We have so many wonderful local hikes to choose from! Here is an ever-growing list of favorites…
This is my favorite place to hike locally, mostly because I have found four species of salamanders here! Also various spring ephemerals. There are lots of trail options. Be advised that the Western Loop can get very wet and muddy, and there is a spot near Becky’s Brook on the Southern Loop where I always lose the trail.
Tons of trails! Multiple lakes! A nature center and raptor loop filled with fabulous animals! There is so much to explore at this 1,000 acre preserve, I just love it.
Park among the McMansions, then escape to the nature beyond! This is a great spot along a broad stream, which reportedly has mink and muskrat. There are other wetlands with breeding amphibians as well. The green trail is a mile long and a great length for littles.
Hemlock Brook Preserve
Trail Map not available; one loop trail
One of the few mostly evergreen forests in the area, it boasts a rocky ravine with a stream. Get a different feel without traveling too far! Loop is only about one mile long. Parking is tricky.
While Muscoot is beloved for its farm animals, don’t neglect to hit the trails behind the pastures! There’s plenty of nature to enjoy.
A hidden gem on Mount Holly Road, the Lake Loop trail is a new favorite and good for kids. In warm, sunny, weather, expect frogs and turtles around the lake. It also connects to the Grierson Sanctuary.
Right around the corner from Marian Yarrow is another hike I enjoy. Unfortunately, the neighbors’ leaf blowers have interrupted the peace on more than one visit.
Hilly trail system with lots of rocks, ruins, and some interesting wetlands. Plenty of wildlife to see!
It’s the largest park in the county–more than 4,000 acres–and it’s got miles of trails, camping, fishing, etc. It’s hard to go wrong here but there aren’t a ton of options for quick hikes for very young ones. The story of Leatherman’s cave is really fascinating!
I love the wide, flat trails at the Morgenthau preserve. There is a boardwalk over the swampy bits and a beautiful glimpse of the lake.
Guard Hill Preserve
Trail Map not available
You start out skirting a horse farm, and end up at one too (to be honest I have no idea if you are allowed to keep walking when you get to that point; I just turn around and backtrack). In between you have a lovely forest trail and some wetlands. Can get muddy!
Gorgeous rocky terrain along the river and good length out-and-back trails. Some steep hills. Closes in the winter (typically November 30 to April 1; check site for updates).
Lots of wetlands, and if you come at the right time of summer, you can feast on wineberries!
I love visiting in fall when it’s a quick hike uphill to the Hawk Watch site, but there are great short trails for any time of year. Right across from Westmoreland Sanctuary.
Great option for littles since you can get to the small lake very quickly, but there are plenty more trails if you’re up for a hike. Nature center and family programming as well.
County park with a lovely lake, multiple trail options, and picnicking.
Rockefeller has a lovely lake and trails that are stroller-friendly. It boasts fern and peony gardens and an art gallery, and connects to Stone Barns Center for Agriculture.
A short, easy loop, but can get overgrown. Seems like a good spot for bird-watchers!
Merestead is a currently crumbling old estate owned by the County, but they have plans in the works to fix it up. In the meantime, enjoy winding trails through the woods and fields.