innisfree garden

The Hudson Valley is my adopted home. I didn’t grow up here, or even in New York for that matter. But this is where we’ve ended up and where we’ve chosen to raise our family. It’s a pretty great place, and one of the things that makes it cool is all the hidden treasures. There are so many beautiful places to visit that are just slightly off the beaten path, but still so close to home. Innisfree Garden in Millbrook is one of those places. This morning I went with Noah’s nursery school class on a field trip to this beautiful nature sanctuary. (Which, I feel compelled to note, is not at all stroller-friendly, just so you know). The difficult maneuvering aside, this is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic snack and spend a quiet morning or afternoon. I thought you’d enjoy a virtual tour!

After you park your car, you’ll see this sign on the path. It tells you a bit about the garden and explains the restrictions:

innisfree garden

You walk down the path and soon see Tyrrel Lake. According to information on the Innisfree Garden Web site, “Innisfree embraces the Eastern design concept of asymmetric balance that combines rhythm, pattern, space and form in a harmony independent of formal symmetry. In Western gardens little is hidden. The garden, like a stage set, is there in its entirety; its overall design revealed at a glance. The traditional Eastern garden hides this complete view. Visitors walk into a series of episodes or pictures and can enter the sequence of pictures wherever they choose.”

innisfree garden

Rock formations are everywhere! There are also caves, waterfalls, and naturally occurring hiding places.

innisfree garden

innisfree garden

innisfree garden

innisfree garden

There’s a lot of walking to do (or you might have poison ivy all over your feet and ankles*), so you might feel the need to take a break. No problem! There are sets of chairs set up for you to take a rest and enjoy the view:

innisfree garden

I loved the neat little cubbies. If we were by ourselves I’d have allowed Noah to peek inside:

innisfree garden
innisfree garden

And of course there are the flowers. I didn’t get to take photos of everything I wanted to, which just means I have to go back. But I was able to snap two. The waterlilies are especially gorgeous. There are white, pink, and yellow ones.

innisfree garden

innisfree garden

Children will enjoy the wildlife. We saw a few turtles, some fish, a centipede, and I think a chipmunk was spotted, as well. It really is a wonderful place. If you find yourself in the area, please don’t miss it! It’s an affordable and breathtaking outing.

* Just an update: Yes, its poison ivy all over my feet (and thighs now), not chigger bites like I originally thought. It’s irritating to be sure, but it could be so much worse. At least I can hide it with socks :-)

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1 Comment

  1. That looks like a gorgeous place. Might have to make a road trip there sometime this summer. Isn’t there also a winery nearby? I have some weird rash on my ankles. I don’t know what it is, but it itches like heck!!!

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