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along the horizon mountains piled upon mountains, melting into the distance,
till the last and loftiest fades into the blue of the sky. Over this magnificent panorama the morning sun pours a misty radiance, half veiling, yet adding to its beauty, and tinting the Hudson with silver. Here and there the bright river is dotted with sails, and sometimes a steamboat can be seen winding its apparently slow way along. The clouds, that fling their fitful shadows over the country below, are on a level with you
even the birds seldom soar higher than your feet; the resting-place of the songster, whose flight can no longer be traced from the plain, is still far below you.'
Two miles from the hotel are the Kaaterskill Falls, upon a stream flowing from two lakes, each about a mile and a half in circumference, and about half a mile in the rear of the house. After a west course of about a mile and a half, the waters fall perpendicularly 175 feet, and, pausing momentarily upon a ledge of rock, precipitate themselves 85 feet more, making the whole descent of the cataract 260 feet. Below this point the current is lost in a dark ravine, through which it seeks the valley of the Catskill. The water-fall, with all its boldness, forms, however, but one of the interesting features of the
From the edge of the falls is beheld a dreary chasm, whose steep sides, covered with dark ivy and thick summer foliage, seem like a green
bed formed for the waters. Making a circuit from this spot, and descending about midway of the first falls, the spectator enters an immense natural amphitheatre behind the cascade, roofed by a magnificent ceiling of rock, having in front the falling torrent, and beyond it the wild mountain dell, over which the clear blue sky is visible. The falls on the west branch of the Kaaterskill have a perpendicular descent of more than 120 feet, and the stream descends in rapids and cascades 400 feet in 100 rods. The Kaaterskill has a devious and very rapid course, of about eight miles, to the Catskill, near the town. The falls are best seen from below, and the view from the Pine Orchard is better between three o'clock and sunset than in the middle of
Hudson, one hundred and fifteen miles, a city, port of entry, and capital of Columbia county, stands at the head of ship navigation. The main portion of the town is built upon a bold promontory, sixty feet above the river, commanding a fine view of the surrounding country.
The city is regularly laid out, the streets crossing each other at right angles, with the exception of two near the river, which follow the direction of the shore. The main street extends south-east more than a mile, to Prospect Hill, which is 200 feet high.
Near the station and steamboat landing are several warehouses, which, with the steamboats and shipping at the wharves, afford ample evidence of the enterprise of the inhabitants. The Hudson and Berkshire Railroad, thirtythree miles in length, extending to West Stockbridge, Mass., where it unites with the Western and Housatonic roads, terminates at Hudson. Distance to Boston by this route, 193 miles. Passengers for Lebanon Springs take this route as far as Edwards' Depot, which is but eight miles from the Springs. From thence they are taken by stage.
Athens, opposite Hudson, is connected with it by a ferry. The village is built along the shore about a mile and a half. The ground rises gradually from the shore, affording some fine sites for country-seats. The shore is boid and rocky, and the channel close to the village.
STOCKPORT, one hundred and twenty miles, lies at the mouth of Kinderhook Creek, a stream of considerable size, having its rise in Hancock, Mass. Within three miles of the Hudson, this stream falls 160 feet, affording, to a limited extent, water-power for several mills. At Columbiaville, at the mouth of Claverack Creek, which falls into the Kinderhook near Stockport, there are several large manufactories, and quite a village.
STUYVESANT, one hundred and twenty-five miles, is a flourishing village, that sends large quantities of produce annually to the New York market. Kinderhook passengers land at this place. Kinderhook is the birth-place of Ex-President Martin Van Buren, who now resides about two miles south of the village. It is six miles from the river.
Coxsackie, one mile south of Stuyvesant, on the opposite shore, is a place of business. Nutter Hook, directly opposite, is a bustling little place, and has some shipping.
New Baltimore, four miles above Coxsackie, is a thriving village, a landing for the river boats. Above this place the river is dotted with a large number of small islands, which, when covered with foliage, present a fine prospect.
SCHODACK, one hundred and thirty-one miles, and Coeyman's directly opposite, are small villages.
CASTLETON, one hundred and thirty-five miles. There is a bar forming in the river, near this place, that threatens considerable injury to navigation. Indeed, the river, at several points above, at low water, is difficult to ascend, in consequence of sand-bars which are continually changing. A large amount of money has been expended in deepening the channel, but it
up again. GREENBUSH, one hundred and forty-three miles, is the northern terminus of the Hudson River Railroad. The Troy and Greenbush road, six miles in length, is run by the former company under a lease. Passengers can cross the ferry here to Albany, or continue on to Troy, trains being run every hour, and immediately upon the arrival of the New York trains. The western terminus of the Albany and Boston is also at Greenbush. Extensive depot accommodations have already been erected here, which will soon be increased, and the vast business in freighting done by the various roads will tend to render this village a very important point.
Albany city, the capital of New York, is directly opposite Greenbush, with which there is constant communication by means of a ferry. The city is built upon a flat alluvial tract of land, along the margin of the river, from 15 to 100 rods wide, back of which it rises abruptly, attaining, within the space of half a mile, an elevation 153 feet, and in one mile 220 feet above the river. Beyond this the surface is level. The older portions of the city are laid out very irregularly, and some of them are very narrow.
The streets recently built are more spacious and regular. State street is from 150 to
170 feet wide, and has a steep ascent to the top of the hill. Many of the private, and more especially the public, buildings of Albany have fine situations, and overlook an extensive and a beautiful prospect.
The Capitol, which stands at the head of State street, on the hill, is a large stone edifice, 115 feet long, and 90 feet broad, fronting east, on a fine square. It contains spacious and richly furnished apartments for the accommodation of the Senate and Assembly, and various rooms for other public purposes. From the observatory at the top, which is accessible to visitors, a fine view of the city and surrounding country is obtained. The City Hall is on the east side of the same square, facing west, and is constructed with marble, with a gilded dome. The Albany Academy, built of freestone, adjoining the square,
has a park in front of it; and both squares are surrounded by an iron fence, and constitute a large and beautiful public ground, laid out with walks, and ornamented with trees. The Exchange, at the foot of State street, is a commodious building of granite, constructed a few years since. The Postoffice is in this building. It has also an extensive reading-room, supplied with papers and periodicals, both American and foreign, to which strangers are admitted without charge.
The situation of Albany for trade and commerce can hardly be surpassed. Besides its natural advantages, railroads now centre here from each of the four cardinal points; and the Erie and Champlain Canals add immensely to her resources.
Troy city is situated on the east bank of the river, at the head of tide water. It is a port of entry, and capital of Rensselaer county. It is celebrated for its beauty and healthiness ; most of its streets are wide, laid out at right angles, and planted with trees. Mount Ida, directly in the rear of the south part of the city, and Mount Olympus in the north, are distinguished eminences, affording fine views of the country. The city is abundantly sup plied with water, by iron pipes, from a basin in Lansingburg, 75 feet above the city. It has numerous hotels, some of which are admirably kept.
WEST Troy, a suburb of Troy, on the opposite side of the river, is a manufacturing village, rapidly increasing in business and importance. A fine macadamized road extends from this place to Albany, a distance of six miles. Coaches run hourly over the road.
Like her rival, Troy has her morning and evening line of steamboats to New York, which are in no degree behind the Albany boats in comfort, speed or elegance. The fare to New York is usually the same from both cities.
Saratoga Springs are easily reached from either Albany or Troy. From Albany, by the Albany and Schenectady Railroad, sixteen miles; thence, by the Saratoga and Schenectady Railroad, twenty-one miles, — total, thirtyseven miles.
From Troy there are two routes, viz., one by way of the Troy and Schenectady Railroad, twenty miles, and thence as by Albany route, forty-one miles; the other by the Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad, terminating at Balston Spa, twenty-four miles, thence by Saratoga Railroad, seven miles, - total, thirty-one miles.
The traveller to Buffalo has the choice of two routes. The first is by a continuous line of railroads, viz., the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad, sixteen miles in length; the Utica and Schenectady Railroad, seventy-seven; the Syracuse and Utica, fifty-four; the Auburn and Syracuse, twenty-six; the Auburn and Rochester, seventy-seven; the Tonawanda, extending from Rochester to Attica, forty-two miles, and the Attica and Buffalo Railroad, to Buffalo, thirty-three miles; whole distance, three hundred and twenty-five miles. There are usually three through trains daily, one starting in the morning, and another in the evening, after the arrival of the eastern cars and the morning steamboats from New York. This is the shortest and decidedly the most expeditious and agreeable route.