Spotlight On: the Battenkill

The great Battenkill River (or Batten Kill) stretches nearly 60 miles from Dorset, VT to Easton, NY, making it not only one of the longest Hudson tributaries but also a major influence on how, and why, much of this area developed.

In fact, most of Washington County’s agricultural, industrial, and residential history is due to our easy access to waterways like the Battenkill and Hudson! With its ample fishing opportunities & unblemished waterways, it’s easy to see how the Battenkill River earned worldwide fame and helped put Washington County on the radar of nature lovers everywhere.

Besides a wide range of quiet recreational activities, the banks of the river and surrounding villages are also hosts to a large number of exciting festivals and events throughout the year, including the Cambridge Valley Balloon Festival and the Whipple City Festival.

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Let’s explore some of the most unique places within the Battenkill Valley!

Breathe in the Beauty of the Battenkill River

Whether you’re a photographer, angler, artist, swimmer, or casual enjoyer, the Battenkill River & surrounding countryside provides ample opportunities to experience the natural wonders of upstate New York.

Fishing, Tubing, and Boating

The Battenkill River is well-known for many things, but one above all: fantastic fishing! Did you know that many consider the Battenkill to be the home of fly fishing?

Become part of the tradition yourself! Explore the many NYSDEC-designated public fishing zones along the river, or head right to Tackle Box Bridge in Shushan, the local-favorite trout-catching hotspot.

Plus, there are many other great places to fish throughout Washington County! Check out some of the best spots to drop a line, including Cossayuna Lake, the Mettawee River & Carters Pond.

Do you love tubing, kayaking, or canoeing? The banks of the Battenkill welcome you, too! Many locals put in at the Stateline Roadside Park and enjoy a stunning trip down the river until they reach the Eagleville Covered Bridge or The Georgi Park & Museum, where you can park a second car for pick-up. Afterward, pop by the Shushan Covered Bridge & Museum a short distance away.

Swimming, Hiking, and Relaxing

The Georgi is also a great place to picnic, swim, and enjoy nature within a peaceful riverfront park, featuring world-famous floral landscaping! (Tip: Visit in late April to see their famous hydrangea trees in bloom!)

For a short hike with an incredible payoff, visit Dionondahowa Falls in Greenwich! Or, take some time to relax with your family at Battenkill Riverside Park, the largest public park on the river.

Discover more fun things to do in Washington County.

Events Focused on the Battenkill River


Aside from the many seasonal recreational activities and town-wide events that happen along the river, there are also several river-focused happenings throughout the year!

In late April, our Vermont neighbors cast their lines during the Battenkill Fly Fishing Festival, a weekend-long event featuring art, music, educational seminars, and much more focused on conserving the Battenkill watershed.

Each May, the Battenkill Conservancy hosts the Battenkill Runs Through It River Festival, a free event on the town beach featuring music, food trucks, a scavenger hunt, fly fishing demonstrations, river activities & more!

Additionally, one of the largest single-day road cycling races in North America happens right here in late spring! The Tour of the Battenkill explores some of the most breathtaking backroads & riverfront vistas Washington County has to offer while challenging bikers with over 5,000 feet of elevation change.

Looking for somewhere to stay during your visit? Check out our many exciting lodging options, including unique accommodations, bed & breakfasts, motels, and cabins!

Battenkill Conservancy Preserves


As a community rich with history, we’ve emphasized the preservation of both our past and our surroundings. Organizations such as the Battenkill Conservancy ensure future generations are able to enjoy the bounty of this area, too!

To protect our way of life, our wildlife & the clean waters of the Battenkill watershed, the Conservancy maintains several preserves for the public’s quiet recreational use and educational purposes. These include:

Livingston Brook Heron Rookery

A great place to watch wildlife, the Rookery is 25 acres of wetlands home to a large number of birds, mammals,  and insects. In fact, each spring up to a dozen Great Blue Herons use these lands as their chosen nesting location!

Schmidt Meadow Preserve

Explore 10 acres of riverfront & forest in the town of Jackson! Perfect for fishing & discovering a variety of flora and fauna along the banks of the Battenkill.

Rexleigh Marble Mill

A neat peek into history, this 3-acre parcel of land is home to the ruins of the old marble mill, rumored to date back to 1795. Nearby is the Rexleigh Covered Bridge, so stop by for a full historic immersion!

With so many ways to see, taste, and explore this area, what are you waiting for? Discover the wonders of Washington County!

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