Walkable Westchester author Jane Daniels gives us a rundown of trails you won’t want to miss, even in cold weather.
In winter if you are aching for some outdoor activity, consider a visit to one of these parks. Since there are no leaves on the trees, you see things you would not otherwise. Consider it an opportunity to view nature’s art work.
Angle Fly Preserve, Katonah
You can’t see everything at Angle Fly Preserve in one day, so visit several times. This beech tree has five trunks, knobby knees, and funny feet. Find it on the white trail near the old mansion.
Directions: Take I-684 to Exit 6 (Route 35) and go west to Route 100. Turn right and go 0.6 mile and turn left onto Route 139 (Primrose Street). Go 1.0 mile to the main entrance to the left. Parking is at the end of the entrance road.
Cranberry Lake Preserve, White Plains
Stone walls throughout the preserve attest to Cranberry Lake Preserve’s agricultural past. The former quarry operations dominate the eastern areas. The stone to build the massive Valhalla Dam was quarried here.
Directions: From the Bronx River Parkway at the Kensico Dam in Valhalla, take Route 22 north. Make the frst right turn onto Old Orchard Street and again the first right to enter the preserve.
Sylvan Glen Park Preserve, Mohegan Lake
Consider a visit to Sylvan Glen Park Preserve an opportunity to have a better view of the ruins at the Mohegan Quarry. The honey-colored granite quarried here was used to build the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine and the abutments to the George Washington Bridge.
Directions to the Morris Lane entrance: From the Taconic State Parkway, take the Route 202 Exit and turn west. Go 1.8 miles to the traffic light at Lexington Avenue and turn right. Drive 0.6 mile uphill to Morris Lane. Turn right and go 0.2 mile to a parking lot directly ahead at the bottom of the hill.
South County Trailway, Yonkers
Trains run on tracks at a relatively level grade which is often achieved by cutting through rocks. A walk on most of the South County Trailway—outside of the more developed areas— provides a glimpse at the rock cuts.
Directions to visit this section in Yonkers: From Central Park Avenue in Yonkers, exit at Palmer Road and travel west to Mile Square Road (traffic light); turn left. Proceed south on Mile Square Road to Cook Avenue. Turn right and drive south to the entrance to Redmond Park to the right. Turn right into the park and proceed to the parking lot. A paved ramp leads up to the trail at the far end of the parking lot.
Oscawana Park, Croton-on-Hudson
Visiting ruins such as Oscawana Park makes you ask questions–why was this place abandoned? Who lived here? The park was the former McAndrews Estate with old buildings, a former riding ring, and a building that looks like a 1950s comfort station.
Directions: Take Route 9 to the Route 9A Montrose/Buchanan Exit and turn south onto Route 9A. Turn right onto Furnace Dock Road (west), across from a shopping center. Follow it toward the river and turn to parallel it. A parking area is to the left, 1.1 miles beyond the turn.
Which trail is closest to you? Check out the map below.
For more trail tips, check out Jane Daniels’ book, Walkable Westchester, which she co-wrote with her husband Walt Daniels. The second edition of the book—released in 2014—features information on 200 parks with more than 600 miles of trails.