John Burroughs

John Burroughs was the seventh of ten children born to Chauncy and Amy Kelly Burroughs, born on April 3rd, 1837 in Roxbury, New York on the family's dairy farm near the Catskill Mountains. He was an avid observer of nature as a boy, often exploring Old Clump Mountain where he would sit and study the ways of nature around him. This passion for nature carried with him into his adult life. During his studies at Cooperstown Seminary, he developed an enthusiasm for the work of William Wordsworth and Ralph Waldo Emerson. In his essay, "Expression", published in the Atlantic Monthly, editor James Russell Lowell thought at first his piece had been plagiarized it so closely resembled Emerson's work.

In 1863, at age 26, he met Walt Whitman while working as a clerk at the Currency Bureau of the Treasury Department. At the time, Whitman was 18 years his senior. Their friendship bloomed and they began to create work together. Burroughs taught Whitman the ways in appreciating and observing nature, in turn, Whitman encouraged his writing and publishing of those writings. Burroughs' second book, Wake-Robin, was titled by Whitman and written after he developed an interest in birds.

To date there are 27 books filled with Burroughs' essays celebrated by millions of readers; His essay, "The Heart of the Southern Catskills" tells of his climb up Slide Mountain, the highest Catskill peak, and his summer home, Woodchuck Lodge has been named a national Historic Landmark. John Burroughs died March 29th, 1921 and was buried at the Burroughs Memorial Field a mile from the farmstead where he was raised.


Explore the Kaaterskill Clove Experience and create your own self-guided tour or choose from one of four itinerary options.
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Follow the Kaaterskill Clove Experience where you’ll find information about each attraction as well as other things to do along the way.
About the Experience
Learn more about the writers, naturalists, artists and others whose love for Greene County lives on through their works, as well as their choice of traveling to America’s First Vacationland.
Palenville The Hamlet
Hunter Foundation
Town of Hunter
Village of Tannersville
NY-NJ Trail Conference
Mountain Clove Scenic Byway
Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District
I Love NY
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Greene County Tourism
700 Rte 23B, Leeds, NY 12451
800-355-CATS | 518-943-3223
The Kaaterskill Clove Experience is comprised of several attractions, each require varying levels of physical exertion. Please follow all safety rules posted at each location and mentioned on this site.