By Jenny Lee Fowler (Recycled from March 2013, Edition 1)
Photographed by Jackson Summers
My husband came with a lot of books. Some of them had belonged to his grandparents, and they were very old and very heavy with lots of gold along the spines. Within the boxes of books was a set of the complete works of John Burroughs. At the time, I had no idea who this man was or why I might want 23 volumes of his antique thoughts. And then I came across this small sign quoting him on a trail and fell a bit in love: “If I were to name the three most precious resources of life, I should say books, friends, and nature; and the greatest of these, at least the most constant and always at hand, is nature.”
The John Burroughs Sanctuary is 200 acres nestled along the Shaupeneak Ridge in West Park, NY (Ulster County). It offers four miles of easy to moderate trails. The namesake refers to our own local Thoreau. Burroughs, born two decades after Thoreau in 1937, was a prolific literary naturalist who contributed to the budding consciousness of the conservation movement. The park is home to his rustic writing retreat, Slabsides, which is somewhat larger than the cabin at Walden Pond, somewhat farther from its own neighboring pond and somewhat less harassed by pilgrims.
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