How Wide Is the Hudson River at Its Widest Point?

Written by Kyle Glatz
Updated: July 20, 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 United States has many amazing rivers that provide transportation, freshwater, fishing opportunities, and more to those living on their banks. Among the most famous rivers in the nation is the Hudson River. This body of water is well-known for having Manhattan, a borough of New York City, on its banks, where it provides a major artery of transit for one of the largest and most urban areas in the world. With so many people relying on these waters, you might think this is one of the largest rivers in the country. So, just how wide is the Hudson River?

In this article, we’ll look at the width and length of this body of water and show you how it measures up to others in the nation.

Where is the Hudson River?

New York City Skyline - Statue of Liberty

The Hudson River is located in New York and New Jersey.


Although the Hudson River famously passes Manhattan, it actually starts much farther north. Oftentimes, the listed source of the Hudson River is called Lake Tear of the Clouds. This source is located in Adirondack Park in New York State. However, the river isn’t listed as the Hudson River until it flows out of Henderson Lake at Newcomb, New York.

From Henderson Lake, the Hudson River takes a 315-mile-long path through New York until it reaches its mouth at the Upper New York Bay.

Generally, the Hudson River is divided into the Upper Hudson River and the Lower Hudson River. The Upper Hudson River lasts from the source at Henderson Lake until it reaches the Federal Dam in Troy, New York. This dam is located 153 miles from the beginning of the river, positioned fewer than 10 miles north of Albany.

The Lower Hudson River starts just downriver from the Federal Dam. That is also the tidal limit of the river. As the river flows south, it starts to widen and deepen a great deal. For example, the river maintains a width of roughly 0.6 miles for a length of 5 miles upriver towards the George Washington Bridge.    

Although this is not the widest part of the river, it is nonetheless significant for trade. Some large ships can travel far north to Albany.

How Wide is the Hudson River at Its Widest Point?

Hudson River Valley

The Hudson River has a maximum width of 3.59 miles.


The Hudson River is 3.59 miles wide at its widest point. The widest part of the river is located at Haverstraw Bay, and it’s measured at 19,000 feet across according to local signs. Haverstraw Bay is located roughly 32 nautical miles upstream from Manhattan.

The town of Haverstraw was an important place on the Hudson River during the American Revolution. It served as a lookout for happenings on the river. Moreover, it was the site of an attempt at treason by Benedict Arnold and British Major John André. On September 22, 1780, the two men met in the woods in Haverstraw, New York, and plotted for Benedict Arnold to surrender the fort at West Point.

After the meeting, John André was captured and later hanged. Meanwhile, Benedict Arnold was lucky to receive enough time to fully and openly defect to the British.

The Hudson River is over a mile wide as it passes under the Tappan Zee Bridge. Yet, it narrows significantly near Irvington just a few miles to the south. From there, the waterway continues to be less than a mile wide until it reaches its mouth in the Upper New York Bay.

The Hudson River may not be the longest river in the United States or even the widest, but it is still a significant river due to its location and composition. Moreover, the river is superlative in one sense: depth.

How Deep is the Hudson River?

South Watuppa Pond Massachusetts

The depth of the Hudson River is almost surpassed by the Mississippi River.

©Marcbela (Marc N. Belanger) / public domain

The Hudson River is the deepest river in the United States, measuring somewhere between 202 feet and 216 feet depending on the source material. On average, the water is 30ft deep throughout the waterway’s course.

However, the deepest part of the Hudson River is located near Constitution Island and the United States Military Academy at West Point. This part of the river is sometimes marked or nicknamed “World’s End” on maps.

Interestingly, the second-deepest river, and not by a great measure, is the Mississippi River. The deepest point of the Mississippi River is found near the end of its flow in New Orleans. At a place called Algiers Point, the river plunges to 200 feet deep. Depending on the measurements available the Mississippi River may just be a foot or two deeper than the Hudson River.

The Mississippi River is the second-deepest river in the U.S. and it’s also the second-longest river in the United States. However, it does have one statistic in which it questionably reigns over all others.

Additionally, the Hudson River estuary and its watershed provide habitat to more than 200 species of fish. Check out the biggest fish ever caught in the Hudson River.

Where is the Hudson River Located on a Map?

If you follow the Hudson River on a map, you can find its place of origin in Lakes Tear of the Clouds and Henderson, way north in Upper New York state, and find its end in Manhattan. Along the way you can locate West Point, the capital of Albany, and other points of interest.

What is the Widest River in the United States?

Mississippi River

The Mississippi River is known for its length.


The Mississippi River is frequently considered to be the widest river in the United States. Typically, two measures are used to determine the widest river. For one thing, the widest part of the Mississippi River is located at Lake Winnibigoshish in Minnesota. At that place, the river is 11 miles wide. Yet, the widest navigable part of the river is only about 2 miles wide.

Another measure that people use to determine the width of a river is to consider the measure of its average width. The Mississippi River is a little over 1 mile wide on average after its confluence with the Missouri River.

Still, we’re talking about the width of the Mississippi. This is a river that regularly floods and has many tributaries. One of the tributaries is even longer than the Mississippi River. With all the confusion and fluidity of the river’s size, defining width can be a little difficult. After all, the Missouri River is supposedly between 13 and 16 miles wide in some places, but it’s also a tributary of the Mississippi River.

So, if we take the average width of the Mississippi River, add in its discharge rate, and look at its widest point, it’s not completely unfair to award it the title of the widest river in the U.S. even if it doesn’t have the single widest point.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Songquan Deng/

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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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