Built in 1996, this rustic gazebo looks like it belongs on an Adirondack mountain top rather than in the mid-Hudson Valley. Located atop a hill on 120 acres of Scenic Hudson parkland, the Overlook Pavilion (as it is called) is fashioned out of roughly hewn cedar logs and branches. Its steep pitched roof and web-like design are sure to grab your attention as you emerge from the wooded paths that wind through the preserve, but it is the sweeping views of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains that really draw people here. The benches inside provide the perfect resting place to stop and experience the panorama; some sightseers enjoy bringing a book, journal, or sketchpad for a longer stay. Either way, the site is sure to inspire a deep connection to nature.
Hired in 1849 by members of the Astor and Delano families (who owned the adjacent estates), German-born landscape architect Hans Jacob Ehlers was the visionary behind the park. His design highlighted the area’s wooded vistas, sunlit fields, thick forests, and rolling meadows. By constructing stands of foliage and stone walls, he sought to create “outdoor rooms,” each of which provides visitors with a quiet place to relax, reflect, and enjoy the breathtaking views. Famous literary figures, including Washington Irving, reportedly strolled these grounds, prompting Ehlers to give the park its current name. (Legend has it that Irving came up with the character of Rip Van Winkle during a visit.)
Bird-watchers, hikers, picnickers, even cross-country skiers and snowshoers make use of the park, which is open year-round. Surrounded by nearly 800 acres of private conservation land, this spot is sure to remain a gem of the Valley for years to come.
Do you know the name of the wooded wonderland in which this gazebo stands? Send us your answer as a comment in the box below. The first reader with the correct response wins a prize. Good luck!