Hike & Write

Hike & Write


Participants will be guided on a hike to one of The Ashokan Center’s gorgeous historic sites, stopping at points along the way to free-write based on prompts and found objects. With journal in hand and the idyllic landscape as muse, we’ll allow our eyes, ears and minds to wander, and lead us to write.

Wednesday, September 4, 10 AM-12 PM: Cathedral Gorge

Hike through an old Eastern Hemlock forest along the Esopus creek and explore the natural and social history of the region. The trail passes by relics of the recent and prehistoric past including a 19th century water mill, over a 130-year-old covered bridge, past the site of Native American camps, and into a glacial gorge. The hike culminates in an 80-foot waterfall, the walls of which reveal rock layers millions of years old.

Thursday, September 5, 10 AM-12 PM: 19th Century Writer’s Cabin

Pack your journals! Sit around the wood stove and learn about the lives and works of the great Naturalist writers of the 19th Century and their victories in environmental protection. Thoreau, Muir, and local native John Burroughs sought refuge, peace, and inspiration that can only be found in a cabin in the woods.

Please note: Your festival pass must be purchased separately.

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Teaching Artist & Trail Guide


Alison Koffler-Wise

Alison Koffler’s poems often arise from where the human world and the wilderness intersect. She was the recipient of the Poetry Teacher of the Year Award from Poets’ House and McGraw-Hill in 2003, and the Green Heron Poetry Award in 2011. She is the 2016 winner of the Bronx Council on the Arts’ BRIO Award for poetry, having won it as well as in 1993, 2000, and 2006. Her poems have appeared in such publications as Iris: A Journal for Women, Heliotrope, and Home Planet News, and were included in the anthologies lifeblood: the woodstock poetry society anthology, Chickaree Press, 2011 and A Slant of Light: Contemporary Women Writers of the Hudson Valley, SUNY Press, 2013. A retired educator, she works part-time for the New York City Writing Project at Lehman College. Alison lives in the Bronx and Woodstock, NY with her husband, the poet Dayl Wise and their dog, Cole, and is the co-founder of Post Traumatic Press.