Art in the woods

Experience the beauty and peace of creating ephemeral art








1 day (4 miles)

Meeting location

175 Street Station, Manhattan, NY

The day trip combines two soothing, rejuvenating experiences: creating art and experiencing nature. It’s a sure-fire way to reduce stress and spark your creativity, guided by our Escape hiking guide and art therapy consultant, and you’ll make an ephemeral mandala, a mesmerizing practice that aligns us with the flow of the universe.

You will meet your group, your guide and the Escape art-therapist in Manhattan on the morning of your Escape and hit the road in the comfortable Escape Van to the Catskills, Upstate New-York.

To get started, we’ll mindfully walk along Mountain Top Arboretum trail, one of the most magical parts of New York State, where we’ll be surrounded by some of the area’s most stunning wildflowers, including white trilliums and happy trout lilies. Along the way, you’ll gather your favorite nature items (branches, pinecones, flowers, herbs…) and save them for our creative work later. We’ll stroll the walkways breathing pure mountain air, meandering around the woodlands until we reach the enchanting miniature village, with its tiny fairy houses built by artists and children. Then we’ll enter a dense forest, where it will feel refreshing to get into the woods, out of the sun, as the topography changes underneath our feet. We’ll hear the hoots of owls in the distance, and we’ll spot interesting animal tracks in the mud. A quiet stream feeds into a hidden marsh. Then we’ll follow a short boardwalk out of the forest and be plunged into daylight, by a sparkling pond.

Here we’ll stop for lunch and begin working with Lia, Escape’s phenomenal art therapist. In the midst of a magical landscape we’ll create stunning ephemeral mandalas using the items we gathered all along our hike. She’ll help us tap into our best selves, and we’ll be inspired by the incredible mountain views as well as our own strength and the beautiful energy of our small group.

We will finish this 4-mile loop by the end of the afternoon. Your Escape guide will drive you back to the city, and you will be home around 7pm, feeling renewed, relaxed, and overflowing with creativity.

What is an ephemeral mandala? Mandala, a Sanskrit word for circle, is a spiritual symbol that traditionally has been used to help focus attention and as an aid to meditation. This impermanent art is a meditation on really noticing and contemplating the plants, branches, and flowers as we choose and then arrange them on the ground into stunning shapes and textures. Mandalas become truly ephemeral in nature, because they change and degrade as they’re exposed to the natural outdoor elements. Ours may last only a few hours or a few days. We will take a picture and then the mandala is cast into the winds with a one-word intention or hope that you send out into the ether.

Perfect for: Every women who is interested in walking and creating ephemeral mandalas. You don't need to be an artist or an experienced hiker! This Escape is a 5-person adventure (3 clients/1 guide/1 art consultant).


  • Expert guide and art-therapist consultant
  • Transportation
  • Park permits
  • Art and creation supplies


  • Comfortable athletic clothing
  • Hiking boots or running shoes
  • Hat
  • Jacket
  • Sunscreen


  • Your lunch: we recommend a sandwich, fruits, chips
  • Plenty of snacks for yourself, like trail mix, energy bars, dry fruits
  • At least 2 liters of water in a sturdy water bottle such as a Nalgene
  • A backpack big enough to hold your water bottle and snacks
  • Weather-appropriate clothing
  • Any kind of Bug Spray
Is this Escape only for women?
Yes, Escape is a company dedicated to women and sisterhood in the outdoors. We need “girl’s moments”, because sometimes we want to get away from our husband, partner, children… We want to show ourselves and the world that ‘outdoors’ is not only a masculine word and we don’t need a man to guide us in the forest. We have our own way to enjoy being in the wilderness and it is just as good and valuable. Most of the hiking companies in NYC are for women and men, so we invite you to contact them if you are a man or if you want to share this amazing experience with both men and women.
I don’t have hiking experience can I book this Escape?
This is an easy 4-mile hike. We will walk slowly for 4 or 5 hours, and you will carry a backpack with your lunch and 2 liters of water. You don’t need to be an experienced hiker, but you need to be in good enough shape to carry a small backpack and walk up to 5 hours on gentle terrain.
I want to share this unforgettable experience with my girlfriends, can I make a group booking?
If you are a 4 person group you can book directly for the whole party on the website (4 spots) and you will get an immediate 15% off. If you are 2, 3 friends you will share the experience with other women and make new lifetime friendships.
I am coming just by myself, will I feel comfortable?
Yes, definitely! You will meet other women who come by themselves and enjoy the amazing Escape’s group dynamic and sisterhood.
What if I want to cancel my trip after I booked it?
Here is our cancellation policy: Refunds for the value can be given with at least forty (40) days notice. A full trip credit will be given for cancellations at least twenty-five (25) days from the date of departure. Trip credit will be given on a coupon code form to be used for your next Escape. No refunds or trip credits will be issued less than twenty-five (25) days before the departure. Weather conditions: light rain or merely a forecast of adverse weather will not affect the schedule. If a trip is rescheduled due to major weather conditions, we will notify you a minimum of twelve (12) hours before the trip. If your trip is canceled due to weather, trail, or river conditions, you will receive a full credit for a future trip, or you may transfer to the next available date for the event.

The All-Included Gear Option

Select the "all gear included" option and the following items will be waiting for you the day of departure:

tent, sleeping bag, backpack, headlamp, sleeping bag liner, inflatable sleeping pad, hiking poles, individual first aid kit, rain protection, camping pillow.

Thank you for your booking!

We will send you an email shortly with some follow-up questions to ensure that you have the best experience possible.