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.

Discovering Poets’ Walk Park
A short film by Jon Bowermaster/Oceans 8 films, music by Meena Ysanne.


The safety of park visitors in light of ongoing COVID cases continues to be one of our top priorities. All group visits need to be pre-approved (please fill out this form and email Anthony Coneski to coordinate a group visit).

Although neither the CDC or New York State require masks in outdoor settings, we ask that unvaccinated visitors or large groups consider wearing masks as COVID cases continue to rise in the area.

Thank you for doing your part to protect yourself and others so we can continue to make these precious resources available for all.


  • Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area
  • Bike rack
Walking that allow Dog Walking on a Leash Picnicking Wildlife Watching Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing with Accessible Opportunities
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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.