Best Westchester Winter Hikes
No matter what season it is, you’re going to want to get the kids out of the house. In Westchester, you can get a little exercise, enjoy fresh air, and the beauty of nature by taking a hike. Many parks and preserves offer programs for kids, or you can simply hike and explore on your own time. Happy exploring!
Cranberry Lake Preserve (West Harrison)
Enjoy hiking at this 190-acre park. During your hike, check out the history trail where you and your family will see a 19th-century farmhouse and early 20th-century stone-mining operation. Trails range from 1.1 miles to 2.4 miles where you can see ponds, live animals, and various plants. Note: restrooms are temporarily closed. Cranberry Lake Preserve, 1609 Old Orchard St, West Harrison, NY 10604.
Croton Gorge Park (Croton-on-Hudson)
Located at the base of the Croton Dam, you and your family will enjoy some spectacular views of the dam even before your hike starts! This 97-acre property encompasses many uphill and steady trails that’s also a favorite spot for sledding and skiing. Croton Gorge Park, 35 Yorktown Road, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520
Teatown hosts many events all-year long, including the upcoming Winter Tree Walk with Environmental Art Educator, Caroline Erb. Women can enjoy organized hikes with their Women Take to the Trails events, which are held every Wednesday. You can also hike and explore this 1,000-acre nature preserve on your own, which ranges from .8 miles to a challenging 6.5 miles. Teatown, 1600 Spring Valley Road, Ossining, NY 10562.
Ward Pound Ridge (Pound Ridge)
Enjoy a beautiful hike at the County’s largest park. There is a combination of flat and hilly terrain, depending on the type of hike you are looking for. The area also has picnic areas and the nearby Trailside Museum for an educational and fun experience. Ward Pound Ridge, Route 35 and 121 South, Cross River, NY 10576.
Rockefeller State Park (Pleasantville)
This beautiful state park boasts many trails, including 45 miles of scenic paths – mainly designed by John D. Rockefeller Jr. This includes access to Swan Lake, wooded paths, stone bridges, Pocantico River, and more. Enjoy walking, jogging, and cross-country skiing, as well as birding, hiking, and photography. If you are hiking in the late winter, enjoy the budding of native flowers and trees as well as peonies, which will bloom in early May. Rockefeller State Park, 125 Phelps Way, Pleasantville, NY 10570
Turkey Mountain Nature Preserve (Yorktown Heights)
This trail offers many options for a moderate to a challenging hike. Those up for a challenge should try the blue trail for the most stunning views on the top of the mountain. Yorktown Heights, NY 10598
Rye Nature Center (Rye)
Rye Nature Center offers many programs for kids and families, including Mommy & Me and Daddy and Me classes for kids ages 2-4 years old. They also have Vacation Camps, School’s Out Workshops, June Bugs program, and summer camp. For hiking, they have six trails as well as the Storybook Trail located behind the garden. Rye Nature Center, 873 Boston Post Road, Rye, NY 10580.
Greenburgh Nature Center (Scarsdale)
Enjoy some fun and interactive events at the Greenburgh Nature Center this winter. This includes Natural Connections in January and a Maple Sugaring Party in March. For hiking, you and your family can enjoy its five marked trails that range from one-tenth of a mile to over one-half of a mile. Greenburgh Nature Center, 99 Dromore Rd, Scarsdale, NY 10583.
Zofnass Family Preserve (Pound Ridge)
Enjoy a day with your family hiking the largest of Westchester Land Trust’s preserves. Don’t forget your hiking boots as you take on its adventurous 7.5 miles of trails (there are shorter pathways as well). This preserve is also home to more than 400 plant species, which you might find budding during your winter/spring visit. You’ll find rugged terrain, stepping stones for crossing streams and wetlands, a stone staircase, and more. Zofnass Family Preserve, 258 Upper Shad Road, Pound Ridge, NY 10576.
Muscoot Farm (Katonah)
While Muscoot is known as the go-to place to visit farm animals, the farm is also home to 777 acres of fields, woodlands, and wetlands. Enjoy a two-in-one adventure with your kids by exploring the farm and its vast grounds. Muscoot Farm, Route 100, Somers, NY 10536.
Westmoreland Sanctuary (Mount Kisco)
Enjoy access to 670 acres with 8.5 miles of interconnecting trails all-year long. Before you go, visit the Natural Science Museum where you can see live animals (including rabbits, birds, and turtles) and educational exhibits. Westmoreland Sanctuary, 260 Chestnut Ridge Road, Mount Kisco, NY 10549