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John Burroughs Nature Sanctuary

West Park (Ulster County)

Why we love it

The open ridgelines, secluded forests, wetlands and fascinating rock formations that make this a must-visit destination for hikers today also proved indispensable to nature writer John Burroughs (1837-1921), who sought inspiration among these habitats for his essays that influenced America’s early environmental movement. Any hike should include a stop at Slabsides, the cabin Burroughs built to write and entertain friends such as Walt Whitman and Theodore Roosevelt. Few can walk through this rugged landscape without gaining a greater appreciation of Burroughs’ legacy and a stronger commitment to carrying forward his conservation ethic.

More to explore

Add to your hiking enjoyment by exploring some of Scenic Hudson’s nearby natural areas—Black Creek Preserve, Esopus Meadows Preserve, High Banks Preserve and Shaupeneak Ridge.


  • 4.5 miles of easy to moderate trails
  • Varied, unspoiled terrain
  • Slabsides, John Burroughs’ rustic retreat (open periodically)

Directions, hours, etc.: