Few natural environments are as beautiful as that of the Hudson Valley. People travel from far and wide to see our glorious autumn foliage. Like many things in life, because it is common for those of us who live here, we take it for granted. However, outdoor opportunities abound. We need only direction.
Following is a list of places I have guided many clients to over the years. They are divided into three groups, based upon difficulty. Nature is accessible for us all, at any ability, and our lives and health are enhanced by our participation in it. The sections are chosen by 3 venues: elevated or mountainous views (harder), forested rambles (average difficulty) or open expansive views (easier). Everything listed is within approximately 30 minutes of Millbrook.
1) Institute for Ecological Studies (IES) Millbrook, NY.: Many trails throughout the property. Loops off Fowler Road that are open, flat, accessible and amazingly quiet.
When the MillbrookTrainingCenter’s original creator, Joe Parrinello, took back the reins of the facility last year after a fiercely contested battle and an agreed five-year absence from the scene, we at TMI suggested doing an article about his plans for the future. He declined, explaining that he needed time to decide whether the center was viable and promising to talk to us when his ideas were more concrete. We ran only a short piece about the change of ownership, and this week I sat down with him to get an understanding of what changes he has made and how he plans to further develop theTrainingCenter.
Parrinello was the original personal trainer in Millbrook. He began going to people’s houses to help them train at a time when “it was thought to be an activity reserved forHollywoodmovie stars.” Thirty years ago he opened his first facility in the old firehouse onReservoir Drive. “Today, almost everyone knows they need physical exercise. We no longer have to convince them,” Parrinello says. “We just have to help them find a program they can stick to.”
After a five year absence Joe Parinello is back at the Millbrook Training Center. After resuming ownership he has completely restructured the facility because, “I felt the property and the fitness business was a reliable entity.”
Immediately upon returning he sent out a survey to the membership asking what they most liked and disliked about the place. Because the major complaint was the way it was maintained, Parinello has focused on raising the standard by improving the cleanliness and making repairs and renovations. Work is continuing but the place is now spotless and all the equipment is working flawlessly.