Explore Hudson Valley through the lens of the first settlers

We’re going back to the roots of the Mid-Hudson region on this week’s Road Trip: Close to Home.
We start with a visit to High Falls in Ulster County, a serene area alongside Rondout Creek.
Years ago, before European settlers arrived in the 1600s, Native American tribes like the Munsee, Esopus, Wappinger and Lenape people roamed the region. “You can’t understand American history without understanding Native Americans, almost all of it is influenced by Native Americans,” says award-winning historian Evan Pritchard.
 Pritchard, a proud Algonquin, says if you went back to more than 400 years ago, and you would most likely see tribe leaders holding what they used to call “council fire” meetings. The grand chief gathers the sub-chiefs to have a meeting to discuss war and peace.”
 Next, we’re digging a little deeper into history at Ward Pound Ridge reservation  in Westchester, home to the Trailside Nature Museum.
 Make a reservation and you can browse through artifacts, books and interactive programs, to learn how the first residents of Westchester used to live. “The program goes through the foods, toys, tools, agriculture that the tribes used to use,” says Westchester County Parks Recreation Supervisor Taro Ietaka.
 You can explore the region through the lens of the first settlers. “You can even experience village life in a traditional wigwam, which was used as a home for families hundreds of years ago…We try to kind of de-mystify and show how interesting their lives were,” says Ietaka.