Inspiring poets and non-writers alike since 1850.

RED HOOK, Dutchess County (120 acres) — Believe it or not, you’re walking through a designed landscape — a series of “outdoor rooms” separated by stands of trees and stone walls — created for the owners of two neighboring estates around 1850. It got its name because writers like Washington Irving loved rambling here; legend has it he came up with the idea for “Rip Van Winkle” while gazing toward the Catskill Mountains, site of his protagonist’s long sleep. Don’t be surprised if your own creativity gets a boost from spotting colorful (and mellifluous) songbirds in the meadow, strolling through the shadows in the wooded ravine or enjoying majestic vistas that haven’t changed a whit in 170 years. 

Free and open year-round. Gates open every day at 8:30 a.m. Closing hours vary according to the season:

Nov. 1–March 136:00 p.m.
March 14–April 307:30 p.m.
May 1–Sept. 308:30 p.m.
Oct. 1–Oct. 317:30 p.m.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: The safety of our park visitors is our top priority. We continue to require that all group visits be limited to ten people or fewer and we require all visitors must wear masks and practice social distancing. In addition, if you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or not feeling well in any way, please stay home.


  • Accessible opportunity
  • Dog walking on leash
  • Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area
  • Picnicking
  • Walking
  • Wildlife watching
  • X-country skiing & snowshoeing
  • Bike rack
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More to explore

Explore the nearby Bard College campus, including the Hessel Museum (which displays contemporary art), Frank Gehry’s swooping Fisher Center and Montgomery Place, a historic 380-acre estate. Stock up on apples and other fresh produce by visiting one of the area’s u-pick operations or farm stands.