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.: