Posts Tagged ‘hiking destinations’

Hike in the Footsteps of Painters and Poets This Summer in New York’s Scenic Catskills

July 13, 2013
The view from Sunset Rock, a popular location for Thomas Cole, the father of the Hudson River School, America's first major art movement © 2013 Karen Rubin/

The view from Sunset Rock, a popular location for Thomas Cole, the father of the Hudson River School, America’s first major art movement © 2013 Karen Rubin/

Hit the trail this summer in the Great Northern Catskills of Greene County where the region’s storied history and rugged beauty are best experienced in the wilderness. Discover the land that captivated generations of painters and writers, and enjoy a hiking trip that unites art with nature, and adventure with family-friendly fun.

Known as the father of the Hudson River School of Art movement, Thomas Cole was a British expatriate who made the Catskills his home, muse and artistic study. Follow Cole’s artistic journey through the Catskills and experience far-reaching summit views and cascading waterfalls that are as pristine as they were when Cole painted them nearly 200 years ago.

His namesake peak, Thomas Cole Mountain, is the fourth highest peak in the Catskills, with panoramic summit views and multiple scenic overlooks. Located in the Blackhead Range Wild Forest, Cole can be hiked in tandem with Black Dome and Blackhead, making for the perfect Catskill Mountain day hike. The trailhead is located at the end of Barnum Road, just four minutes drive from the Sugar Maple Center for Creative Arts in Maplecrest.

Arts History and Hiking in the Great Northern Catskills

This summer, experience a series of self-guided, multi-faceted hiking excursions with Mainly Greene, a collaboration of four arts organizations in the Great Northern Catskills. On July 20, join Mainly Greene’s “Art on the Move” tour of the Catskills with the Catskill Pass as your guide, and check out some of the Hudson River waterfront’s top attractions, restaurants and shops. Download the Pass here and follow the enclosed map to receive special discounts at participating attractions, including the Port of Call Restaurant, Thomas Cole National Historic Site and Riverview Marine Services.

Kid-Friendly Hikes in Greene County

Summer in the Great Northern Catskills of Greene County offers untold adventure in the great outdoors. Find ample hiking options throughout the region, including kid-friendly hikes such as:

  • RamsHorn-Livingston Sanctuary in Catskill offers a tranquil hiking experience along two miles of hiking trails. Trek by swampland with diverse birding habitats and glimpse Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles and water creatures such as beaver, otter or muskrat. The Sanctuary offers leisurely walking experiences, picnic spots and paddling opportunities along RamsHorn Creek.
  • Cohotate Preserve in Catskill offers two miles of hiking along the Hudson River waterfront. Perfect for families with small children, the loop winds around a pond, providing scenic wilderness and river views.
  • Catskill Escarpment Loop in Haines Falls offers a moderate hiking circuit looping nearly five miles through some of Greene County’s prettiest scenery.  Highlights include Kaaterskill Clove, Sunset Rock – a favorite spot of Hudson River School artists – and Inspiration Point. Part of the 21-mile Escarpment Trail, this shorter loop offers a great day hike in the Catskills.

Awaken to Adventure in the Great Northern Catskills of Greene County, offering some New York’s most far-reaching summit views and scenic hiking trails. For more information about hiking in the Catskills and to start planning your Greene County vacation, visit

Greene County is located in the Great Northern Catskill Mountains and the verdant Hudson River Valley.  The region is home to five of the 10 highest Catskill Peaks and the Catskill State Park and is known as the nation’s first wilderness. Greene County is renowned as the home of Thomas Cole’s Hudson River School and the inspiration for Washington Irving’s literary legend, Rip Van Winkle, and was named in honor of American Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene. This 705,500 acre wilderness offers diverse year-round outdoor recreation and celebrated cultural events.  Find more Catskills packages at 

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NYS’ 9th Annual Adirondack Boreal Birding Festival to be held June 7-9

May 1, 2013

The 9th Annual Adirondack Boreal Birding Festival kicks off in the heart of New York’s Adirondack Park on June 7 with three days of guided hikes, lectures and driving safaris.

At the center of the Hamilton County festival are 17 birding walks and driving safaris dispersed throughout the county over three days.  All the outings are free and are led by established birding guides. The festival will also feature a Saturday, June 8 program with international birding expert Dr. Bruce Beehler. His first book, “Birdlife of the Adirondacks,” propelled him into a career that has spanned the globe.

Beehler made headlines when he discovered two birds in New Guinea previously believed to be non-existent, and has worked on behalf of the Smithsonian Institution, Conservation International and the U.S. Department of State.

“As soon as the 2013 festival schedule went up on the website, we started to get calls to register,” states Dean Nervik, tourism specialist with the county Department of Planning, Tourism and Community Development, and organizer of the festival.

Dr. Beehler will also join several of the guided birding excursions, but even organizers don’t know which ones he’ll select. Boreal birds are birds that nest and breed in northern forests and include black-backed woodpeckers, gray jays, a variety of warblers and water fowl.

“Since boreal birds can’t be found in Texas and a lot of other parts of this country, we generally attract a lot of out-of-state attendees to the festival,” Nervik said. The festival was developed to take advantage of the region’s unique wildlife and attract out-of-area visitors to the county during a shoulder season, he added.

The first registrant for the 9th Annual Adirondack Boreal Birding Festival comes from Texas. She plans to stay in Long Lake for the June 7th through 9th event in Hamilton County.

Advance registration is required for birding excursions and groups are kept small to insure that breeding species may be observed.

For a complete schedule of Adirondack Boreal Birding Festival events, visit or call 518 548-3076.

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Dominica, the ‘Nature Island’, Celebrates Spring with Hike Fest, Jazz’N Creole, DomFesta Artisan Showcase

April 9, 2013

From music to hiking to the island’s artisan history, Dominica offers a wide variety of activities for visitors to the island from April to June. Known for its many festivals, the Nature Island has something for everyone year ’round.

Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-EEK-a, and not to be confused with the Dominican Republic), a spectacular green island of rugged mountains, lush rainforests and rushing rivers in the Eastern Caribbean, is a haven for adventure travelers seeking a unique vacation experience.

DOMFESTA Celebrates Dominica’s Artisan History

From April into early June, the Dominica Festival of the Creative Arts—or Domfesta—showcases the island’s varied arts and culture. Visitors to the Nature Island during this annual festival witness the talents of hundreds of local artists. Playwrights, poets, artists, singers and musicians all come together to present their interpretations of Dominica’s rich heritage in the arts. Held throughout the island, communities from north to south and east to west demonstrate their history and future by presenting village feasts, theatrical plays, art expositions, poetry and drumming festivals, as well as creole competitions and concerts. A highlight of this two-month festival is the Golden Drum Awards, which recognizes organizations and individuals for their contributions to the arts and culture of Dominica.

Enjoy Dominica’s Many Hiking Trails During Hike Fest

Hike Fest is the ultimate opportunity to experience Dominica by walking with nature on the Nature Island. Held the first three Saturdays in May (4th, 11th, and 18th), Hike Fest offers treks through Dominica’s pristine, untouched natural trails that follow routes ranging from easy to moderate to difficult. Some of the routes form part of the Waitukubuli National Trail, 115 miles of trails spanning the entire length of Dominica.

Hikers are amazed by the spectacular scenery, hidden beaches, cozy bays and fascinating rock formations that jut out into the sea. Visitors experience agricultural farmlands, parrot habitats and countless panoramic viewpoints including the French neighboring islands of Martinique to the south and Guadeloupe to the north. Hike Fest is the definitive way to embrace the exhilarating Atlantic breeze and be enchanted by the calming sound of the ocean, all the while exploring the natural wonders and hidden gems of the Nature Island of the Caribbean, Dominica.

Jazz ‘n Creole: Five Musical Days in May

Visitors indulge in an experience that is authentically Dominican by joining locals for Jazz ‘n Creole from Wednesday, May 15, to Sunday, May 19. The festival culminates with a daylong mainstage event that includes a fusion of jazz and creole music, scrumptious food and a celebration of local culture. This rhythmic event is held at Historic Fort Shirley, Cabrits National Park in Portsmouth. Built in the 18th century to protect Dominica from invasion by the British and French, Fort Shirley is one of the most impressive military installations in the West Indies.

This fun-filled, family friendly event is set to a homegrown musical masterpiece with festival goers being serenaded by the uniquely Dominican combination of jazz and creole.

Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-EEK-a, and not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is a haven for adventure travelers seeking a unique vacation that includes: hiking and adventure, cultural events/festivals, diving and water sports, whale/dolphin watching and canyoning adventures. Dominica lies south of Guadeloupe and north of Martinique in the Eastern Caribbean. Air travelers can connect to Dominica on American Eagle, BVI Airways, LIAT or Seaborne Airlines (beginning April 2013) from the surrounding hubs of Puerto Rico, Antigua, British Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, Barbados and St. Lucia.

Learn more about Dominica and the many exciting activities on the Nature Island by visiting, contacting a travel professional or calling Discover Dominica Authority toll-free from the U.S. and Canada at 1-866-522-4057.

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