John Burroughs walked this path many times over his lifetime. Located on the side of “Old Clump” mountain in the rural Catskills town of Roxbury, the path leads to a large stone landmark. “Boyhood Rock” as he later referred to it, was Burroughs private sanctuary where he could escape from farm chores and sit quietly studying his natural surroundings.
Burroughs would later write of his observations, and through his essays, poetry and lectures, gained fame as one of America’s leading literary naturalists. He traveled widely throughout his life, but frequently returned to his beloved boyhood home in the Catskills. In 1921 at the age of 84, Burroughs died, and as he wished, was buried next to his boyhood rock.
Today the area is designated a state historic site, where the natural surroundings and breath-taking views are virtually unchanged from when Burroughs first visited as a young boy.
Throughout his life Burroughs never tired of walking this path, for as he once wrote: “To learn something new, take the path that you took yesterday” — profound advice, and especially fitting for this destination on New York’s Path Through History.
Photos Courtesy of:
Delaware County Historical Association
Library of Congress