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Croftys Column; A monthly guide for the HV pup

Travel, vacation, weekender, day trip, getaway. Whichever your lifestyle allows for, I think getaway is at the core of what we want out of travel. To escape, discover, and renew. Escape from our relative stress. Discover unforeseen vistas and delights. Renew your spirit for the trip back into the real world. Time and budgets don’t always allow for extravagant, jet setting trips to exotic locales. Most weeks there’s just one day to enjoy the off time we’ve worked so hard for. On these days of no grocery shopping, cleaning, or the most dreaded: laundry; we lace up our boots and hit the road for a more local getaway. On our day trips, we’re usually looking for a trail and some grub. Traveling with our furry friend Mycroft presents us with a challenge of finding pooch preferred establishments. Luckily, many restaurants and breweries in the Hudson Valley let these fuzzy ones stop in for a quick bite and a beer. We’ve compiled a brief list of our usual haunts in several Hudson Valley towns that make for a fun day out together with the pup in tow.

Beacon Outdoors: Start the day hiking the trails on Mount Beacon. In the warmer weather, slide the kayak in the Hudson River. Don’t forget the life jackets! Even for the doggo! Eats: Once you’ve worked up an appetite and burned the calories, stop by the Hudson Valley Brewery for some sour IPA’s and a bite. They have rotating beers and pop-up kitchens! Always something new to check out. Don’t forget your pup. HVB is an excellent place for him to socialize too. For dessert, pop into Glazed Over for a customizable donut experience. They’ve got all your tastes covered with their vast list of toppings. And under $4 for 2 donuts! All we’ll say is, don’t skimp on the Fruity Pebbles. Crofty’s Hot Lead: Get them to take you to the Beacon Barkery. Last time we went these suckers got me an excellent new leash by Marine Dog. A perfect complement for my maritime adventures. Plus, new treats. Not a bad day, I tell ya.

New Paltz Outdoors: Do you like long bike rides down gravel trails surrounded by tall trees, sprawling green, and verdant meadows? Of course, you do! The Wallkill Valley Rail Trail is great for riders of any level. You can ride as far as your legs will take you. You can ride to the café or the Rosendale Trestle that overlooks the Rondout Creek, or all the way to Kingston. (Bring an extra padded seat for that last trek. You’ll thank us later.) You can grab your bikes at The Bicycle Depot, which sits right next to the trail. How convenient! Eats: Last time on the trail we stopped at the Rail Trail Café for lunch. They make delicious food right in the beautiful outdoors. Sometimes they have live music. Did we mention that it’s right on the trail?! (You may have guessed that from the name…) Try the pizza. It’s killer. After our extensive bike ride, we were starved. Nothing entirely fills you up like some German comfort food. A short drive across town to the GunkHouse and we were housing some sausages and crisp, golden German pills. Sitting out front, Crofty was able to snag some treats that somehow fell off the table. They were kind enough to bring him his own water bowl. Crofty’s Hot Lead: That ride to Kingston was a good time. But I couldn’t run the whole time. So they hooked me up with a comfy bicycle basket. I do like to ride in style ya’know. Not to mention I got to have some of the pizza they ate at the Rail Trail Café. I think they dropped some of it on purpose?

Bronxville Outdoors: The Bronx River Trail is a daily activity for us. Even if it’s only for a quick mile run. The weekend finds us on longer treks. Sometimes up to Scarsdale, but almost always down to Bronxville. The trail is littered with small hills that lead to footbridges crossing the modest river. These make for great photo ops! Plus, if you’re traveling with a dog who is seeking other dogs for sniffs and wrestling, the trail is never short of promenading pooches. Eats: Eating healthfully is a challenge sometimes. So, heading into Bronxville, we usually have two spots in mind. First, it’s the healthy choice: Root & Vine Juice Bar. Between the juices and the smoothies, it can be difficult to choose; but Sunday Morning has become our go-to smoothie. It’s green and delicious! They also have some tasty paleo treats if you’re looking for something more substantial. Just grab the bench outside to soak in the sun. Our second stop is to Chantilly Patisserie, a bakery offering decadent treats both sweet and savory. A warm slice of quiche or the Macaroni & Cheese Danish will fill you up and knock you out. Don’t forget a cupcake for the road. Crofty’s Hot Lead: After that long walk on the trail, I need to cool down a bit. Sometimes when they get their green drinks, I get to soak up the sun on a perfectly placed bench. Then, sometimes, we get to sit under the umbrellas at the bakery. Maybe I’ll get a few pieces of crust. If not, I can always swing by Provisions for Pets for some extra treats.

Hastings/Tarrytown Outdoors: Trails snake throughout the entire Hudson Valley, connecting towns by winding pathways. There’s much joy when emerging from the wooded lanes into a new location with more sights to see and treats to gobble up. The Croton Aqueduct Trail runs for many miles, but we like the section between Hastings-on-Hudson and Tarrytown. (It’s not too hilly for you skeptics out there.) There are beautiful views of the river to be found through the Hastings section. Eats: Every good walk begins with ice cream. A thing no one has probably ever said, but it seems insightful. So our journey from Hastings starts with a frozen snack from Penny Lick Ice Cream Company. Whether you’re a fan of classics (Fresh Mint Chip!), new favorites (Grape Nut!), or are looking for dairy-free options (Sorbet!), they’ve got you covered. Don’t be scared to try on some new flavors. You never know what you’ll love. Once you’ve finished that long walk up to Tarrytown, replenishment is in order. This is where Taco Project comes in. You need shrimp and veggies and crisp tortillas to rejuvenate your body. Maybe wash it down with a refreshing Tamarindo Jarritos. Seems like just what a body needs. Before you hit the trail back south, grab a quick pick-me-up at Coffee Labs. They’ve got that high-quality bean juice that fuels our lives. Crofty’s Hot Lead: Have you heard of ice cream?! Because every time we go to Penny Lick, I get to hang on the benches outside and try some of it out. That Honey Graham one is a perfect fit for a people watching session. Also, a people barking session, which is when I bark at people for fun. If you didn’t know.

Nyack Outdoors: The Long Path from Nyack to Haverstraw is just what it sounds like: a long path that stretches between the two towns. It’s not an escape from civilization but offers some beautiful views as you travel along with the cliffs on one side and the river on the other. In Nyack, you can pop into some of the consignment shops, the bookstore, and other sundry shops in town. Eats: There are plenty of great places to eat in Nyack. Lately, we’ve been enjoying the French delights from Patisserie Didier Dumont. From macarons to quiche, to crepes. But for us, it’s been that salmon panini though: a rich, savory wonder. If you’re not full of sweets from your trip to the patisserie, take a short drive up to 9W and stop in at Pie Lady & Son. (Soon to be down in Nyack.) Much debate was had about which pie to recommend. The arguing did turn to blows. But we were able to come to a consensus: Any of the pies. Try any and all of them. But for real, the blueberry crumb is my jam. Crofty’s Hot Lead: First I like to get in a quick run at the Elizabeth Place Dog Park. Because fitness is the thing, you do as a tradeoff for the many, many treats you steal from your humans. Once all of that work is out of the way I like to lounge on the porch at Pie Lady waiting for some of that buttery pie crust. I keep asking for my own pie, but they’ve yet to give in. You would think the cuteness would be enough. Sigh.

Guest Contributor

Fitzkeller Creative & Hessocrofty

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