Nelsonville is directly east of the village of Cold Spring. On Main Street, the border is roughly demarcated by the western property line of the Baptist Church at the height of land, and by the property line along the rear of the church lot, extending south toward the Cold Spring Cemetery.
Along with its neighbor, Cold Spring, the village is known for being a small, picturesque enclave with a historic housing stock. It is located within the larger New York City metropolitan area, and it offers a genuine village feel within a reasonable commuting distance to the city. It is a popular weekend and fall foliage destination for New York City residents, and the origin of several well-known hiking trails that traverse the Hudson Highlands. The village is served by the Cold Spring Metro-North commuter railroad stop on the Hudson Line.