This route follows the course of the Hudson river valley along the eastern side of the Hudson river, but keeps the river in view for only short distances. It is a hilly, almost mountainous region through which the gorge of the Hudson makes its way, a land rich in the romance of its history, which has long been a residential region for the wealthy of New York. It follows in general the course of the old Albany Post Road,
As was customary in the history of roads, the old Albany Post Road began its life as an Indian trail, winding along near the Hudson river and making a more or less indirect course to Albany. Gradually, as it came to be used by the white people, its line was straightened, it was widened for the use of wagons, and it passed from a path into a genuine road. In 1703 an act was passed by the Colonial assembly for “Regulateing Clearing and preserving Publick Comon highways thro’out this Colony,” including one to “Extend from Kings Bridge in the County of Westchester through the same County of Westchester, Dutchess County, and the County of Albany.” When Prederick Philipse, the `Dutch millionairee as he was called, built the bridge over Spuyten Duyvil Creek, he became, as manor lord, responsible for the maintenance of the road which led to the bridge, the Albany Post Road. About 1806 the Highland Turnpike Company got control of the road, improved and straightened it, put up toll gates, and it entered upon what may be called its professional life, being brought into fairly permanent shape and much as we now know it. For years thereafter it was known to many as the Highland Turnpike.
The route appropriately belongs in a book on New England because from it branch off to the east at various points a number of good State Roads which offer several pleasing entrances to New England, the following of which are briefly described:
Tarrytown to Port Chester; connecting with Route 5, to the Berkshires, Route 3, to Danbury and Hartford, and Route r, to Bridgeport and New Haven.
Beacon to Pawling via Fishkill.
Poughkeepsie to Amenia and the Berkshires. Rhinecliff to Lakeville, Conn.
Hudson to South Egremont and the Berkshires.