9. Poet’s Walk

Photo courtesy Dutchess Tourism

Imagine over a hundred acres of rolling hills and meadows, inspired by the poets from the Hudson Valley, and designed with a European-influenced Romanticism in mind and you’ll have the Poet’s Walk, located right in Dutchess County just north of Rhinebeck. The Poet’s Walk, a shaded 2-mile trail along a stream, goes back to the mid-19th century – part of a 120-acre commission by neighboring Astor and Delano family estates. German-born landscape architect Hans Jacob Ehlers dotted the scenery with rustic pavilions, wooden benches, footbridges and a wide range of plantings, of which today there are over 140 types. It bears more than a passing resemblance the Shire from Lord of the Rings, and local legend has it that Washington Irving conjured up the character Rip Van Winkle here. Today, The Poet’s Walk is owned and operated by the organization Scenic Hudson.

The Poet’s Walk is open year round and can be accessed through the entrance at 776 River Rd, Red HookNY 12571

Also check out Dutchess County’s 2018 Digital Destination Guide.