Teatown Lake/Griffin Swamp Loop
Directions to trailhead
From the Taconic State Parkway take Exit 11 (Route 134/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 or across the street.
At the northwest corner of the parking area, go through a rustic gate and enter the Wildflower Woods, an area enclosed to exclude deer. Go down stone steps and turn left, heading toward the lake. Now following the blue-blazed Lakeside Loop, bear right and pass a locked gate that leads to Wildflower Island (open only for guided tours), then bear right again and cross a curved boardwalk that overlooks the lake, with the bridge to Wildflower Island on the right. The trail now bears right, goes through another rustic gate, and continues on a footpath parallel to the lake shore, crossing over exposed tree roots and traversing several small rock outcrops. The trail offers views over the lake, with benches provided for those who wish to pause and contemplate the surroundings.
As you reach the western end of the lake, the trail approaches the paved road. The road runs directly along the shore of lake, and to provide a more pleasant route for hikers, a floating boardwalk has been constructed along the southwestern shore of the lake.
At the end of the boardwalk, you’ll reach a T-intersection. Turn right, still following the blue-blazed Lakeside Trail. A short distance beyond, you’ll come to a Y-intersection by a stone wall. Here, you should take the left fork and continue on the orange-blazed Three Lakes Loop (also the route of the green-blazed Briarcliff-Peekskill Trail), which parallels the stone wall on the right. Just ahead, the trail crosses a bridge over a stream and turns left to parallel it.
After turning right, away from the stream, and passing some interesting rock formations, the trail emerges onto a clearing for power lines. It turns left onto a grassy road, then turns right and crosses under the power lines. After traversing a short boardwalk, you’ll reach a T-intersection. Here, the Three Lakes Loop leaves to the right, but you should turn left, continuing to follow the green-blazed Briarcliff-Peekskill Trail.
In 750 feet, you’ll come to a junction where the white-blazed Teatown Hill Trail begins on the left. Turn left and follow this trail uphill to its terminus at a power line tower, which offers a broad southeast-facing view.
Retrace your steps to the Briarcliff-Peekskill Trail and turn left. The trail now begins a steady descent. After crossing a boardwalk at the base of the descent, you’ll reach another T-intersection. Here, the yellow-blazed Cliffdale-Teatown Trail begins on the left, but you should turn right, continuing to follow the green-blazed Briarcliff-Peekskill Trail.
The trail now approaches the Griffin Swamp. It crosses a wooden bridge over the inlet of the swamp and turns right, following a footpath between the swamp on the right and a rocky slope on the left. After passing a stone wall - made up of unusually large, rough stones – on the right, you’ll reach a T-intersection. Here, the Briarcliff-Peekskill Trail turns left, but you should turn right, joining the Teatown-Kitchawan Trail (marked by purple and “TKT” blazes) which comes in from the left. After crossing the outlet of Griffin Swamp on a wooden bridge, the trail parallels a stream on the left, passing several cascades.
When you reach the dam of Teatown Lake, turn left and cross over the spillway. Just ahead, bear right at the next intersection (the route straight ahead is the orange-blazed Three Lakes Loop). You’re now once again following the blue-blazed Lakeside Loop, which follows the shore of scenic Teatown Lake, passing a gazebo (known as the “boathouse”) on the right. Continue to follow the Lakeside Loop along the lake until you reach the Nature Center and the parking area where the hike began.