The carriage roads on this former estate have become hiking trails and are wide enough to allow walking two or three abreast. Extensive stonework is apparent on the many at-grade raised roadbeds.
Only a small portion of this 179-acre park is developed for active recreation. Most of the park consists of wooded areas and open fields. Hiking trails loop around the park, and a 2.4-mile circular hike is possible. The western boundary of the park is the scenic Crum Creek, paralleled by a trail, and an old road leads down to ruins of a stone dam, stone arches that once supported a bridge over the creek, and a stone pumphouse.
There are two major trails in the park -- the 1.4-mile white-blazed Bridle Path, and the 1.4-mile unblazed Fitness Trail. These trails can be combined to make a 2.4-mile loop hike around the perimeter of the park. Although the Bridle Trail is open to equestrian use, it is primarily frequented by canines (accompanied by the owners and other family members). A section of the Bridle Path parallels scenic Crum Creek, the western boundary of the park, and an old road leads down to the remains of a stone dam (now breached), a road bridge over the creek (all that remains are the stone-arch abutments) and a stone pumphouse (with ruins of the machinery still inside). The park features nearly level topography, so the hikes are all easy. Click here for a description of a loop hike in the park.
Use the Web Map link on this site for a trail map.
To reach the park, take NY 304 to Main Street in New City and follow Main Street north for about one mile, past the County Court House, to the park entrance on the left. GPS Coordinates: 41.168625, -73.988881
Public Transportation: Rockland Coaches
Cranberry Lake Preserve's tranquil environment includes a glacial lake, wetlands, 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.
The Appalachian Trail is one of the longest continuously marked footpath in the world, measuring roughly 2,180 miles in length. The Trail goes through fourteen states along the crests and valleys of the Appalachian mountain range from the southern terminus at Springer Mountain, Georgia, to the Trail’s northern terminus at Katahdin, Maine.
An overview map of the trail along its entire length is available from the National Park “Appalachian National Scenic Trail” web page.
The AT is uniformly marked with a 2" x 6" white-painted, vertical blaze.
For detailed descriptions of hikes along the AT in NY and NJ click the "Choose another experience" button on this web site. In the search field enter "Appalachian Trail." The majority of these are loop hikes in conjunction with other trails. For AT-only hikes click here. The database includes a few AT hikes in nearby sections of Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
Two of the few wheelchair accessible sections from Georgia to Maine are in this region:
- A 0.40-mile segment at Bear Mountain State Park (news release). This trail segment is included as part of a summit loop hike.
- A 0.67-mile segment on the Pochuck Boardwalk in Vernon, NJ (trail map with parking information)
Parking is available in all the parks listed on this site that host a segment of the AT. One spot identified on this web page is where the AT crosses NY-17A near Warwick, NY. GPS Coordinates: 41.244185, -74.287035.
On the Appalachian Trail Region page look for the link “Parking along the AT.” It features parking areas organized by state.
Hike descriptions that include the AT will indicate if public transportation (train or bus) is available to a particular trailhead.
Considered by some to be the gateway to Westchester County, Taxter Ridge Park Preserve is an excellent example of how concerned citizens rallied to protect a large tract of open space in southern Westchester County. The horse-shoe shaped park has a landscape featuring natural rock ledges, woodlands, streams, wetlands and old growth forest. The 190 acre park is jointly owned by New York State, Westchester County and the Town of Greenburgh with the latter providing maintance.
There are three blazed trails in the preserve:
Hike in from parking on Mt Pleasant Lane and follow an easy trail (blue blaze) through wooded forest for 1.4 miles. The trail passes by a 250 year-old oak tree and a deep ravine.
From parking on Sheldon Avenue in Tarrytown, hike a more challenging trail (orange blaze) for 0.9 mile that meanders up and down hills. Initially it is on a graded woods road. A bit after it becomes a single track, until it meets the blue-blazed trail from Mt Pleasant Lane. Sections away from the NYS Thruway are quiet.
A third 0.2-mile trail (yellow blaze) from Taxter Road in Greenburgh is not open, but will lead from a proposed parking lot to be built but as of 2016 funds are still lacking.
To reach the Sheldon Avenue trailhead (at end of a dead end road)
- From westbound I-87-I287 take the Route 119 Exit (last exit before toll). Turn left onto Route 119 and when it ends at Route 9, turn left again just past the east bound I-87/I287 exit/ entrance ramp. Turn left on Walter Avenue. Go left again on Sheldon Avenue and follow it 0.5 mile to the end.
- From east bound I-87/I-287, stay in the right hand lane when approaching the tolls of the Tappan Zee Bridge. Take Exit 9, Route 9 and turn left at the bottom of the ramp. Take the next left and follow the directions above from.
- GPS Coordinates: 41.059242,-73.84747
The Mt. Pleasant Lane trailhead (on-street parking in a cul-de-sac)
- From Route 9 in Tarrytown, turn east on East Sunnyside Lane which is opposite the road to Sunnyside historic site. Go 0.6 mile and make a slight left onto Taxter Road. Take the first left onto Pine Lane and left again to Mt. Pleasant Lane. Park in the cul-de-sac near the sign.
- GPS coordinates: 41.048751,-73.849461
No public transportation
The Great Falls of the Passaic River, located in Paterson, N.J., is the site of an early, successful initiative to establish a “national manufactory” in post-revolutionary America. As part of the Mercantilist vision of Alexander Hamilton, the country’s first Secretary of the Treasury, Paterson become America’s earliest planned industrial city with the incorporation of the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures (S.U.M.) in 1791.
The Welcome Center, at 65 McBride Avenue Extension across from Overlook Park, is a great place to begin a visit -- check their website for seasonal hours. It is where the self-guided Mill Mile tour starts. This walking tour introduces visitors to the remarkable history, geology, social and cultural importance of the area around the site of the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. An on-line brochure describing the 10-stop tour – which includes a map -- is available, as is a free downloadable audio tour app (from I-Tunes and Google Play Store) and a number to call using a cell phone along the way. The Tour is an educational project of the Hamilton Partnership for Paterson.
The National Park Service also offers Guided Introductory Tours seasonally. Led by a National Park Ranger, a volunteer, or a member of the Great Falls Youth Corps, it takes roughly one hour and covers one mile. See the website link in Contact Information below for a schedule, follow the "Plan a Visit" tab.
“Trails” largely consist of city sidewalks with uneven surfaces. A graphical representation map of the park (use link near top of this page) identifies such major features as the Great Falls, mills (both standing and in ruins), the S.U.M. Hydroelectric Station, the upper, middle and lower raceways, street names (for navigation), smaller local parks, cultural centers, several public parking areas, and (important in an urban setting) public restrooms.
To complement a visit with a more woodsy hiking experience, Rifle Camp Park and Garret Mountain Reservation, two interconnected Passaic County parks just a short drive from the mill district, have a combined trail network of 13 miles on roughly 800 acres of parkland.
From I-80 West, take Exit 57 B-A. Follow the Downtown Paterson signs. Turn left at second light onto Cianci Street, and left at first light onto Market Street for 1/4 mile. Turn right onto Spruce. Go one block and turn right onto McBride Avenue Extension, then immediately left into Great Falls Overlook parking area.
From I-80 East, take Exit 57 B, circle onto Grand Street exit. At end of exit ramp turn left onto Grand. At second light on Grand turn right onto Spruce Street. At second light on Spruce bear right onto McBride Avenue Extension, then turn immediately left into the Great Falls Overlook parking area.
From the Garden State Parkway use the “Directions” link on the park’s webpage under Contact Information.
New Jersey Transit provides regular train service (including weekends) to Paterson on its Main Line. Trains leave from Hoboken, but connections from New York City are available via PATH trains from World Trade Center or 33rd Street to Hoboken, or NJ Transit trains from Penn Station to Secaucus Junction. The walk from the Paterson train station to Overlook Park at the Great Falls is about 0.8 mile.
NJ Transit Bus Route 161 connects the 42nd Street Port Authority Bus Terminal with Paterson, stopping near the NJ Transit train station.
See also Location Tab at top of page.
Mount Beacon can be seen from miles around and is the northern gateway to the Hudson Highlands. In 1995 and 1998 Scenic Hudson, the City of Beacon and the Town of Fishkill purchased these lands which were threatened by development.
The mountain has a long history, beginning with its use for signal fires during the Revolutionary War. From 1902 to the late 1970s, it was the site of the famous Mount Beacon Incline Railway, which visitors rode to the Beaconcrest Hotel and Casino for dining, dancing and outstanding views.
The Casino Trail (Red blaze, 2.0 miles) begins at the parking area Kiosk and gains 2,000 feet in elevation, passing several viewpoints in its climb to the summit.
A Yellow-blazed trail turns north from its junction with Casino Trail and climbs to the Fishkill Ridge.
By linking with White and Blue blazed trails to the Scofield Ridge and the Wilkinson Memorial Trail, the hiker can do a strenuous 8.0-mile circular walk.
Use Web Map link for a trail map.
From NY Route 9D, look for Bob's Corner Store in Beacon. Turn east onto Howland Avenue. then immediately turn right into the parking area for Scenic Hudson's Mount Beacon Park. GPS Coordinates: 41.493669, -73.959846
Public Transportation: Metro-North Hudson Line to Beacon station -- walk uphill to trailhead
This loop hike traverses less-used portions of the reservation, climbing to a viewpoint over Bergen County and the Manhattan skyline and passing several lakes.
Take N.J. Route 17 to U.S. Route 202 in Mahwah. Turn left at the bottom of the ramp, proceed south on Route 202 for two miles, and turn right into the Ramapo Valley County Reservation parking area.
Short Line offers bus service from Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City to Ramapo College, which is located about a mile to the north of the park entrance on Route 202. For schedule information, go to www.shortlinebus.com. Only limited service is available on weekends.
The hike begins at a kiosk in the southwest corner of the parking area. Just ahead, you'll notice a triple-yellow blaze on a tree, which marks the start of the Vista Loop Trail. Follow the yellow blazes as they descend wooden steps, join a wide dirt road, and continue ahead to cross the Ramapo River on a steel truss bridge.
This hike climbs to the firetower atop the summit of South Beacon Mountain and follows the Scofield Ridge, passing many panoramic viewpoints over the Hudson River and the surrounding mountains.
Take the Palisades Interstate Parkway to its northern terminus at the Bear Mountain Bridge. Cross the bridge, bear left onto N.Y. 9D, and proceed north on N.Y. 9D for 14.5 miles. As NY 9D (Wolcott Avenue) curves sharply to the left at Bob’s Corner Store in Beacon, turn right onto Howland Avenue. Immediately, turn right into the parking area for Scenic Hudson’s Mount Beacon Park.
Take the Metro-North Hudson Line to the Beacon station. The trailhead is approximately 1.5 miles from the train station. To reach the trailhead from the station turn right (south) onto Beekman Street (towards Dia Beacon). In 0.4 mile, Beekman Street ends, and you should continue along Wolcott Avenue (Route 9D). In about another mile, Wolcott Avenue makes a sharp right turn. At this bend, turn left onto Howland Avenue. The trailhead is on your right.
This hike begins with a steady, steep climb of 1,000 feet of elevation in the first mile, and the overall elevation gain exceeds 2,000 feet. It is not an easy hike, but the spectacular views that it affords are ample reward for the strenuous ascents. Much of the land traversed by the hike has been protected through the efforts of Scenic Hudson, which preserves open space in the Hudson River valley.
This hike loops around scenic Ramapo Lake.
Take I-287 to Exit 57 (Skyline Drive/Ringwood) and proceed north on Skyline Drive (following the signs to "Ringwood"). Just ahead on the left is the Ramapo Mountain State Forest parking area.
From the southern end of the parking area, follow the blue blazes of the MacEvoy Trail, which passes stone ruins, turns right onto a woods road and climbs a steep pitch. The trail continues to climb on a wide, rocky path, paralleling a ca