With temperatures hovering in the twenties today we decided it was still warm enough for a small hike. We had read about the opening of the new Kinderhook Dutch Farming Heritage Trail connecting the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site with the 1737 Luykas Van Alen House so off we went to Columbia County.
Even though Lindenwalkd (Van Buren’s house) is closed for the season the parking area and grounds are open year round. Ten outdoor interpretive markers or “waysides” form a loop around the property. Learn about farming operations and the agrarian lifestyle of our 8th President and founder of the Democratic Party.
Afterwards make your way to a dirt road with a green sign that reads ‘residential traffic only.’ Follow that past two other romantic old 18th-century estates and skirt around a small house with several turkeys, chickens and a barking dog in the front yard. Walk Old Post Road just briefly then take a hard left overlooking the biodynamic Roxbury Farm.
Pets are not allowed and for good reason: electric fences, property owners with “beware of dog” signs and these beautiful Shetland ponies that need not be spooked by a barking bowser.
The 3-mile round-trip journey takes you past four centuries of Dutch Farming including the inspiration for Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow“; the Ichabod Crane School House.