How Deep Is the Hudson River?

Prettiest Rivers in the United States - Hudson River
© Songquan Deng/

Written by Jennifer Gaeng

Updated: September 18, 2023

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Infographic about the Hudson River.
The Hudson River was named after the explorer Henry Hudson and is the deepest river in the US.

The Hudson River is 315 miles long and 30 feet deep on average, although its deepest point goes much deeper. In fact, it is the deepest river in the United States. It was named after Henry Hudson, an Englishman who sailed for the Dutch East India Company. This river travels from north to south through New York and New Jersey before reaching the Atlantic Ocean. The Hudson River is believed to have originated between 13,000 and 26,000 years ago! On average, the river is shallow, but there are sections that are extremely deep. So, what is the Hudson River’s maximum depth? Let’s find out!

Where Is the Deepest Part of the Hudson River?

Hudson River Valley

The deepest part of the Hudson River is near Haverstraw, with a maximum depth of 216 feet.


Between Gee’s Point and Constitutional Island in New York City, the Hudson River’s deepest point is known as World’s End, with a depth of 203 feet. The river has been proclaimed to be America’s deepest. The Wisconsin glacier, in the last glacial episode to occur in North America, brought high sea levels near the mouth of the river. This caused it to rise at various points, making it so deep.

The Hudson River is known as a “fjord.” Fjords are long, narrow streams of water that are formed when glaciers melt. Iceland and Norway are home to the majority of the world’s fjords, so it’s noteworthy that we have one of our own in the United States!

Where Does the Hudson River Start and End?

New York City Skyline - Statue of Liberty

The Hudson River begins at the Adirondack Mountains.


The Hudson River begins at the Adirondack Mountains, in a place called Lake Tear of the Clouds in upstate New York, and it flows south for about 315 miles until it reaches the Atlantic Ocean in New York City. Lake Tear of the Clouds is a small lake in Essex County in New York that sits south of the highest point of the Adirondack Mountains. Along its route, near Haverstraw, the river reaches a maximum width of three miles.

There are three mouths to the Hudson River; the New York Harbor, the Lower New York Bay, and the Upper New York Bay. It is said that the Upper New York Bay’s mouth of the river is where it ends to meet the Atlantic.

What Cities Does the Hudson River Run Through?

Since the Hudson River primarily runs through the state of New York, it runs through many different cities, including:

  • Albany
  • Beacon
  • Glens Falls
  • Hudson
  • Jersey City
  • Kingston
  • Mechanicville
  • New York
  • Newburgh
  • Peekskill
  • Poughkeepsie
  • Troy
  • Yonkers

The river serves as a political boundary between both New York and New Jersey because it runs through the Hudson Valley and borders New Jersey at its southern end. Further north of the river, it separates and serves as a boundary between different New York counties.

What Animals Live on the Hudson River?

river otter and pup

River otters can be found in and along the Hudson River.


There are about 70 distinct species of animals that inhabit the Hudson River. Not only is it the deepest river in America, but it is also one of the most diverse! The Hudson River is home to many types of wildlife, including:

  • Amphibians
  • Bald Eagles
  • Birds
  • Crabs
  • Crawfish
  • Diamondback Terrapins
  • Oysters
  • River Otters
  • Seahorses
  • Snakes

The river is even known for having dolphin and humpback sightings because it’s so close to the ocean and has a plethora of fish!

The Hudson River History

Prettiest Rivers in the United States - Hudson River

The Hudson River is an estuary, meaning it flows both ways.

©Songquan Deng/

Henry Hudson, an English sailor, is largely responsible for bringing attention to the Hudson River. It was formerly known as Mahicantuck, which translates to “a river that flows both ways,” before the 16th century. A Native American tribe called the Lenape lived in the area near the Hudson River, therefore it was named after them.

In an estuary, saltwater and freshwater mix, causing a river to flow north and south. Because of this, the Hudson River is divided into upper and lower sections. The Hudson River becomes an estuary towards its lower reaches. This is where the river’s mouth meets the sea.

Where is the Hudson River Located on a Map?

Now that you know some interesting facts about the Hudson River, you can explore it further on the map below. If you go to New York City, you might want to venture upriver just beyond the city’s northern edge into the Hudson Valley. This beautiful region is home to much history: the US Military Academy at West Point is on the river, and the village of Sleepy Hollow, home to literary characters Ichabod Crane and Rip Van Winkle, is a real place!


While the Hudson River is both vast and fascinating, it is facing some serious conservation issues. Pollution of the Hudson River is a genuine issue due to runoff of mercury contamination and sewage discharge, as well as urban runoff and heavy metals. Because of this, the quality of the water has gone down, causing harmful effects on wildlife. This does not only affect the animals in the river, but also the humans who eat locally sourced fish containing mercury and other contaminants.

To preserve this river and its wildlife, many activists and foundations have done their part to conserve this river and its beauty. Thankfully, because of these efforts, aquatic life has returned to the river, such as humpback whales. We can only hope that this ancient and beautiful body of water continues to thrive!

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About the Author

Jennifer Gaeng is a writer at A-Z-Animals focused on animals, lakes, and fishing. With over 15 years of collective experience in writing and researching, Jennifer has honed her skills in various niches, including nature, animals, family care, and self-care. Hailing from Missouri, Jennifer finds inspiration in spending quality time with her loved ones. Her creative spirit extends beyond her writing endeavors, as she finds joy in the art of drawing and immersing herself in the beauty of nature.

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