Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center
Box 249
Route 9D
Garrison, NY 10524
(845) 424-3812

Places Nearby:
Boscobel Restoration
Stony Point Battlefield
Van Cortlandt Manor
Foundy School Museum
More in:

Other States:

The cold, debris-strewn landscape had been torn by 150 years of logging and quarrying when Russel Wright arrived in 1942. He envisioned a place of touching beauty where nature and the creations of man would coexist in harmony. Over the next three decades, Wright worked the magic he had become famous for, and a veritable wasteland gave way to running waters, woodland paths and flowering, open spaces and became this region's solitary superb example of ecological design. He called it Manitoga.

The name is Algonquin for Place of the Great Spirit. And that it is, all 80 acres of peaceful, wild, and designed landscape. Those who visit must dream of living in a place like Manitoga. Dragon Rock, Wright's home, has been incorporated into the grand design with such harmony, it almost seems to have been there forever. In fact, the main support for the house is a living cedar tree over 100 years old. Dragon Rock is open for tour only by reservation. See Manitoga's official site for additional details.

This is a great place to explore and discover nature as well as architecture and design. Four miles of paths wind through Manitoga's forest-garden, an ideal system for hikers of all expertise. For serious hikers, there is even a connection to the Appalachian Trail. Bird watchers, photographers, and lovers of nature will love Manitoga and the beauty it offers.

Manitoga is also a place for education. Individuals and families can join the membership and participate in an ongoing schedule of events, classes, and special programs.

School Groups from pre-K to grade 8 can partake in programs tailored to meet the needs of a curriculum. A few examples include:

  • Orienteering (grades 4-8): learn to use a compass, triangulation, finding directions without a compass, and other techniques for feeling comfortable in the outdoors.
  • Tracking (grades 3-6): emphasizes learning to unravel the story rather than identifying specific tracks. Exercises include tracking a partner and telling his story.
  • Making Sense of Nature (pre-K-3): children use the outdoors to sharpen their senses.

Manitoga Experiences are comprehensive, multi-part programs consisting of pre- and post-trip visits to the classroom by a Manitoga Naturalist. Other great programs complete a wonderful lineup that families and children will love and benefit from. Most programs take 2 to 3 hours. Pre-K and K programs are 90 minutes long.

Groups should have a minimum of 10 and maximum of 40 people.

In addition to group and family programs, Manitoga offers an educational summer camp program. Call for details, or visit the official website.

Hours: Grounds are open to the general public for self-guided hiking daily, during daylight hours.

House and Landscape Tours offered May through October on selected weekdays at 11am and on Saturday and Sunday at 11am and 1:30pm. Advance reservations are required for all tours.

Hiking Trails only
Per Person: $5.00
House & Landscape Guided Tours
Adults $20.00
Seniors (62+) $15.00
Students $15.00
Children 12 and under $10.00
Members FREE
Call to confirm prices and make reservations. Tickets may be purchased online via the official website, linked above.
Minimum group fee $150.00
Group Reservations: At least 8 weeks in advance.
Lunch: Picnic area available.
Handicapped Access: Limited. Call for details.
Directions: Route 9 north Palisades Parkway north to the Bear Mountain Bridge. Immediately on east side of bridge turn onto Rt. 9D North. Proceed 2½ miles to Manitoga on right. 1 hour, 15 minutes north of the George Washington Bridge.

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.