The old theme song was right: green acres is the place to be. You don’t have to move your kin down on the farm, but you can take your kids and have fun in the great outdoors without leaving the county.
There are more than 50 parks spanning 18,000 acres in Westchester. Check out one of these parks next time your family is in the mood to picnic, camp, swim, hike, bike, fish, or just get away from the Internet.
Cranberry Lake Preserve
A woody, hilly 190-acre preserve with a 10-acre lake, trails, and boardwalks, this preserve offers a number of programs and is great for nature lovers, hikers, and walkers. Also cool for cross-country skiing.
Croton Gorge offers amazing—and free vistas.
Water, water everywhere—well, sort of. This 97-acre partially wooded park not only features a wonderful view of the 102-year-old Croton Dam and spillway, but it’s a favorite county spot for picnickers, too. There’s also a ball field, a playground, and areas for fishing, cross-country skiing, hiking, walking, and sledding.
Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park
Think there’s no blue water in Westchester? You haven’t seen Mohansic Lake or Crom Pond, both within the sprawling Roosevelt State Park, conveniently located mid-county off the Taconic. Rent a rowboat or pedal boat, or fish for bass, perch, and sunfish. Have a picnic in one of the park’s huge picnic areas (some of which have volleyball nets, softball fields, and basketball courts), or check out the massive pool (which can hold 3,500 people). There are also many hills and trails for winter sports.
Graham Hills Park
This 431-acre park, close to the Taconic, the Sprain, and the Saw Mill, is a mountain-biker’s nirvana. There are lots of steep slopes, rock outcroppings, and trails, and it’s great for hiking, too.
Kingsland Point Park
Gorgeous views of the Hudson, large shade trees, ball fields, picnicking, fishing, hiking, walking, and more. A county park pass is required.
Forty luscious acres afford wonderful views of the Hudson and the Palisades and includes a turn-of-the-century carriage house, which is home to the Lenoir Nature Center, a Hawk Watch, and a bird-feeding station that lots of beautiful birds call home. Also a wonderful place for watching butterflies flutter by.
The 173-acre conservancy boasts fields, woods, and salt marsh, and is a rare bird-lover’s paradise. This is the best place to see rare birds, and the visitors’ center has a species checklist for budding bird watchers.
Mountain Lakes Park
Rent a canoe or a rowboat, hike, fish, or camp. Follow the trails or carriage roads through the woodland and around the lakes to Mount Bailey, the highest point in the county. Cross-country ski or ice-skate in the winter.
Tibbetts Brook Park
A large swath of gorgeous green amid the hustle and bustle of Westchester’s largest city? Absolutely. Everyone loves Tibbetts with its wide-open fields and paths and ponds, an oasis in the inner city. There’s not much that this park doesn’t offer, from swimming in a giant pool, to fishing, ice-skating, and more.
Ward Pound Ridge Reservation
Westchester’s largest park (4,315 acres) is nothing short of majestic. You can find a species list and a trail map at the park’s Trailside Nature Museum and enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer, including one of the best places to see butterflies in the tri-state area. There are also open-faced lean-tos and tent sites, so you can camp out under the stars.
1) Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center
1271 Hanover St, Yorktown Heights
2) Muscoot Farm
51 Rte 100, Katonah
3) Outhouse Orchards
130 Hardscrabble Rd, Croton Falls
4) Stone Barns Center For Food and Agriculture
630 Bedford Rd, Pocantico Hills
(914) 366 6200
5) Stuart’s Fruit Farm
62 Granite Springs Rd, Granite Springs