Visiting West Point Military Academy - Hudson Valley



West Point Military Academy is an exclusive university and academy of military studies. The Hogwarts-like campus perches on an extraordinary vantage point along The Hudson. A bend in the river known as West Point requires careful and slow navigation. This made West Point an advantageous defensive position. The bluffs were fortified for The Revolutionary War, and The Continental Army was successful in preventing The British from sailing up-river and dividing the colonies. Shortly after The War it became a military training center and eventually was transformed into a formal academic and military academy. You can tour the fortifications on land and on an island, and also walk much of the campus of this national landmark.





Hail, Alma Mater dear,
To us be ever near,
Help us thy motto bear
Through all the years.
Let duty be well performed,
Honor be e'er untarned,
Country be ever armed,
West Point, by thee.

Guide us, thy sons, aright,
Teach us by day, by night,
To keep thine honor bright,
For thee to fight.
When we depart from thee,
Serving on land or sea,
May we still loyal be,
West Point, to thee.

And when our work is done,
Our course on earth is run,
May it be said, 'Well Done;
Be Thou At Peace.'
E'er may that line of gray
Increase from day to day,
Live, serve, and die, we pray,
West Point, for thee.

-West Point Alma Mater - by Paul S. Reinecke (USMA 1911)


General Washington Statue at West Poin
General Washington Statue at West Point
History buffs making a trip to The Hudson Valley may experience temporary symptoms including: elation, over stimulation, chattiness, and sudden bursts of euphoria.The historic importance of West Point alone is enough to inspire awe. Virtually every prominent general you have ever heard about was a student at West Point.

Fort Clinton, the original fortification at West Point was constructed under the direction of General Thaddeus Kosciuszko.  Benedict Arnold tried to sell Fort Clinton to The British in his famous betrayal. Dwight Eisenhower was a student at West Point Academy; so was General Patton.

To enter West Point you will need to pass through one of the gates and a succession of checkpoints where you must present photo ID and state your purpose. But, do not be deterred; you are invited to explore the many historic sites at West Point on your own. But, if you are in search a more full experience you should take either the 1 hour or 2 hour tours. These start at the visitor center in the town of West Point beyond the gates. In a separate building behind the visitor center and gift shop there is The West Point Museum. The visitor center itself has a small display area depicting the lifestyle of the cadets.

General Eisenhower Statue at West Point
General Eisenhower Statue at West Point
You should also plan to tour Fort Putnam and Constitution Island separately. If you are entering the Academy grounds without a formal tour do not miss a walk on The Plain, a visit to Trophy Point, Kosciuszko's Garden, and the West Point cemetery where General Custer, Norman Schwarzkopf, and Thomas Ruger - among many are buried and memorialized.

A trip to West Point can make up part of a day or a full day. It depends on how deeply you want to enrich yourself with American history. But, there are nearby attractions such as The Appalachian Trail at Bear Mountain and Storm King Arts Center if you are seeking some variety in your day trip. West Point is a destination worth seeing, whether you are into military history or not.

DIRECTIONS

Address for your GPS: 2110 New South Post Rd, West Point, NY
| coordinates: N41.372729,W073.963558 |
From Bridgeport1.5 Hours
From New Haven1 Hour 45 Minutes
From Hartford2 Hours
From New London2.5 hours
From Providence3 Hours
From New York1 Hour



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LINKS

Visiting West Point Military Academy - Official West Point Site

Fort Putnam - Facebook Page

Constitution Island - Facebook Page

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS COVERED BY CONNECTICUT EXPLORER

Touring Springwood and FDR Presidential Library in Hyde Park

Storm King Arts Center

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

Storm King State Park 

Walkway over The Hudson -  Poughkeepsie 

Bear Mountain State Park