Maurice D. Hinchey Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area

West Point, World’s End, and the Hudson Highlands.
West Point, World’s End, and the Hudson Highlands.

Photo by Jake Rajs

Quick Facts
Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, and Albany counties, NY
European exploration of the Hudson River Valley began when Henry Hudson set off from the Netherlands in 1609 in search of a shortcut to Asia. At the time, it is believed that over 17,000 indigenous people lived along the river they called the Mahicantuck, “the river that flows both ways”, due to it being a tidal estuary. Settled by the Dutch, and then the English, the region became a magnet for immigration. Central in importance during the American Revolutionary War, the British campaign strategy to gain total control of the river failed. The natural beauty of the valley gave birth to the Hudson River School of Painters. Home to America’s wealthy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, their great estates still stand. The Industrial Revolution helped build some of that wealth, but also caused environmental damage that inspired a conservation movement that continues today.
National Heritage Area

The Maurice D. Hinchey Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area was designated by Congress in 1996 as the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area and was officially renamed in honor of Maurice D. Hinchey in 2019. In partnership with the National Park Service, the Hudson River Valley NHA collaborates with residents, government agencies, non-profit groups and private partners to interpret, preserve and celebrate the nationally-significant cultural and natural resources of the Hudson River Valley. In this way, the NHA encourage public stewardship for these resources as well as economic activity at the local and regional level.

The Hudson River Valley NHA is managed by the Hudson River Valley Greenway, an innovative New York State sponsored program created to facilitate the development of a regional strategy for preserving scenic, natural, historic, cultural and recreational resources while encouraging compatible economic development and maintaining the tradition of home rule for land use decision-making.

The Hudson River Valley NHA includes the following NPS sites:

The NHA also has more than 100 partner sites.

Last updated: October 26, 2023