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Cranberry Lake Preserve
|Park Overview:|| |
Watershed lands on two sides surround Cranberry Lake Preserve. It is not only a quiet oasis in suburban Westchester County, but also the site of the quarry operations to supply stone to build the Kensico Dam, completed in 1917.
|Trail Miles:||6.4 miles|
|Park Acreage:||190 acres|
|Web Map:||Hiking map|
|Buy Book:||Walkable Westchester - A Walking Guide to Westchester County, NY |
Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
|Park Description:|| |
Cranberry Lake Preserve's tranquil environment includes a glacial lake, cranberry bogs, and abandoned quarrying operations. The portions of the preserve that are sparsely used offer a chance for solitude. All seasons here have their high notes: in early spring, an overture to the opening season erupts from the chorus of spring peepers emerging from the many vernal pools. Hot summer days are tempered in the shade under a canopy of trees. When fall colors are at their peak, a stroll around Cranberry Lake is a feast for the eyes. After a winter snowfall, a clean white stillness is an enticement to intrepid hikers and snowshoers.
Most of the stone used to construct the dam was quarried in what is now the preserve. Quarry operations are an industrial process so significant space was required for machinery and equipment such as an electric plant, sand pit, stone crushing plant, and railroad tracks to transport materiel. All this left a lasting mark on the landscape and can still be viewed today. To the south, are the former homes and schools of Italian laborers who were the primary builders of the dam> these resident and their families, helped shape the character of Valhalla and surrounding communities.
|Trails Overview:|| |
The trail system at the preserve is designed with a novice hiker in mind. The Red and Yellow trails at are loops which allow visitors to follow only one color and return to their starting point. The History Trail is also a loop, often co-aligned with one of those trails. The Blue Trail is not a loop because a boardwlak section across South Pond was removed because it was not safe to walk on. Trails that start at the Nature Center lead downhill to the lake. Conneting trails are blazed white or orange.
From the Bronx River Parkway at the Kensico Dam in Valhalla, take Route 22 north. Once past the dam, make the first right turn onto Old Orchard Street and again the first right to enter the preserve.
No public transportation
|Contact Information:||Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation |