Plan For Summer: Take a Road Trip.


Thomas Hewitt, Reporter


(When going on a trip during the pandemic, it is very important to make plans on where you will be staying and follow social distancing guidelines. In New York you must wear a face mask and avoid being too close to people and being in large groups according to For some states you need proof of vaccination or a COVID test.)


There are many places to travel to in the New York area. I have been to some of them and I recommend visiting them sometime, these places include: The FDR estate, Ferncliff Forest and Burger Hill.


The FDR estate is a historic site that I took a school field trip to in Middle School. FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt) was the 32nd president between the years 1933 and 1945. The estate is in Hyde Park and it would take around 17 minutes to drive from Rhinebeck. This site is interesting because of the history behind it and the nice views.

Ferncliff Forest is a park in Rhinebeck, New York that is among the oldest preserved forests in the Hudson Valley. I have been there several times with my family on hiking trips and each time has been very fun. The drive from Rhinebeck is around 10 minutes long. One of the highlights in my opinion is the firetower at the end of some of the trails. If you climb up to the top of it you will get a very cool view of the forest.


Burger Hill is a park in Rhinebeck, New York that is used as an area for hiking and sledding in the winter. From Rhinebeck it takes about a 5 minute drive to get there. I have been to Burger Hill many times both in winter for sledding, and during the rest of the year for hiking. If you climb to the top of the hill you will get an amazing view of the Catskills Mountains and the surrounding forests. 


There are many other great places to travel to in the area that I have not personally been too before. Some of these places include: Vanderbilt, Peach Hill, Mount Beacon, Taconic Ridge and Onteora Lake. 


Vanderbilt is a historic house museum in Hyde Park, New York that is worth a visit from anyone interested in history, or just seeing an old time mansion. It takes 15 minutes to drive to Vanderbilt from Rhinebeck.


Peach Hill is a former apple orchard that is now a park with many trails to explore along. It would take around 24 minutes to drive there from Rhinebeck. Peach Hill is located in Poughkeepsie, New York.


Mount Beacon is a mountain used primarily for hiking that is located in the town of Fishkill, New York. From Rhinebeck it would be around an hour drive. Mount Beacon is the highest peak in the Hudson Highlands and has a firetower at the peak which provides a beautiful view of the surrounding areas.


Taconic Ridge is a state forest in Berlin, New York. From Rhinebeck it is about an hour and a half drive. It is a scenic hiking route with beautiful views of the nearby hills, forests and streams.


Onteora Lake is a lake near Kingston, New York it is about a 20 minute drive from Rhinebeck. It is mainly a hiking, camping and mountain biking location, it also has swimming, boating, fishing and ice skating during the proper seasons. It is a relatively flat area so it is good for relaxed nature hikes. 


There are even more great places to visit that I won’t go into detail about, but are still worth a visit if you are interested. These places include: 


Tivoli Bays, Stissing Mountain/Thompson Pond, Wilcox park, Norrie Point, Locust Grove, Wilderstein, Catskills, Sojourner Truth Park, Metacomet trail, Dutchess Rail Trail, Harlem Rail Trail, Kingston Point and Wallkill valley.


While local trips can be fun, sometimes you’ll want to experience somewhere completely different, which is hard to do locally. Although it can be time consuming, taking long road trips is a great way to see new places you won’t find at home.


Four people at RHS spoke to me about memorable trips they had taken, including: Mr. Lackaye, Mr. Welsch, Mrs Lengyel and Kaya Stafford. 


Mr. Lackaye: I spoke with Mr. Lackaye about long distance road trips since he travels cross country to New Orleans every summer. He said that normally the drive is around 20 hours and that seeing the landscape change around you as you drive further away is the most interesting part of the trip. While on the road, Mr Lackaye said that he normally doesn’t plan where he’ll stay or for how long, just deciding based on how interesting that place is to him. According to Mr. Lackaye, his favorite specific place he saw was Montana because of the big difference in landscape from what you can see anywhere else.


Mr. Welsh: “ During winter break in 2015, I spent three days in Northampton, MA.  What a great town!  Excellent shops, interesting architecture, and wonderful restaurants.  Smith College is right in town and boasts a truly fine museum of art.  A rail trail leads across the Connecticut River towards Amherst, MA.  I have biked this beautiful trail in summer several times.  Also, nearby Amherst has Emily Dickenson’s house and its own set of interesting shops and restaurants.  The entire area is well worth a visit.”


Mrs Lengyel 

“Every year we go to LBI (Long Beach Island) and stay at a family run motel right on the beach. It is only 2 hours and 15 minutes from our home… There are great restaurants, a beautiful beach and even an amusement park.  Surflight Theater,  which puts on live shows for both kids and adults, also has an “old fashioned” ice cream parlor. 

Another one of our favorite spots is Lake George. It is about 2 ½ hours by car, and it offers so much to do as well. If we didn’t camp, we got to a local hotel with free breakfast included, an indoor and outdoor pool, right next to Six Flags. Across from the hotel is a famous ice cream place, which also serves burgers/dogs, etc. For less than $3, you can get a HUGE ice cream cone, and that is a small sized per their menu.”


Kaiya Stafford:

Blue Ridge Parkway:


I went to the Blue Ridge Parkway with my mom and my younger brother.  There were different towns we stayed in and so much to do.  It’s in West Virginia, and it took about nine hours to get to Roanoke, Virginia.  So I took a lot of naps in the car.  I saw the beautiful mountains, and we would get out and hike.  There was a really cool waterfall. There was a huge rock at one place.. I think it was Blowing Rock… where George Washington had carved his name.  I would totally recommend this trip.