Hike in the footsteps of Hudson River School artists. See the locations that influenced famous American landscape paintings of the 19th century.
The Hudson River School Art Trail is a project to map the painting sites of the artists Thomas Cole, founder of the Hudson River School, Frederic Church, one of the most accomplished painters of the movement, and their contemporaries including Asher B. Durand, Sanford Gifford and Jasper Cropsey.
The Trail project takes advantage of the region's unique cultural and natural resources, including the following highlights: 1) the home of the founder of the Hudson River School, Thomas Cole, 2) the home of one of the movement's most accomplished artists, Frederic Church, and 3) the magnificent landscapes that they painted including miles of well-maintained trails in the Catskill Forrest Preserve with waterfalls and spectacular views.
In addition, at both Olana and the Thomas Cole site, visitors can see the artists' actual workspaces. The process of creating a work of art, which began with sketching trips into the local landscape, was completed in the artists' studios which are now open to the public, furnished with the artists' original easels and art-making equipment. Hanging on the walls of Olana is one of the most important collections of Frederic Church's artwork, and the Thomas Cole site each year presents a new special exhibition on the paintings of an influential member of the Hudson River School. Currently the RiverCrossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home exhibition is being held at both sites, and will be on display through November 1, 2015. Throughout the year, the Thomas Cole Historic Site hosts events related to the Trail including guest speakers and guided walks.
To see a schedule of current events, click here.
For maps and information on trails, click here.
For suggested itineraries, click here.
Guided hikes are offered from June through October and pre-registration is required.
JUNE 20 - Catskill Mt. House and North-South Lake (easy)
JULY 18 – Catskill Mt. House and North-South Lake (easy)
AUGUST 15 - Kaaterskill Falls and Catskill Mt House (moderate)
SEPTEMBER 12 - Catskill Mt. House and North-South Lake (easy)
SEPTEMBER 26 - Sunset Rock and Catskill Mt House (moderate)
OCTOBER 3 - Catskill Mt. House and North-South Lake (easy)
The Hudson River School is America's first major art movement, having dominated American visual arts for over 50 years with over 100 artists between 1825 and 1875. The scenes on the Hudson River School painters' canvases, now hanging in major museums all over the world, are the views that surround us here in the Hudson Valley. Many of the views remain remarkably unchanged since the 19th-century, and are instantly recognizable as the scenes depicted in the paintings. The Trail enables the public to find these sites using a mobile website, a printed guidebook, and outdoor educational panels.