The Hudson Valley is known for its impressive history, but an ancient mastodon skeleton might take the cake.

While our cluster of counties just north of New York City is known for rolling farm land, fantastic hikes, and beautiful views, there's also a surprising amount of wetlands... which can be the perfect place to find a prehistoric creature.

Photo of the Warren Mastodon that was found in Newburgh, NY in 1845
The Warren Mastodon was found in Newburgh, NY in 1845 (Wally Gobetz via Flickr/ CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

History in Newburgh, NY

While the historic pedigree of Newburgh, NY is mostly centered around George Washington's headquarters, another esteemed entry was made in the Orange County history books just 62 years later, when one of the most interesting creatures to have ever roamed the earth was uncovered in a nearby bog.

The Warren Mastodon Found in Newburgh, NY

Named the "Warren Mastodon" (above), this nearly-perfectly preserved example was uncovered in Newburgh, NY in 1845. Not only was the Warren Mastodon the first complete mastodon skeleton to be discovered in the United States, but the Hudson Valley, NY find continues to be one of the most complete mastodon skeletons on the planet... and you can visit it in person.

Photo of a mammoth at the American Museum of Natural History
While the Warren Mastodon has shorter, straighter tusks, the tusks on this mammoth look quite different (Wally Gobetz via Flickr/ CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Visit Newburgh, NY's Warren Mastodon

While the Warren Mastodon was first displayed in Boston (its name comes from Boston museum founder John C. Warren), the impressive skeleton is now back in its home state of New York at the American Museum of Natural History. The roughly 11,000 year-old bones can be found in the Hall of Advanced Mammals along with examples of their cousins, the wooly mammoth (above).

Mastodons vs Mammoths

While mastodons and mammoths are very similar (and are both related to modern-day elephants), mastodons were smaller than mammoths, and had shorter, straighter tusks. Their diets were different as well, with mastodons mostly feeding on trees while mammoths were considered grass grazers.

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New Yorkers planning a road trip to check out the 11,000-year-old Newburgh, NY resident will be happy to learn that there will be plenty to see along the way. From camping on Revolutionary War battlegrounds to the best place to to see our Milky Way galaxy, why not make it more than a daytrip? Check out even more great stops below.

WOW! Did You Know This? 18 Unusual 'Must Sees' on An Upstate New York Road Trip

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio

Road Trip Through New York's Ice Cream Trail

Did you know there's an ice cream trail here in the great state of New York? Yup. Created by Only In Your State, the trail takes you all throughout the Adirondacks, allowing you to "take in the sights of our tallest mountains and some of the most breathtaking scenery in all of New York" while licking your favorite kind of ice cream.

Hop aboard the New York Ice Cream Trail!

Gallery Credit: Dave Wheeler