Fall is here and that means hiking!
Here in Westchester, we enjoy an inordinate amount of beautiful parks and preserves. When the weather turns temperate, it’s time to suit you and your furbaby(ies) for new and improved adventures. Below we have a number of wonderful trails to explore this season.
1. Blue Mountain Reservation Loop is within the 1583 acre park of the same name which is located in Peekskill and is open daily from 8 am to Dusk. The length of the hike is about five miles and is considered easy to moderate in difficulty.
This is a dog friendly loop includes both sections in Mt. Spitzenberg and Blue Mountain. For those who are looking for additional adventures, this park allows for mountain biking and cross-country skiing in the winter and picnicking, fishing, archery and shooting as well as a playground for the young ones.
2. Bronx River Parkway Reservation which spans from Valhalla to Bronxville at just over 11 miles. The length of the hike is just less than ten miles and it is considered by most as fairly easy due to the linear nature of the park.
This park is one of the oldest in the Country (completed in 1925) and runs parallel to the Hudson River for much of its length. There are a number of interesting features throughout the park including a railroad underpass, numerous meadows and a 9/11 memorial.
3. Granite Knolls Easy Loop is located within the Granite Knolls Park in Yorktown. The length of the hike is about 3.5 miles and most consider it east in difficulty level.
This loop can take up to two hours to walk and passes many interesting boulders including a large glacier erratic known as the Giant Boulder. There is a still a small-scale quarry operation still in existence.
4. Ward Acres is located within the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River and there are numerous loops including those that cover Bear Rock, Civilian Conservation Corps, Dancing Rock, Indian Rock Shelter and Raven Rocks. Different walks have different lengths and difficulties but most are approximately five miles and considered easy to moderate.
This part is known as Westchester County’s largest park and includes a number of historic features. During your walk, you may see the Bear Rock Petroglyph (a Native American rock carving in the shape of a bear), an old stone foundation and a 1930’s camp from the Civilian Conservation Corps.
5. Hudson Highlands Gateway Loop is within the Hudson Highlands Gateway Park located in Cortlandt. This historic loop is just over four miles in length with some challenging sections but is considered of moderate difficulty overall.
Once home to a Revolutionary War lookout site, it is now more well known for it’s hiking, birding, fishing, showshoeing and cross-country skiing uses. There are a number of pretty views including Annsville Creek and the Hudson River. There are also numerous water sources including streams, cascades and a vernal pool for the furbabies to take a dip.