Van Slyke Castle

One of the things I’ve really come to love about living on the East Coast (yes, there might actually be more than one, although I’m not sure of that) is the presence of history, thick history, everywhere. The buildings are old, the roads are old – and best of all, there are ruins to be found, all over the place. I love it. I love it when we’re out hiking and come across surprise ruins – but there’s a lot to be said for the ones we go seeking, as well.

There happened to be a day recently when we rented a car to take care of some errands. And since those errands were only going to take a couple of hours, we decided to drive somewhere we would never normally be able to go. After a little research, and based mostly on this link, we decided to go to Ramapo Park where we could explore Van Slyke Castle.

It was so worth it.

The first part of the trail we took to the ruins. the Indian Head Trail, was built by a (possibly very crazy) man named Joseph “Ace” Tachine. Which I wouldn’t have known, except for the fact that his name was all over the place.



And why was the trail so named?



Tons of those. All over.

The trail got less crazy, though, and after an easy meander along a long, narrow, glacially-formed lake, we headed up a tiny mountain for the ruins. And up. And up.



It was excellent.



And while there is no part of me that is actually capable of imagining what life in this house must have been like, I’m glad that someone one hundred years ago decided to be a crazy rich person and built the house of their dreams.




Filed under hiking, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Van Slyke Castle

  1. I don’t have anything particularly interesting to say, because I am basically braindead after today, but that castle? I never want to live in a castle or anything, but still, how cool.

    Also, hi.

    • Hi! I feel like their use of the word “castle” might have been a little bit… um… pretentious, maybe? I would have gone with “mansion.” Not that I want to live in one of those either – the heating bills would be staggering.

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