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Favorite Places to Hike in Northern Westchester

Posted by Peter Giner on Thursday, April 8th, 2021 at 11:54am.

 

SPRING IS FINALLY HERE!. Many are coming out of their homes and heading outside to enjoy the warm and sunny weather. We are so fortunate to live in a beautiful area that affords us many places to get active in nature. Here we have listed some of our favorite places to grab some fresh air and enjoy the beauty in our area.

Turkey Mountain - Yorktown

The 125 acre preserve is owned and maintained by the Town of Yorktown. There are a few trails but our favorite is the roughly 2 mile loop that offers summit views of the Croton Reservoir and dam; the Hudson River; the New York City skyline to the south; Bear Mountain, across the Hudson; the Hudson Highlands; and on a clear day, the ridge of the Shawangunks. This is a busy and popular trail so best to go at off hours or during the week when less people are hiking. 

Rockefeller State Park - Pleasantville/Tarrytown

Rockefeller State Park Preserve is approximately thirty miles north of New York City. The property is the former country estates of John D. Rockefeller family and William Rockefeller. The family has donated over 1771 acres to the State of New York which now manages it.  The Preserve is open to the public year-round, sunrise to sunset. It does cost $6 to get into the park but once you do you could literally spend an entire day there walking to old crushed stone carriage roads that were laid out by John D. Rockefeller Sr. and Jr. The trails are very wide which is great for social distancing. Our favorite trail is the Eagle Hill trail which gives you views of the Hudson and city on a clear day.  

Mianus River Gorge - Bedford

In 1964, the federal government designated the Mianus River Gorge as the nation’s first registered Natural History Landmark because of its old-growth hemlock hardwood forest and rushing river. This trail is open seasonally from April 1st to November. It is a roughly 4 mile trail that follows along the Mianus River through Hobby Hill Quarry and Havermeyer Falls. The lush tree coverage offers a cool and refreshing place to walk to get out of the heat of the sun in the summertime.  

Mountain Lakes Park - North Salem 

This 1,082-acre park is Westchester’s northernmost county park. It has some maintained carriage trails but also some narrow foot trails that are on a rugged landscape. The park has five lakes which are great for fishing and an easily accessible overlook, which makes for hiking destinations. This park also has the highest natural point in all of Westchester - though given the trees there isn’t much of a view from this point. 

Ward Pound Ridge Reservation - Pound Ridge

This 4000+ acre park has over 43 miles of trails. It is the county’s largest park and we think one of the most beautiful - defiantly worth the $10 entrance fee. There is everything from wooded trails, river walks with covered bridges, open grassy fields, and hikes with amazing views. Our favorite hike starts at the end of Michigan Road and starts off on the red/green trail and heads up to the Leathermen’s Overlook where you can see awesome views of the reservoir and beyond. On the way down don’t forget to check out the old Leatherman’s Cave! 

Baxter Preserve - North Salem

For an easy, low key walk we love to go to the Baxter Preserve in North Salem. This is a 114 area preserve that is maintained by the North Salem Open Land Foundation. The trails are fairly flat and wide. At the heart of the preserve is a large 8 acre pond surrounded by the remains of the Racetrack that was used in the 1950’s for the Point to Point horse races that were held there. 

We hope you and you family will check out and enjoy some of these hikes! For trail maps and additional hikes within these parks and preserves we recommend checking out AllTrails.com. Happy Hiking

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