M+M: BEACON, NY
MEDITATIVE MEANDERING: BEACON, NY
Beacon is like a shining light near the end of the Hudson Valley Metro North line. It stretches from the river to Mount Beacon and has a long and detailed Main Street as well as a museum, the DIA:Beacon.
This magical place is about an hour and a half from the city. To fully appreciate all it has to offer, at least a few trips are necessary - or perhaps a weekend stay to really soak it in. I can recommend some excellent AirBnb places to stay for the night!
At first glance, when the train pulls in the station you may be disheartened by the large parking lot and taxi stand. Not to worry, you’ve got this! Both Main Street and the DIA are within 15-20 minutes walking distance, although in opposite directions. Depending on your mood you can flip a coin: cultural afternoon or exploratory wandering?
Since we’re focusing on meditative walks in nature I’ll take you with me to Main Street where we can grab some nibbles and water or tea if it’s chilly out. Follow the signs at the far edge of the parking lot and then when you reach the road, make a left. Keep going until you reach the police department parking lot. Hook a right and take the stairs up to the traffic light. Boom! You’re on Main Street. There’s a coffee shopimmediately on your right but if you want food, go a couple of blocks further and on the right is a great cafe and bakery. Get your fill and get ready because we’re going to go back towards the station for the trails by the river.
When you see the train station from the road, walk past it and in a bit you’ll see a footbridge & overpass that goes over the train tracks. Take that and walk across into a beautiful nature preserve. There’s a pier and dock where you can hang out for the view or take a left into the grassy trails to begin your adventure.
Take the grassy trail that winds along the river; if you look closely you’ll see breaks in the foliage. Be curious and get onto one of those paths...you’ll find yourself on the banks of the river. Scramble across some rocks and fallen logs to find yourself a nook to tuck into and be one with that space between the air, earth and water. Watch and listen. What do you hear? What do you see? What’s moving around you and what is still? There’s a dance that happens when we pause at the intersections of nature and become part of the whole.
The time I was there I was trying to figure out what these alien-looking pods were on the shore and floating in the river. Turns out that although the plants it produces are pretty, it’s an invasive species so don’t throw them back into the river! Anyway, in the midst of my curiosity I heard a large, low croak near me and I looked up thinking it was a frog. Nope! A majestic Great Blue Heron flew slowly, wings spread and alighted on a log a few feet away from me. What an entrance! This animal held a message for me and I look for it whenever I go north now.
Heading back to the main trail, if you continue along the direction of the train tracks you’ll eventually wind up next to a marsh which is formed partly by a giant peninsula. On the way there, you’ll pass by a long-forgotten nature center that is overgrown and crumbling with an amazing boiler/incinerator inside. Explore but mind your footsteps! (you didn’t hear this from me). Once you’re done poking around, take the trail to the peninsula to the trail that forks in two (it’s a loop). If you’re lucky, the right path will lead you to an ancient tree with old bricks grasped firmly in its trunk and roots - a true example of resiliency and determination!
Our surroundings have so much to teach us if we take a moment to stop, look, listen and feel! Please don’t forget to feel <3
**This is the last installment of the Meditative Meandering series (for now!). As the weather warms and my gypsy-mode kicks in again I’ll be creating more of these. I hope they bring you adventure, an open mind and feed your curiosity :)
Originally posted on Las Brujas de Yerbas