Twin Lakes Trail Loop
Directions to trailhead
Take the New York State Thruway across the Tappan Zee Bridge and get off at Exit 8A, following signs to the Saw Mill River Parkway North. Continue on the Saw Mill River Parkway for about four miles, and take Exit 26 (Taconic State Parkway North - towards Albany). Follow the Taconic State Parkway for about seven miles, and take the exit for Route 134 West (towards Ossining). Turn left onto Route 134 and continue for 0.3 mile, then turn right onto Spring Valley Road. Follow Spring Valley Road for 0.6 mile, and bear left at the fork. The parking area for Teatown Lake Reservation is on the right, just past the Nature Center building.
This hike traverses the southeastern section of Teatown Lake Reservation, a 1,000-acre nature preserve in Westchester County. It runs along the shore of two scenic lakes - Vernay Lake and Shadow Lake - and traverses interesting terrain, with many old stone walls reminding the hiker that this area was once farmed.
From the parking lot, cross Spring Valley Road at the crosswalk, turn left, then turn right onto a woods road. After passing to the left of a small stone-lined pond, you’ll notice a sign on the right for the orange-blazed Twin Lakes Trail. You will be following this trail for the entire hike.
Proceed ahead on the woods road, marked with orange and yellow blazes, as it descends to the lake. When you reach the lake, turn right to follow the orange-blazed Twin Lakes Trail in the counter-clockwise direction. The trail continues along the northern shore of the lake on a narrow footpath. After passing the dam at the west end of the lake, it proceeds ahead on a woods road. Then, at a sign for the Twin Lakes Trail, the trail bears left onto a footpath and crosses under power lines.
The Twin Lakes Trail now proceeds through an area with many stone walls. It bears left and crosses a wet area on a boardwalk, then turns right and crosses a footbridge over a stream. The trail now bears left and begins to climb. Soon, the red-blazed Waterfall Trail begins on the right, but you should continue ahead, following the orange-blazed Twin Lakes Trail.
After a level stretch, the trail crosses a footbridge over a stream, bears right, and passes by interesting moss-covered boulders on the left. For the next half mile, the trail climbs gradually on a winding footpath. It then recrosses under the power lines, with views to the left. Here, the trail runs fairly close to Route 134, so you might hear the sounds of traffic.
The trail now begins a gradual descent. After crossing a short footbridge over a stream and climbing a little, the trail reaches the dam at the western end of Shadow Lake. It crosses the dam, then bears right and begins a winding descent to Vernay Lake. The descent is rather steep in places, and along the way the trail passes by an interesting rock ledge.
After passing a private home on the right near the base of the descent, the trail reaches the shore of Vernay Lake. Here, it bears right and goes around the northeast corner of the lake on a narrow footpath, with views over the lake. It traverses a narrow passage between boulders and reaches a concrete dock on the left, which affords panoramic views over the lake. A bench is provided if you’ll like to sit down and take in the views. Just beyond, turn right onto the woods road that you took down to the lake and follow it back to Spring Valley Road. The parking lot where the hike began is directly across the road.