One of the treasures the Hudson Valley offers to all of us is quiet back roads. They are perfect for travel when we feel we need to get of the beaten path. You can always get on a main road or highway to get where you need to go but in the Hudson Valley you can also chose a road less traveled.

That said we must keep in mind that even though these "blue routes" (or pig paths as one of my city friends refers to them) are cherished for their under traveled nature often they are just as busy as a main road. The difference is that you may not be running into other cars. Instead you will encounter bicyclists, people walking with a child or dogs. There could also be the occasional farm animal outside of it's designated area or the dreaded big deer who flies out in front of your car.

So here are five thing I keep top of mind when driving on the back roads of the Valley. These tips work on highways too.

1 - It is getting dark earlier so keep a sharper eye on the shoulder of the road. Now that people are back to a school routine more people are on the roads with less time on their hands. It can be a recipe for disaster.

2 - Always stay on your side of the road especially if you are heading towards a blind curve. Assume someone is coming the opposite way and may be in part of your lane. If the road doesn't have lines stay to the right of the middle.

3 - Drive the speed limit or less so you are prepared for anything you might encounter. And remember the shoulder of the road can contain a hazard so be prepare to control your vehicle of you have to correct the wheel. Cracked pavement and culverts can cause serious accidents.

4 - Know the road conditions. With Fall come leaves in the road way causing a slipping hazard if they are wet and a visual hazard if you can't see the edge of the road. Always adjust your driving to the current road conditions.

5-  And finally, remember if you are taking the long way it is suppose to take longer so slow down and enjoy the rider.

And of course this is a perfect tune for taking The Long Way.