Walkable Westchester: A Walking Guide to Westchester County, NY

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9781880775882: Walkable Westchester: A Walking Guide to Westchester County, NY

The best guide to the Westchester outdoors just got even better. Walkable Westchester, an indispensible handbook to hiking, walking and exploring in Westchester County, has been issued in a second edition. It includes more than 600 miles of trails in over 200 parks, preserves and sanctuaries. Discover Westchester as you walk, hike, run, ride a horse, walk your dog, bike, cross country ski, or snowshoe.

This edition, at 448 pages, is bulging with new and updated information, including details on 26 new parks, 42 more miles of trails, and intriguing sidebars on history, lore and nature. There are plenty of new photographs, detailed maps as well as county locator maps and driving directions with GPS coordinates. Every park description has been updated and enhanced, all making for informative, yet delightful reading.

Walkable Westchester is the creation of Jane and Walt Daniels, Westchester residents who are long-time hikers, trail designers and builders, and open-space advocates. The original idea for the book came about when, unable to find a hiking guide exclusive to Westchester, they decided to create one. They thought the task would involve about 70 to 80 parks and about 200 to 250 miles of trail. Eight years later, they came out with the first edition and let readers in on a secret: there is a lot of open public space in Westchester and, no matter where you live, some of it is close by. That first edition included more than 180 parks and preserves and described just under 600 miles of trails. This new edition updates these spaces and adds even more detail and history as well as more than a score of new parks and available open space, some not included in the first edition and others brand new space.

The book covers a wide variety of walking, from level, paved pathways to narrow woodland trails. The environments range from salt-water wetlands to rock outcroppings. So for any kind of walking this book is the perfect companion, whether a suburban mom looking for a paved path or a veteran hiker out for a day-long trek. It's even fun reading on a treadmill. One doesn't have to walk them all, because the authors already have, several times; just let them be your guide so you can pick the best ones for yourself.

The book features:

  • Information on 200 parks, preserves, sanctuaries, and protected open space including 26 additional parks not in the previous edition.
  • Descriptions of over 600 miles of trails including 42 miles of new trails.
  • County-wide locator maps and detailed maps of all but the smallest parks.
  • History, science and local lore.
  • Great photographs to encourage you to visit.
  • Icons of activities permitted in each park.
  • Driving directions, GPS coordinates, and availability of public transportation.
  • Links to websites for additional information about the parks.
  • Park contact information.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference is a nonprofit organization that partners with parks and mobilizes thousands of hard-working volunteers who create, maintain, and protect approximately 1,800 miles of public trails in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region. The Trail Conference organizes volunteer service projects that keep these trails open, safe, and enjoyable for the public.

Support the trails you love by:
* Purchasing our trail maps or guidebooks
* Reporting trail problems on our website
* Learning skills through Trail University
* Volunteering with the Trail Conference
* Becoming a member of our organization (and joining the 10,000 individuals and 100 clubs that are already members)


In Walkable Weschester, Jane and Walt Daniels have given us four hundred pages of history, description, maps, and photographs of the places in Westhester County where you can walk, hike, roller skate, cycle, or ride on horseback. The locations are arranged by size and thus are also arranged according to the effort that you can put into an outing. The presentation is readable and thorough. The Daniels know Westchester in all of its details. They are responsible for many of the trails described in the book. I was pleasantly surprised to see that for the French Hill park, they have included the location of the monument, which sits next to the Taconic Parkway. It is shielded from the view of drivers by rocks and foliage. From the parkway, you can get a quick glimpse of it in the winter, but only if you know where to look. My favorite destination is the Giant Boulder inside Yorktown's Granite Knolls. I first (re)discovered this house-sized monolith while exploring the area with the Yorktown Open Space Committee. We saw a structure marked on our map and thought that we would find the foundations of an old barn. We were surprised. The Giant Boulder is shaped like a loaf of rye bread, with large crumbs cut from the heel and a six-foot wide slice more or less still in place. There are also the mysterious remains of what appear to be steps that go only part way up the side of the Boulder. You can go to see it for yourself. The book will tell you where it is. --Paul Moskowitz

I live in northern New Jersey, and have many wonderful hiking and walking opportunities near at hand. However, from time to time, I travel -- just back from a 2006 mile driving trip to Dry Tortugas and then north on I95 following the spring migration, for example. There's a great discount wine store in White Plains, and further north some fascinating hiking destinations. This fine book is a wonderful introduction to the many parks, large and small, in Westchester County. I've been able to hike eleven of the destinations that Jane and Walt Daniels describe so beautifully here. Some of them were in the previous edition of this excellent guide; together the two books make a very pretty addition to my hiking library shelves. The parks are arranged by size, and many trails are beautifully described. One would expect that: Jane and Walt are long time, major contributors to the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, both on working committees and more importantly in creating and maintaining trails, and teaching others to do so as well. Jane and Walt put on excellent book signings throughout Westchester County, in each case with an outstanding set of pictures and descriptions of some of the treasures here. I was lucky enough to attend the kickoff presentation for this edition in Ossining in April; it was a very informative experience, and the hiking on the Croton Reservoir path as well. (This book has an excellent description of that hiking opportunity, together with a very useful list of access and exit opportunities.) If you are in the neighborhood, you will find the book signings educational and you will meet two fine people, great friends of the outdoors and the pleasures that await you there. If you live in Westchester County, or are just passing through, this is a very useful guide to health, adventure, and pure joy of a beautiful area in the New York City metropolitan area. --Robert C. Ross

Westchester is filled with parks and in the northern part north of I287 many longer trails. G P S coordinates. This updated edition has 200 parks with more than 600 miles of trails.

The Trail Conference provides clickable descriptions of many hikes:

  • Hudson Highlands Gateway Park (Cortlandt, New York)
  • Saxon Woods Park Southern Loop
  • Teatown Lake Reservation
  • Pocantico Hills Loop Walk
  • Westmoreland Sanctuary Loop Hike
  • Westchester Wilderness Walk (Pound Ridge, New York)
  • Cranberry Lake Preserve in Westchester County
  • Ward Pound Ridge Southwest Loop to Leatherman's Cave
  • Southeast Loop at Ward Pound Ridge to Highest Point in the Park
  • Blue Mountain Reservation Loop
  • Old Croton Aqueduct from Ossining to Quaker Bridge
  • Old Croton Aqueduct from Tarrytown to Yonkers
  • Old Croton Aqueduct from Tarrytown to Ossining
  • Butler Memorial Sanctuary (Mt. Kisco, NY)
  • Sylvan Glen Nature Preserve
  • Rockwood Hall at Sleepy Hollow
  • Along the Cross River in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation
  • Westchester County Sanctuary Ramble
  • Along Long Island Sound in Marshlands Conservancy
  • Koegel Park via the North County Trailway
  • Hunter Brook Linear Park
  • Loop Hike to Fire Tower Site and Indian Rock Shelter from Michigan Road Parking Area
  • Rocks Trail at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation
  • Vernay Lake/Hidden Valley Loop
  • Mohegan Quarry Ramble at Sylvan Glen Park Preserve
  • Granite Knolls Easy Loop
  • Bronx River Pathway
  • Loop hike to CCC Camp Ruins, Indian Rock Shelter, Raven Rocks, Dancing Rock and Bear Rock at Ward Pound Ridge

One of my favorites is Loop Hike to Fire Tower Site and Indian Rock Shelter from Michigan Road Parking Area. This loop hike climbs to the highest point of this Westchester County park and passes an interesting rock shelter.

Time: 3 hours; Difficulty: Moderate; Length: 4 miles; Route Type: Circuit Dogs: Allowed on leash; Features: Views, Historic feature

Driving Directions: From the George Washington Bridge, proceed north on the Henry Hudson Parkway, which becomes the Saw Mill River Parkway. Take Exit 4 and continue on the Cross County Parkway, then bear left to follow the northbound Hutchinson River Parkway. In eight miles, bear left and continue on I-684. Take Exit 6 (Katonah/Cross River), which briefly joins the Saw Mill River Parkway, then exits to Route 35. Turn right and follow Route 35 east for 3.7 miles, then turn right onto Route 121 south. After crossing a bridge, immediately turn left into Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. Continue for 0.7 mile to the tollbooth (there is a parking fee on weekends, daily in summer). Make the next right onto Michigan Road and continue for 0.7 mile to a parking area on the right, just before a circle at the end of the road.

Description: Walk back to a junction where a parking sign points to the right. Turn right into a dirt parking area, follow it to its end, then continue along a wide path, passing a cedar tree on the right. At the end of the path, steeply descend the hillside. At the base of the descent, bear right and follow the FH blazes of the Fox Hill Trail (in the direction indicated by the sign To Junction Marker 9). The trail climbs, passing through gaps in several stone walls. Just below the high point, it bears left and begins to descend. As it parallels a stone wall at the edge of a field, there are north-facing views through the trees.

Check the Trail Conference website for any changes in the trail: nynjtc.org/hike/westchester-high-point-rock-shelter-stone-walls-and-more

--Ridgehurst Boy

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