Our lives have dramatically changed in the past two weeks. While it’s so important to stay home at this time, it’s also challenging to take on the new role of being a teacher while also juggling work and trying to create some sort of normalcy in our kids’ lives. While there will be many ups and downs as we all figure out this new normal, there are several ways to maintain social distance while also getting fresh and enjoying nature by walking, biking, or hiking at one of the many trails in the area. While many of the playgrounds are closed, the trails are still open which is a great way to explore, get some exercise, and help to break up the monotony of being home. Below, we are sharing some of our favorite hikes and walks in Westchester and Connecticut that you and your family can explore while also practicing social distancing.
Play from home via Westchester Libraries! Coronavirus & Westchester Libraries: Helping Families Learn and Play From Home
Ward Pound Ridge: Located in Pound Ridge, Ward Pound Ridge is a spacious park that offers nine trails for hikers of all abilities. There are numerous trail makers for families, including a 2.6-mile option to the adventurous 9.9-mile option. Many of the hikes are flat and offer points to rest by water. The site also has a museum, playground (located on one of the trail makers) and various seated areas for a picnic. Location: Reservation Rd, Pound Ridge, NY
Zofnass Family Trail: The largest of the Westchester Land Trust’s preserves, the Zofnass Family Trail, also located in Pound Ridge, encompasses 150 acres of rocky hills, flat surfaces, and muddy trails. During our visit, we took a simple one-mile trail that was an adventure that included a mixture of levels–including rock hopping, mud and finding animal skeletons! This trail is also home to reptiles and amphibians that you will likely see along the way. Location: 258 Upper Shad Rd, Pound Ridge, NY
Farringtons Woods Trail: Situated on the Connecticut/Westchester border, this 10.9-mile trail is broken up into multiple trails. This includes spots that are flat as well as trails that can take you along the water or at steep points of elevation that make for some amazing views. Farringtons Woods Trail is also open to mountain bikers, motorcyclists and bikers that can make it a bit more challenging (space-wise) during some parts of the hike. Location: New York CT/Border. Start in Danbury, CT or Brewster, NY.
Teatown: A 1,000-acre nature preserve, Teatown is a fun place for families to explore, stroll, and hike. They have 15 miles of trails where you can soak in the natural terrain and encourage your kids to become jr. explorers. Their maps also break down the easier trails (.9 miles) to the more strenuous ones (6.5 miles), based on your ability. Location: 1600 Spring Valley Rd, Ossining, NY
Muscoot Farm: While all of their indoor and outdoor programming is canceled, you can still enjoy the trails and on-site farm. Their trail loops offer one to four-mile options, including views of the New Croton Reservoir. Location: 51 NY-100, Katonah, NY
Kitchawan Preserve: A stunning hike, the Kitchawan Preserve includes a hike along the reservoir and the North County Trailway. The hike is pretty steady with ample places to stop along the way. Location: 712 Kitchawan Rd, Ossining, NY
Cranberry Lake Preserve: A 190-acre park, the Cranberry Lake Preserve covers numerous trails from one-mile to 2.4 miles–offering mild to moderate levels of elevation. Views of the Cranberry Lake and an abandoned tennis court are some cool things that you and your family see along the way. Location: 1609 Old Orchard St, West Harrison, NY
Bronx River Parkway Reservation: The oldest park in Westchester, the Bronx River Parkway Reservation is a fantastic location for hiking/walking and mountain biking. This includes a one-mile loop, a 4.6-mile section, and a 5-mile loop, depending on your kids’ ages and abilities. They also have a playground and cabin options, though they aren’t open now. Location: 2 Bronx River Pkwy, Scarsdale, NY
Croton Gorge Park: After soaking in the “wow” factor of the incredible Old Croton Dam and spillway, you and your family will love a day of hiking and exploring. The Croton Gorge Park offers access to New York State’s Old Croton Aqueduct as well as the chance to walk on the dam bridge for some breathtaking views. The site also has a playground, an area for fishing, and skiing and sledding in the winter. Location: 35 Yorktown Rd, Croton-On-Hudson, NY
Hudson Highlands Nature Museum: This gorgeous nature center was founded in 1959. The site focuses on the unique ecology of the Hudson Highlands while promoting knowledge and appreciation of our natural world. Currently, due to COVID-19, all buildings are closed including the restrooms and Grasshopper Grove. Hiking trails are open and you are encouraged to bring what you will need for your hike. Location: 120 Muser Drive, Cornwall, NY