Northern Loop along Cross River in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Overview

This hike loops around the northern section of this Westchester County park and parallels the scenic Cross River.

Details
Time:
3 hours
Difficulty:
Moderate
Length:
4.6 miles
Route Type:
Circuit
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Views
Location
Park:
Region:
County:
Westchester
State:
NY
Publication
First Published:
01/29/2009
Submitter:
Daniel Chazin
Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
Trailhead GPS Coordinates
41.268259,-73.609085
Driving Directions

From I-684, take Exit 6 (Route 35) and turn east. 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), then proceed ahead for 0.3 mile and turn left into the Meadow Picnic Area.

Description

From the kiosk at the northwest corner of the parking area, proceed north on the Fox Hill Trail, marked with "FH" blazes. After crossing a stream on a bridge, the trail continues between stone walls. When the "FH" blazes turn right, proceed ahead and cross a bridge over the Cross River to reach junction 1.

Turn left onto the Brown Trail, passing through an evergreen forest. At junction 46, turn right and follow the trail uphill. When you reach the top of the climb at junction 45, bear right to continue along the Brown Trail, which now descends. After traversing a relatively level section, the trail climbs steadily.

Continue ahead at junction 44, where another road joins from the left. Just ahead, at junction 5, turn left, leaving the Brown Trail, and follow the Deer Hollow Trail, marked with "DH" blazes. The trail follows along the hillside, with Deer Hollow below to the right.

In a quarter mile, the Deer Hollow Trail begins to descend, passing a trail register to the right and a blue trail to the left that leads into the Lewisboro Town Park. At the base of the descent, it crosses a small stream, then climbs again, passing another blue trail to the left. From the crest of the rise, the trail descends very steeply, then more gradually. It parallels a stream to the right and passes the start of a third blue trail.

After passing a horse farm, with Route 35 visible in the distance, the trail crosses the stream, goes through a gap in a stone wall, and passes a wetland to the left. At junction 40, a white-blazed trail comes in from the right, but you should continue ahead on the Deer Hollow Trail.

The trail now follows a relatively level route, with some minor ups and downs. It passes numerous stone walls and rock outcrops and goes through an area of barberry. After paralleling a stone wall for some distance, it makes a short, steep descent.

As the trail climbs, it leaves the road and follows parallel footpaths to avoid eroded sections of the road. It turns sharply right, rejoins the road, and reaches junction 8, where you turn right onto a white-blazed trail.

At junction 7, turn left onto the Brown Trail, which soon descends - first steeply, then more gradually. At junction 3, turn right, joining the Deer Hollow Trail, but when the two trails diverge, bear left to stay on the Brown Trail, which descends to cross a wet area on a boardwalk.

For the next three-quarters of a mile, the Brown Trail follows a woods road along the Cross River, below to the left. To avoid several wet sections, it detours slightly to the right.

When you reach junction 2, turn left, cross the bridge over the river, then immediately turn right onto the Fox Hill Trail, which continues to parallel the river. After passing a playground to the left, the trail reaches another bridge over the river. Turn left and retrace your steps on the Fox Hill Trail back to the parking area.