What happens when tennis and ping pong love each other very much? They invite badminton to be their third and they make pickleball.

What Is Pickleball?

More than just offspring from more well-known sports, pickleball has been slowly sweeping the nation since its invention in the 1960s, and we covered it when it started gaining traction locally just a few years ago. But before we get into where you can play in the Hudson Valley, let's start with a simple question: what is pickleball? The basic explanation really is "tennis-meets-ping pong-meets-badminton". From pickleball.com:

Pickleball is traditionally played on a badminton-sized court with special Pickleball paddles, made of wood or high-tech aerospace materials. The ball used is similar to a wiffle ball, but slightly smaller. The lower net and wiffle ball allow the game to be accessible to people of all ages and abilities, while still allowing more competitive players to test their mettle.

My favorite part is the range of paddles types. "Wood or high-tech aerospace materials?" It leaves so much to the imagination! This video provides a great visual explanation.

Where to Buy Pickleball Supplies

Once you find a local court (more on that in a minute), the only things you'll need to get started are paddles and a ball. You can wait on pickleball shoes (yes, those are real) until you've decided to stick with it. There are a few dedicated websites like totalpickleball.com and pickleballcentral.com, where you can shop, but you can buy locally as well. In the Hudson Valley, Dick's Sporting Goods is a great place to start.

Where Can I Play?

More and more pickleball courts are popping up all over the Hudson Valley. The inaugural court was built in Kingston back in 2018 at Loughran Park. Since then, they've been popping up like weeds.

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Town of Rhinebeck Recreation Center, Rhinebeck NY

Pickleball has joined the ranks at the Rhinebeck Rec Center. Don't think you can just show up willy-nilly, though. Make your pickle-reservation here.

Cronomer Hill Park (BYON), Newburgh NY
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Cronomer Hill Park (BYON), Newburgh NY

They've painted pickleball lines on their tennis courts, but you'll need to BYON (bring your own net) if you want to play in this park in Newburgh. The good news is you already know of several places you can buy one. Want to stay in Newburgh? The Jewish Community Center offers pickleball too, with a $15 day-use fee per player.

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Crellin Park, Chatham, NY

Columbia County residents can check out Crellin Park for pickleball. They have 2 courts and provide nets too. More info here.

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Pulaski Park, Poughkeepsie NY

Another early adopter of pickleball, Pulaski Park offers free courts to enthusiasts and beginners alike. Spratt Park in Poughkeepsie has courts as well.

Want more?

Need even more locations? Check out a full (although non-verified) list here.

And speaking of parks, they may not offer pickleball, but check out a new park planned for the Hudson Valley below.

New York State Park With 'Breathtaking Views' Coming To Hudson Valley

Peek Inside Stunning New E-Sports Facility in Wappingers Falls