Biltmore Estate – My Secret Walk Part 4

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America’s foremost landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted created America’s first managed forests that surround the Biltmore Estate. Good old “Freddie” was quite the Renaissance man. When he was not designing landscapes, he was an American journalist, social critic, and public administrator. He is also well known for designing Central Park in New York City. From what I understand, the land that surrounded the Biltmore Estate was barren. Rolling hills but very few trees. All that changed when thousands of trees were brought onsite and planted, under the direction of Olmsted. Over the years the trees and foliage have settled in, creating the beauty and elegance surrounding the Estate. If you visit in the spring, it will be even more enchanting. It’s hard to stand anywhere without getting a cherry blossom in your photo.

You’ll see this scenery from the balcony of the Estate and from the bus window as it takes you up to the Estate. But the best way to see this view is on the Photo Girl Secret Walk. In my last blog highlighting this walk, we were following the path along the river which bends and curves, protected by huge trees that extend their branches out over the water’s edge. After a bit you’ll see a large pond with plump ducks resting on the water’s edge. Most could do with a little cardio via a strenuous paddle around the pond, but instead they seemed to be content, dozing the day away. (I even ran at a few of them and couldn’t get them to move.)

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Once you pass the pond, the trail becomes a narrow path that takes you through ancient gates held up by sturdy vines loaded with flowers. Then everything opens up and you can see the Estate in front of you! I’ll include these images in my next blog. Yet again, work beacons.

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Sleepy Hollow Ghosts (Part 2)

We’re off to Sleep Hollow! Filled with mansions and ghosts this is the perfect place to visit during the month of October. In this blog we’ll walk under a star-lite sky and view over 5000 hand carved lighted pumpkins placed on the grounds of a historic, 18th-century riverside mansion. Next, we’ll stroll along the carriage pathways on a lantern lite tour at the Sleepy Hollow cemetery…Visit a church with a candle lite path and look through the glass that is century’s old, out onto the old burial grounds with tomb stones dating back to the 1500 and 1600s. We’ll walk along a wooded trail, back in time, to the 1750s and tour an old manor and gristmill. Finally, we’ll travel to the top of a hilltop and tour one of the most incredible estates which was home to four generations of Rockefellers, exploring the rooms in a six story stone mansion along with a tour of the incredible grounds. If you’re ready…then let’s go!

Continue reading “Sleepy Hollow Ghosts (Part 2)”