Hudson River Valley Historic Tavern Trail Events

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hudson valley tavern trailJourneys to Orange County’s most historic inns and restaurants are planned for the 2016 Historic Tavern Trail of the Hudson Valley, beginning April 29th.

There are seven tavern events being held on the Friday of each month from April through October, between 5:30 pm and 7 pm.  A cross promotional effort between Orange County history, tourism and economic development communities, these seven Tavern Trail happy hour and dinner events feature local food, a specialty cocktail, and discussions of local history.

Each event kicks off at 5:30 pm with a History Happy Hour. At 6 pm, the county historian, the tavern owner and an invited local expert will provide brief historical presentations. Those staying for dinner at 7 pm must RSVP directly with each of the taverns.

The Historic Tavern Trail events begin Friday, April 29th at the North Plank Road Tavern, 30 Plank Road, Newburgh.  In operation since the early 1800s in one of Newburgh’s oldest surviving buildings, North Plank Tavern is an authentic early roadhouse. Historical features include a carved mahogany bar originally from Newburgh’s former United States Hotel, and hand-painted walls mimicking wood, brick and stone.

Now owned by the Costa family, the tavern has a long history of working with local producers of the freshest quality ingredients to produce the finest food. Entertainment will include a tour by Tom Costa, and Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands’ Director Matt Colon will answer the question, “What IS a ‘plank road’ anyway?” You will see artifacts from the tavern’s days as a Prohibition-era speakeasy including whiskey bottles, counterfeit labels, and trap doors that hid the liquor.

Dinner reservations are required for those staying for dinner. For more directions and reservations, call (845) 562-5031 or email at: The menu is posted here.

The 2016 Historic Tavern Trail of the Hudson River Valley features its own signature cocktail, the Apple Jack Downing.  Made with locally-produced applejack brandy and apple cider with an apple slice garnish, the cocktail is named for Andrew Jackson Downing, born in Newburgh in 1815. Downing was a famous horticulturalist who influenced American architecture and landscape design, and died a hero in 1852 while rescuing victims of a Hudson River steamboat accident. He was America’s foremost fruit expert, or pomologist, and in his book Fruits and Fruit Trees of America, Downing said the apple “may be considered as a fruit in perfection the whole year.” The Apple Jack Downing cocktail is the creation of mixologist Donnan Sutherland of Orchard Hill Cider Mill at Soons Orchards in New Hampton,

Future Tavern Trail events include:

April 29: North Plank Road Tavern, Newburgh
May 27: Erie Hotel and Restaurant, Port Jervis
June 24: Iron Forge Inn, Warwick
July 29: Painter’s Restaurant, Cornwall
August 26: Chateau Hathorn, Warwick
September 30: Schlesinger’s Steak House, New Windsor
October 28: Ward’s Bridge Inn, Montgomery


All are invited to attend a Tavern Trail “Early Bird Special” program at 3:45 pm at Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site, at the corners of Liberty and State streets in Newburgh. Washington’s Headquarters opened in 1850 as the first publicly-owned historic site in the nation. Learn the story of how the Headquarters was saved, and explore what a visit to the site was like in the mid to late 1800’s. The program fee is $3 per person. For more information call (845) 562-1195 or click here.

For more information about the Historic Tavern Trail of the Hudson Valley event series, visit the Tavern Trail Facebook page the Orange County Tourism website or contact MJ Goff at the Orange County Historian’s office at or Justin Rodriguez at the Office of the Orange County Executive at (845) 291-3255.

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