I’ve had the idea of kayaking around Esopus Island stuck in my head all summer. I first became aware of it when I was perusing a map, looking for new spots to paddle. It sits in the Hudson River, near Hyde Park, very close to easy launch spots on either side of the river, at Mills Norrie State Park and Esopus Meadows Preserve.
I read up on the history of the place. The number of articles online surprised me a little. I found all the normal historical stuff typical of the Hudson Valley. It was presumed to be used by the Lenape Indians before white settlement of the area. The British anchored their fleet there before attacking Kingston during the Revolutionary War. Called Pell Island, it was part of a large estate owned by a wealthy guy named Pell.