Martin Van Buren National Historic Site
We have been only visiting parks within the New England region for the last few years and it felt good to explore a park in New York, even if it was only 30 miles over the Massachusetts border.
The staff/rangers at Martin Van Buren National Historic Site were so welcoming and friendly. As soon as we stepped foot into the visitor center they offered us a private tour of the mansion, and how could we say no?
Martin Van Buren was our 8th president and after his term in office, he took up residence at his estate, Lindenwald in Kinderhook, NY. We loved all the little details we got during our tour which started in the dining room where the Parisian designed wallpaper is original to the house. The company who made the original wallpaper still exists and the pattern is still being manufactured, which allowed for some restoration work to match the design. Another fun fact about the house, was that the seemingly uninteresting piano sitting in a front room was no ordinary piano, but actually belonged to Winston Churchill's mother in her youth. Overall the house is in amazing condition and this is a testament to the hard work of the Parks Department and their incredible Rangers.
We had planned to take a little walk/hike and enjoy a picnic along the way. Unfortunately due to the heavy rains the week we visited, most of the trails on-site at the park were closed off. Instead we made the best of it and set up shop at a picnic table near the visitor center and enjoyed our lunch there before heading to check out some of the trails across the street.