Poets walk – A calm hike in the Hudson Valley

Poets Walk

Poets walk is an ideal place for a simple, mostly bug free, mostly easy hike to a scenic westerly view of the hudson river.  It also provides an alternative, secondary path you can follow to the “summer home” that begins midway through the hike and goes through some serious woods.

Location: 76 River Rd, Red Hook, NY 12571

In my perspective, the hike is intended to help us celebrate how poetry can connect us to the land and the living natural environment that surrounds us on this walk.   This hike claims the story “Rip Van Winkle” was written while its writer was enjoying a walk along its  trails.  Landscapes and nature being connected to great poetry is globally recognized. In China for example there is a similar spirit connecting great poetry to landscapes and in Vermont there is a trail that integrates Robert Frost poems into the experience or the Namiki Trails in Japan.

What I like about the “Poets Walk” hike

  1. I like that it can be an easy hike or one a bit more strenuous, depending on your choices
  2. The “scenic walk” trail is flat, bug free and ends in a nice west view over the Hudson River and at the right time could make for a lovely sunset view
  3. The “summer house” trail that is more strenuous brings you through the woods and contains helpful man made stairs and bridges along the way.  This trail begins mid-way through the “scenic walk”
  4. If you take a moment within the relative silence that surrounds you and just listen, you will hear birds chirping and small animals scurrying through the nearby woods
  5. It’s open for all seasons

What I don’t like about the “Poets Walk” hike

  1. You will be exposed to the sun, on hot days it will be too hot.  Sun tan lotion is required
  2. If you choose the “scenic view” trail only, you will hike through wide valleys while it creates a greater sense of safety it’s a less interesting walk than through the woods
  3. If you choose to follow “summer house” trail at the wrong time of day like sunset, it will be buggy

The Poets Walk experience

The “scenic walk” begins with a fairly flat trail that is great for chatting with friends or loved ones.  Along the way, there are a series of benches if you want to chill and chat, a place to enjoy the singing songbirds, or perhaps a place to let the scene soak in.  

The downside of the hike is that it always starts with you exposed to the sun.  So trust the notion of donning your sun lotion before your body gets in motion on this trail. 

  • Bare with me while I attempt some poetry

At the midpoint of the “scenic” trail there is a crossroads.  The hike brings you to a pretty shelter and gives you the choice if you choose to go forward – the “scenic view” or the “summer home”.  The “scenic view” option will bring you through a flat field of a walk that ends in a set of benches and a westerly view that is ideal for sunsets and chilling out.  

The “summer house”, takes you on a longer journey through thick woods and across streams to get to a second shelter which is not as welcoming.  I would not consider this second shelter a “home”, but rather a good place to stop for a moment before you turn around.

If you are looking for the best sunset view in the Hudson Valley, I can recommend Clermont Estate.

Both walks offer you times when you will let your mind wander, especially due to low cell phone service.  This is ideal for poets and artists inside all of us.  The “scenic view” hike gives you space on either side of you, letting your mind drift into the soft chirping of birds and the scurrying of little animals among the leaves.  The “summer house” hike surrounds you with the shade of the forest with running streams, the shifting of leaves and the casual animal.

Enjoy the walk, and bring a notebook so that when your mind settles on peaceful thoughts you can capture them.

If you want to learn more about this hike I can recommend the following articles

  1. https://www.scenichudson.org/explore-the-valley/scenic-hudson-parks/poets-walk-park/
  2. https://hikethehudsonvalley.com/hikes/poets-walk/
  3. https://hikethehudsonvalley.com/hikes/poets-walk/
  4. https://www.hudsonrivervalley.com/sites/Poets-Walk-Park-/details

Pictures from Poets Walk