About Poet’s Walk Park

PWP_pano2Poets’ Walk Park is located just off scenic River Road in Red Hook, New York, (slightly north of the Kingston-Rhinecliff bridge). Known for it’s “romantic landscape”, intended to celebrate it’s fabled connection between landscape and poetry. The classic wooden vistas, sunlit fields and thick forest were the main focus of landscape architect Hans Jacob Ehlers’ vision for the property in 1849

In 1849 members of the Astor and Delano families, who lived on adjacent estates, commissioned German-born landscape architect Hans Jacob Ehlers to make improvements on these grounds. The classic wooded vistas, sunlit fields and thick forest were the main focus of Ehlers’ vision for the property. He fashioned a series of “outdoor rooms,” using stands of foliage and stone walls to break up the landscape, which includes rolling meadows, forests, and a ravine. Ehlers also created a shaded, streamside path, dubbed Poets’ Walk in honor of Washington Irving and other literary figures who reputedly strolled here. (Legend has it that Irving came up with the idea for “Rip Van Winkle” here while gazing at the distant but very prominent Catskill Mountains, site of his protagonist’s decades-long sleep.) Today, the park features two miles of trails through woods and rolling meadows with rustic cedar pavilions, footbridges, and benches.

The park’s mown and gravel paths are variously lined with wooden hand-crafted benches, and provide access to the 120 acres (0.49 km2) of fields and forest, as well as spectacular river views. The park’s walls of foliage and stone evoke outdoor “rooms” that reflect the 1849 landscape aims of Ehlers.

The distance from the Information Arbor at the beginning of the path to the Overlook Pavilion is about half a mile, and at a leisurely pace takes the average walker about 15 minutes. The return trip is slightly uphill and a bit longer. From the Pavilion to the Summerhouse (via the Poets’ Walk Path) is an additional 20 minutes (one way), and from the Pavilion to the Flagpole is also 20 minutes (one way).books

The park has been visited by Fitz-Greene Halleck (1790–1867) and many literary contemporaries, including Washington Irving (1783–1859) and William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878) and Jack Kerouac (1922-1969).

Today, the visual integrity of the Park and its setting is protected by The Scenic Hudson Land Trust’s conservation easements on the surrounding 800 acres (3.2 km2). The park is open from 9am until dusk (6pm in winter, 8pm during summer), and all visitors are expected to clean up after their pets and themselves: all trash brought in must be brought out, seeing as there are no trash receptacles along the walkway.


Comments are closed.

Part of the GoHikeNY.com network!