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Hudson River Valley Ramble Is More Than A Walk In The Park

Tour Innisfree Garden in Millbrook on September 27.

By Amy Krzanik

The 15th Annual Hudson River Valley Ramble is something of a misnomer, as it involves so much more than leisurely strolls. Occurring every Saturday and Sunday in September, the Ramble celebrates the trails, the river and the historic and cultural resources of the Hudson River Valley Greenway and National Heritage Area, which extends from Saratoga County to the Bronx. It includes guided walks of all types, but also encompasses fun runs and races for charity, hikes and bike tours, kayak and canoe trips, stargazing, bird watching and more.

Mark Castiglione, the acting executive director of the Hudson River Valley Greenway, says that the goal of the Ramble is to connect people with the resources and organizations in their area, so that they’ll become involved stewards of their surroundings. “We’re trying to connect people to the history of the land, because when people know about and appreciate the sites, they become advocates for them.”

Take a ramble to Bash Bish Falls on September 27.

Each year offers new events, so even if you’ve rambled before, it’s a great time to do it again. “Every year when I look at the Ramble booklet, I’m amazed by all the new things I didn’t know about,” Castiglione says. And an added bonus to touring sites at Ramble time, he says, is that “the tours are led by experienced guides who can orient you to the history of the landscape, which enhances the overall experience.” So you can walk away from an active and pleasant day knowing a lot more about the scenery than someone who goes it alone.

Ramble activities are held in 14 counties and feature more than 200 events in all, but here we’ll focus on a handful of Columbia and Dutchess County excursions to give you an idea of the broad range of events offered.


September 13 Framing the Viewshed: Groundswell at Olana is a one-day art, nature, history and auditory experience rolled into one. You won’t find anything like it anywhere else, guaranteed. Read the recent RI article to learn more about what to expect.

September 20 In tandem with the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program, garden blogger Margaret Roach’s grounds will be open for touring, along with a rare plant sale held by Broken Arrow Nursery.

September 21 Join Dr. Willie Yee and Joe Macagne from the Mid-Hudson Astronomical Association for a Night Under The Stars at Olana. Various sizes of telescopes will be provided to view the moon, comets and stellar clusters. Please pre-register by September 19 to (518) 828-1872, x109 or

Cycle through the farmland of Dutchess and Columbia counties on Sept. 20.

September 27 See Lindenwald in a whole new light when you take a lantern lit journey of Martin Van Buren’s home with an NPS Park Ranger and learn about life after dark in the 19th century. Reservations required, (518) 758-9689.

September 27 Ramble through the Copake Iron Works to Bash Bish Falls and back. Learn more about what you’ll find at the Iron Works in this RI article.


September 14 What You See and What You Don’t See: Enjoy a leisurely guided stroll through the grounds of Staatsburgh, which was designed in 1895 to showcase the good life in the Gilded Age, while deliberately hiding the technology and labor that made a turn-of-the-century estate run.

September 20 Farmland Cycling Tour: Energize with fresh donuts, cider and apples (courtesy of local farmers), then pedal through the rolling countryside of Dutchess and Columbia counties. After returning to Poets’ Walk, enjoy a fabulous lunch while listening to live music. If you don’t want to ride, join in anyway for a fun day in the park.

Hike through the apple orchard at Peach Hill Park in Poughkeepsie on September 28.

September 20 & 21 Revolutionary War Re-enactors Weekend: Re-enactors will have an Encampment on the grounds of the Van Wyck Homestead Museum all weekend with cooking, blacksmith and musket-firing demonstrations scheduled throughout the day. The homestead served as Officers’ Headquarters during the American Revolution. Guides will escort visitors to the Continental Army and Militia Soldiers burial ground located nearby, where an estimated 700-1,000 soldiers were buried, making it the largest Revolutionary War soldiers’ burial site in America.

September 27 Recognized as one of the “world’s ten best gardens,” Innisfree is a powerful icon of 20th-century landscape design. Join the Landscape Curator for a 90-minute tour exploring the garden, its rich history and its unique design.

September 28 During the Apple Cider Ramble, hike through the old apple orchard at Peach Hill Park and collect apples along the way. At the end of the hike, help press your apples into cider.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/08/14 at 08:49 PM • Permalink