The Hudson Valley is the canyon of the Hudson River and its adjacent communities in New York State, generally from northern Westchester County northward to the cities of Albany and Troy. Historically a cradle of European settlement in the northeastern United States and a strategic battleground in colonial wars, it now consists of suburbs of the metropolitan area of New York City at its southern end, shading into rural territory, including "exurbs," farther north. Geographically, the Hudson Valley could refer to all areas along the Hudson River, including Bergen County, New Jersey. However, this definition is not commonly used and the Tappan Zee Bridge is often considered the southern limit of the area. Though Westchester County is often classified as part of the region, Westchester residents who live at the southern end of the county (and especially the locations closer to the Long Island Sound than the Hudson River) generally do not associate themselves with the region.
The Hudson River, called Muh-he-kun-ne-tuk in Mahican, the Great Mohegan by the Iroquois, or as the Lenape Native Americans called it in Unami, Muhheakantuck (Θkahnéhtati in Tuscarora), is a river that runs through the eastern portion of New York State and, along its southern terminus, demarcates the border between the states of New York and New Jersey. It is named for Henry Hudson, an Englishman sailing for the Dutch East India Company, who explored it in 1609. The Hudson River was originally named the Mauritius River, which is claimed to be the name given by Hudson in honor of Prince Maurice of Nassau.