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  • cindybynature

Westchester County Hikes and More!

Updated: Mar 16, 2020

There is no better time to take in some Vitamin N! Nature boosts the immune system, alleviates anxiety and gives us a sense of well-being. Get some fresh air and connect with the beautiful natural gems that Westchester County has to offer!

Here is a list of some of my favorite spots in Westchester County. Let me know if you have other favorites you'd like to share!

10 Westchester County Hikes

1. Sheldrake Environmental Center (Larchmont, NY) My home-base. Take a walk around the pond and see the returning migratory birds, turtles in the sun and many other gorgeous sites nestled here.

2. Westchester Land Trust (Westchester County, NY) Explore a new place! The WLT has so many gorgeous natural nooks just waiting for you to visit. They have 29 preserves in Westchester County. A couple of my favorites are Hemlock Brook Preserve and Otter Creek.

3. Rockefeller State Park (Pleasantville, NY) Gorgeous state park. Manicured and well developed. Roams past a beautiful pond and even borders a sheep meadow where you’ll see livestock relaxing on the hillside. You might even catch a glimpse of a horsedrawn carriage since they are permitted to travel the roads through the park.

4. Cranberry Lake Preserve – (West Harrison, NY) Gorgeous forest and lake. Trails can be a little confusing so good to bring the map.

5. Rye Marshlands Conservancy (Rye, NY) Has a 2.8 mile hike that starts in the forest and then heads into a meadow and eventually to the shoreline of the Long Island Sound. Lots of wildlife here including deer, turkeys, bird life and famous for horseshoe crab activity in the summer months.

6. Ward Pound Ridge (Pound Ridge, NY) Probably my favorite spot in Westchester. They have an art gallery, a nature museum, tons of trails and wildlife. One fun hike is the Leatherman’s Loop which leads to a cave that a man (The Leatherman) used to actually live in. You can also pop into Katonah (10 minutes away) for lunch at Pizza Station.

7. Leatherstocking Trail (Larchmont, NY) You can access this from several spots. My favorite entrance is off Rockland Avenue in Larchmont. You’ll see a lot of backyards on this trail, but it’s easy, close and has some varied terrain. I will say that there are sections which cross streets or wind through a neighborhood so also good to keep the map on hand.

8. Saxon Woods (White Plains, NY) Trails can be a bit confusing because there are a lot of offshoots that aren’t on the trail map. You’ll be hearing traffic and seeing backs of houses, but there is beautiful nature there too.

9. Mountain Lakes (North Salem, NY) Big property with lots of well-marked trails. Lots of deer here.

10. Other Westchester County Parks (Westchester Count, NY) All over the county as well!

11. Westmoreland Sanctuary (Mt. Kisco, NY) A reader suggested this addition and I'm so glad they did. 640 acres of gorgeous nature.

12. Hart's Brook Preserve (Hartsdale, NY) Also added by a reader. 135 acres that I can't wait to check out. Former home of Henry Gaisman, founder of Gillette. There is a stone building near the pond that was formerly a warming hut in the Winter.

Nature Centers

While these nature center buildings may be closed, the grounds are open for your enjoyment!

1. Greenburgh Nature Center (Scarsdale, NY) So many fun spots to explore on this property! Fairy gardens, farm animals, a longhouse, a pollinator meadow, a natural playground.

2. Rye Nature Center – (Rye, NY) Gorgeous trails with lots of activity with amphibians now as they come out to enjoy spring.

3. Muscoot Farms (Katonah, NY) The farm animals here will have your whole family smiling and it includes a lot of educational elements. There are some great trails around the property as well.

4. Wave Hill (Bronx, NY) Breathtaking beauty here as spring arrives! Take the woodland trail to view the Glory-Of-The-Snow which is a purple carpet of flowers in the forest. Gorgeous views of the Hudson and so many nooks to explore. Bring a blanket and a thermos with a warm drink to enjoy with the family.

5. Weinberg Nature Center (Scarsdale, NY) Sweet nature center with some fun things to explore on the property. Great access to Saxon Woods trails as well.

6. Teatown Lake Reservation (Ossining, NY)

Go for a Dam hike!

These hikes feature giant manmade structures that harness water for us to drink. Great hikes around both of these.

2. Kensico Dam Plaza (Valhalla, NY)

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