Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Park Overview:

Hilly terrain offers a mix of second-growth hardwood forest, hemlock, laurel, bold rock outcroppings, steep ravines, wetlands, and open meadows.

Trail Uses:Hiking, X-C skiing, Handicapped
Dogs:Dogs on leash
Trail Miles:41.9 miles
Park Acreage:4700 acres
City/County/
State:
Cross River/Westchester/NY
Web Map:Hiking map
Buy Book:Walkable Westchester - A Walking Guide to Westchester County, NY

Park Description:

The largest park in Westchester County, Ward Pound Ridge has areas where there are lots of people and places where few are encountered. Park facilities are concentrated along Reservation Road, which crosses the park east-west and parallels the Cross River. Most of the park's picnic areas, the Trailside Museum, and the park office are located along this road. The southern part of the park offers a more secluded atmosphere. It is reached most easily from the Michigan Road parking and picnic area, which also serves as the center for winter ski touring. Camping in CCC era lean-tos is available.

The low stone walls that crisscross the forest floor remind the visitor that more than thirty farms once existed within the park's boundaries. These farms were gradually purchased by Westchester County and the park was dedicated in 1938 as Pound Ridge Reservation. Later it was renamed to honor William Ward, former County Parks Commissioner, who was instrumental in creating the county's park system. The "Pound" in Pound Ridge refers to the enclosure or pound used by Native Americans to capture their prey. It is the largest park in Westchester County.

 

Trails Overview:

The 41.9 miles of trails take hikers along woods roads or narrow trails, past wetlands, trock outcroppings or open meadows.   

  • A 3.8 mile brown-blazed trail traverses the northernmost section of the park. It is accessible from the picnic areas along Reservation Road and offers a pleasant walk along the Cross River.
  • The 3.8-mile Laurel Trail (blue) extends south from the Kimberly Bridge picnic area through the eastern side of the park. One side of the loop rises through open forest to the highest point in the park (860 feet).
  • From the Michigan Road picnic area, the 5.6-mile red trail loop offers access to the greatest variety of scenery. Side trails off the red trail lead to Leatherman's Cave, a view over the Cross River Reservoir, Raven Rock, the Indian Rock Shelter, and Spy Rock.

Hikers on the red, green and yellow trails should note that they are marked for cross-country skiing and that ski traffic is one way, counterclockwise.

Directions:

The entrance to the park is off New York State Route 121 at the bridge over the Cross River about 100 yards south of New York Route 35.

Contact Information:Ward Pound Ridge Reservation
914-864-7317
Region:Westchester County
Fees: