The Student News Site of Rhinebeck High School

A Dog’s View: Favorite Walks in Rhinebeck

February 10, 2022


Art by Lara Fusaro

My name is Kiki Dickens, and I love going on walks around Rhinebeck, woof woof! My family and I like to get out and enjoy the scenic Hudson Valley and all of its amazing walks.

I am a black and white brindle Boxer. My best friend Stella is a fawn boxer with a light brown color. I love to get out my energy and explore different locations around Rhinebeck. Some of my favorite things in life are sticks, dog treats, squeaky toys, and going on walks.

I went on a mission to find all of my favorite walks around Rhinebeck so that my family knows which walks are my favorite. For my first dog walk location, I chose to go to Mills Mansion.

The drive towards the Mansion features an expansive view of the Dinsmore Golf Course and the view from the trail has views of the Hudson River.

After getting out of the car at Mills Mansion, the trail starts down a hill to a view of the river. My favorite part of the walk at Mills Mansion is the river and going to play in the sand. I love to pull towards the water and wade into the river up to my tummy. Once my family and I get down to the sand, I will always find a stick and play fetch. I also like to dig in the sand and sniff all around. High tide hides my secret beach and I can’t play in the sand. I do not recommend taking your doggy friends to the beach when it is high tide.

Mills Mansion is a great long walk that keeps me occupied for a long time. My doggy friend Stella also likes Mills Mansion because most of the walk is paved and fairly flat, and she does not have as much energy as I do.

The Vanderbilt mansion in Hyde Park also has an area where I can go down to the river and play. I like to go down to the river from the trail and drink from the running water.The leaves that flow in the current rush past my face as I try to drink from the water. The cold water gets everywhere as I frantically try to lick it up over and over again with my huge tongue. The area is called Bard Rock and the water there flows fast because of a waterfall. Drinking water at Vanderbilt Mansion is so different from my still water at home. My friend Stella also likes to drink from the fast flowing waterfall.

The drive to Vanderbilt Mansion is longer than many other dog walks that I like to go to, but once I stick my head out of the window, the time flies by like the wind on my face. Every different walk has a different array of smells, and once the car stops in the parking lot, the excitement bubbles up. My sense of smell is legendary; us dogs have 300 million scent receptors whereas humans have only 5 million. This sense of smell helps me enjoy walking through nature more than humans because of the heightened smells that I experience.

I sometimes run out of the car off leash because I’m too excited to go on my walk. My family has to run after me and chase me down to get me back on leash. Stella told me after I ran out of the car that I shouldn’t do that again. Stella is so smart. When I went to visit the Vanderbilt Mansion I was registered as a B.A.R.K. ranger. Stella and I had our picture taken to go on Instagram as new B.A.R.K.rangers. B.A.R.K. stands for Bag your pet’s waste, Always leash your pet, Respect wildlife, and Know where you can go. A park ranger gave us some great treats and we had a great time being petted by her. If you go inside the welcome center, then you can be registered too. Lots of dog owners walk their dogs at Vanderbilt Mansion.

I don’t like to interact with other dogs, but Stella likes to make new friends. Once finishing the trail through the woods, there is another opportunity for me to dig by the river. I like to try and dig in the river but surprisingly it always fills back up with water. My family and I like to stay here for a long time and watch boats go by; once a boat goes by in the river huge waves come to the beach. There are flat rocks to skip into the water that I like to chase after. The trail back up to the parking lot is steep, and I sometimes get tired from all of my digging and water fun. Stella and I get very sandy from this walk, but it is one of my favorites.

Ferncliff Forest has lots of different smells that I like to investigate. Leaves and dirt have earthy smells that I love to stick my nose into. There are loads of chipmunks that are great to chase. Stella and I try our best to pull our owners and run after the chipmunks. The Ferncliff trail has no good places to dig, so if you are looking for a good place to dig this is not it.

The end of the Ferncliff trail features a historic fire tower to climb up. I have never gone up the fire tower because the stairs are too steep, and there is a memorial to a pup who fell from the tower. But Alejandra has told me that the view from up there is really great.

Stella likes Poet’s Walk because it is open and relatively flat. Stella and I can see the Kingston- Rhinecliff bridge and the river at Poet’s Walk, but there is nowhere to swim and play fetch in the water.

At the spot where you can see the Hudson and the bridge there is a wooden gazebo. I love to jump up onto the seats of the gazebo and play around with my family. Poet’s Walk is a great place to run races because it is not on a hill. Poet’s Walk is much better for running races than writing poetry.

I also like to visit Burger Hill from time to time. The walk to the top of the hill is very short and very steep. Once Stella and I reach the top, the view of the tiny houses and tiny people is really great. Usually people look down when they look at me because I am shorter than them but it is nice to feel on top of the world at Burger Hill. There are little benches to sit on that I like to jump and play on. In the winter my family and I like to go sledding at Burger Hill.

Studies have shown that 95.5% of dog owners see dogs as a part of their family. I know that my owners sure are my family. Walking with a dog like me can reduce stress and boost both my mood and the person walking me! I hope you bring your doggy friends to all my favorite walks around Rhinebeck to give us dogs some healthy exercise.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were places to dig and walk for dogs all over town? What’s your favorite place to swim and walk around nature in Rhinebeck?

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    Mark UmbachMar 7, 2022 at 4:12 pm

    Montgomery Place at Bard College