2019, Day Hikes, Hudson Valley

Sat. July 13, 2019 – Summer Hike to Hook Mountain, Rockland Lake State Park (on the Long Path)

“Walking mindfully on the Earth can restore our peace and harmony, and it can restore Earth’s peace and harmony as well.  We are children of the Earth.  We rely on her for our happiness, and she relies on us also.  Whether the Earth is beautiful, fresh and green, or arid and parched depends on our way of walking.  When we practice walking meditation beautifully, we massage the Earth with our feet and plant seeds of joy and happiness with each step.  Our Mother will heal us, and we will heal her.” — Thich Nhat Hanh


Enjoy a summer day in the peaceful beauty of the Hudson Valley.  This guided, meditative hike takes the scenic route along the Long Path—into the Rockland Lake State Park and up Hook Mountain (698 ft). Enjoy expansive vistas only 1.5 hours outside of the city, and an extraordinary space designated by the New York Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area.

Take a walk into the woods to connect with nature and ourselves.  We’ll integrate sitting and walking nature meditation throughout the hike.  Some examples of practices may include the following, but actual practices will vary based on location and weather.

  • Sensory and Tactical Awareness
  • Non-Conceptual Awareness: Letting go of existing concepts and focus on direct experience
  • Expansive Awareness: Dissolving into the sky
  • Four Elements: Contemplating the elements of air, earth, water and fire
  • Tree Meditation

Most of the hike will be observed in silence.  John Muir said, “In every walk in Nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”  Silence is a critical ingredient for introspective and transformative experiences.  Turning our attention inward allows us to become receptive to both of our outer and inner experiences.  Allow your senses to come alive and watch your sense of separateness fall away in nature.  The dynamic outdoor conditions will be a perfect container for mindfulness practices.

The hike will be approximately from 10am – 3pm, with stops for meditation practices and an hour long lunch break.  It’s a relatively moderate hike, but there are sections where you need to go up and down, so hiking shoes and a pair of hiking poles will be handy.

Who: Lin Gordon

When: 8:15am-3pm, Saturday, July 13, 2019

Where: Rockland Lake State Park, South Entrance on Route 9W and Lake Road (parking lot #4). Valley Cottage, NY. (299 Lake Rd. Valley Cottage, NY, 10989). There is a picnic table under a big tree near the toll booth of the parking lot. 

Public Transportation: Coachusa.com (Weekend schedule)

From 42nd St., Port Authority: Leave on the 8:15 am bus going to Rockland Lake.  Gate 220.  You can buy tickets on the bus if you ran out of time to buy it at the ticket window.

From George Washington Bridge Terminal: Leave on the 8:40 bus going to Rockland Lake.

Destination: Rockland Lake (Lake Road and Route 9W) in Valley Cottage, NY

Please make sure that you leave ample time to get to the bus gate.  You can get ticket on the bus or from the window on the ground floor.

Arrival Time: Bus arrives approximately at 9:35 a.m.  After arriving, walk across the street (Route 9W) and walk into Rockland Lake State Park, South Entrance.  Keep walking along the path for 2 minutes, we’ll meet a picnic table right next to the park lot.  Restrooms will be available.

Return Trip: The bus runs hourly and arrives at pickup at approximately 25 minutes past each hour.  Bus station is right across where they drop off in the morning.

Drivers: Expect an $8 parking fee. Arrive by 9:45 a.m. and drive into the Rockland Lake State Park, South Entrance on Route 9W and Lake Road, Valley Cottage, NY. (299 Lake Rd. Valley Cottage, NY, 10989).  There is another parking lot about a mile further north on Route 9W (parking lot #2).  Please make sure you’re at parking lot #4.  South Entrance parking lot is an open space with a lots of picnic tables and a large building complex.

We aim to start the hike at 10am and will walk to the trailhead together from the parking lot.

Registration Fee: Sliding scale from $30 – $80.


No prior meditation experience needed.



  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • Comfortable athletic clothing (cottons are discouraged)
  • Hat
  • Jacket
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses