hard to beat exploring the biodiverse Meadowlands marshes aboard a 30-foot pontoon boat—and that’s exactly what the Hackensack Riverkeeper offers with its eco-tours. On these 2.5-hour eco-cruises, you’ll traverse the lower Hackensack River and the Meadowlands marshes with full narration from one of two U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captains. Ready to hop aboard? Here are three eco-cruise tours to choose from:

  • Meadowlands Discovery, an excursion through the river, the Meadowlands, and the Sawmill Creek Wildlife Management Area, which is home to an array of wildlife such as herons and muskrats;
  • Boating through Bergen, a historic route from the Hackensack River and southern Meadowlands up to the heart of Hackensack. This tour, which passes by former docks and landings, covers the former cargo route to and from Bergen County; and
  • Excursion around the Bay, a trip spanning the entire length of Newark Bay to Staten Island and back, which promises skyline views and interesting sights, such as Kearny Point and the former Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., where hundreds of war ships were built during World War II.


Paddle at Liberty State Park


3. Paddle Liberty State Park
Of course, the paddle possibilities don’t stop there. Liberty State Park, a 1,212-acre park with Statue of Liberty access (via Statue Cruises) and skyline views is also home to an array of watersport options. One of the most popular and heart-pumping excursions in the park is Liberty State Park Kayak Eco-Tours. During these adventures, you’ll wind along the scenic Hudson River Estuary while soaking up the sun and keeping an eye out for local wildlife. These two-hour tours include safety and paddle instructions; you can book a trip by calling Liberty State Park at (201) 915-3400 x202.

4. Jet Ski to the Statue of Liberty
If you’re in the mood for even more of an adrenaline rush, head to Hoboken’s Pier 13 and book a New York Harbor Jet Ski tour. On these riveting tours, you’ll zip up and down the coast, with Hudson County on one side and the Manhattan skyline on your other. Tours include stops at the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge, depending on which package you sign up for. You can also book the crème-de-la-crème—the Grand New York City tour—which includes three hours on the water, with stops at the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, Governors Island, Hudson Yards, and more.

5. Complete the Hudson Bike Loop
Prefer biking? We have you covered, starting with the 10-mile Hudson Bike Loop, which takes you up and down some of the most scenic Hudson County and Manhattan waterfronts. The Hudson Bike Loop winds along the Hudson County waterfront, from Jersey City to Weehawken, then connects—via bike-friendly NY Waterway ferry—to the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway from the Midtown/39th Street ferry terminal down to the Brookfield Place terminal, where you can head back over to Jersey City. All in all, this scenic route takes around two hours, although you may want to build in time for photos, because this loop is nothing if not stunning!

6. Sail Away at Sunset
Take a much-needed break, while soaking up some of Hudson County’s best waterfront nature, aboard a sunset-timed City Cruises by Hornblower vessel. These dazzling trips depart from Weehawken’s Lincoln Harbor, and travel along those NYC skyline vistas the Hudson River—and Hudson County—are known for. City Cruises by Hornblower offers sunset cruises regularly, and its seasonal experiences, such as the fall-foliage lunch cruise, aren’t can’t-miss nature trips as well.


Parks and Nature at Hudson County

Want more green-space adventures? Head over to our parks and nature guide for the best outdoor activities Hudson County has to offer!

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