Westchester County Parks | 23 Amazing Parks To Explore

Are you looking for the best Westchester County Parks? This is a county that takes its outdoor resources seriously.

They often claim that their parks system is one of the best in the world. It’s a claim backed up by four consecutive rounds of national accreditation from the National Recreation and Parks Association.

This actually makes them the only accredited park system throughout the State of New York!

Westchester County Parks- Larchmont Manor Park, Mamaroneck, NY

From simple walks and picnics to trade shows, stage shows, and concerts, it’s an impressive network. They’re also a great adventure for outdoor lovers looking for fun.

If you’re bored and want to explore, keen to lose yourself in nature, or hoping for artsy entertainment, Westchester County Parks have it all.

Family-friendly Westchester County Parks

Want to take the little ones for a classic American summer’s day out? Try these parks!

Sal J Prezioso Mountain Lakes Park (North Salem)

 

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If you’re looking for an entire day out in one park, this is a great choice. It’s also packed with activities like fishing, hiking, and even a ropes course.

You can camp in the park, and it’s a great spot for a BBQ too, as there’s tables and grills all over. If you want to make a special memory, hire a yurt (yup, a yurt) for the night. Or opt for the Laurel Cabin if you like your mod-cons.

You don’t need to be a local to use the park, and there’s no admission fee. Canoe rental for the lake, and camping do carry fees. Camping will cost around $25 a night, but there’s discounts for locals, too.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

Glen Island Park (New Rochelle)

Westchester County Parks - Glen Island Park, Long Island Sound, New Rochelle, New York

The entrance to the Westchester mainland is over a drawbridge, so you know the kids will love this one. This was once a summer resort, which explains the ‘castles’ (there’s some in Texas too), bathhouse, and other historic sites.

It’s perfect for a picnic (reserve your spot first, though). Here there’s plenty of picturesque walking trails, boating and fishing on the lake, playgrounds for the little ones, and swimming from the beach.

This park can only be accessed by Westchester residents, and there’s parking fees ($5-$10, depending on a Parks Pass)

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

Harbor Island Park (Mamaroneck)

Westchester County Parks - Mamaroneck New York

This is one of the smaller Westchester Parks, but it’s still packed with fun, family-friendly activities. The beach is only open in the summer, but there’s even a splash pool for smaller kiddies to enjoy.

Add baseball fields, tennis courts, and a spring/summer volleyball league. If you’re looking to host an event here, there’s dedicated spaces you can rent.

There’s also a charge for the beach and parking in summer. Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

Franklin D Roosevelt Park (Yorktown)

Franklin D Roosevelt Park NY

Of all the family-friendly parks in Westchester, NY, this is the most iconic for a summer BBQ. It’s also well known for its Olympic-sized swimming pool!

Boat or fish in the lake, enjoy one of the many, many picnic pavilions and other spaces (we’re talking 100s), frolic on the many open grassy areas, and play disc golf…. It’s packed with activities.

While there’s lovely nature trails too, this is more of a playland in Westchester than a true wild space. The playground is even built for multiple age groups. There’s also event areas for up to 500 people.

There’s parking costs ($10) to consider in the summer months, and the pool and paddle boats always have a cost attached.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.


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Saxon Woods Park (White Plains)

Kids playground with many play activities.

Drive straight through one entrance to find the playground, pool, splash pad, and mini-golf course. Or pick the other for picnic tables and the pavilion.

The playground is small, but fun, and the area between these two ‘family-zones’ is packed with hiking trails the whole family can use. In winter, you can cross-country ski here.

The pool and mini-golf attract fees, and there’s a parking charge ($10, or $5 with a pass), but you can park at the playground entrance for free.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

Willson’s Woods Park (Mount Vernon)

Kids enjoying swim and play

Looking for summer fun for the kids? This could be the right park for you. Wilson’s Waves is a full water park within the park. S

plash pad, water slides, zero-entry pools complete with waves… water fun is the name of the game.

There’s an event pavilion for up to 100 people, and a playground for bored little ones, but this park is mostly about fun with water, not nature. You do have to be a county resident to enjoy it.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

Tibbetts Brook Park (Yonkers)

Westchester County Parks - Tibbetts Brook Park Waterfall Yonkers

This is a great destination for a day out with the kids. Again there’s plenty of water fun- splash pad, pools, slides, and a ‘lazy river’. Here there’s also ball sport fields, mini golf, and plenty of space for picnicking be it pavilion or table.

Don’t want to haul the food? There’s concession stands, too! There’s also a general playground to keep littles occupied.

This is another park that allows cross country skiing in winter, and it also allows sledding. If ice conditions allow, you can skate here, too.

June to September there are parking fees ($10, or $5 with a parks pass).

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

Croton Point Park (Croton on Hudson)

Westchester County Parks - Croton Point Park

Situated on a peninsula on the Hudson river, this is a great choice for a day out with the family or a full camping trip. The park is packed with amenities, including a swimming beach and playgrounds, alongside the usual grills and picnic tables/pavilions.

There’s also the Croton Point Nature Center to enjoy, and kayaking on the water. The camping facilities are pretty good, and the beach is appealing in summer.

This is one of the parks that doesn’t need a Westchester Parks and Recreation pass to enter. However, if you have one it will get you parking discounts (the usual $5 vs $10).

There’s also charges for the beach- from $4 for adults and $3 for kids over 5. This park is definitely an adventure for the whole family. In winter, cross-country skiing is allowed here.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.


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Educational Westchester Country Parks

Looking for something with a little more meat to it? Try these Westchester County Parks for an educational experience.

Alfred B. DelBello Muscoot Farm (Somers)

Interpretive farm owned and operated by Dept. of Parks, Recreation and Conservation in Westchester, NY

If you’re looking for family-friendly fun with a little twist, this is a farm-style park to enjoy. However, do note the animals can’t be petted and dogs are not welcome.

However, here you can enjoy group tours, farmyard visits, and even reserve a hayride ($2). There’s lovely hiking trails through fields, wetlands, and woodlands. We do suggest getting a map from the reception area, though.

This was once a working farm before it was presented to the county, so there’s historic buildings to explore. Admire the old milk house and dairy barn, blacksmith shop and ice house, and other barns. The livestock on the farm are also historic and rare breeds.

In the main house, you’ll find rotating art shows from local artists. And you don’t need a parks’ pass to visit, either.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

Garden of Remembrance (White Plains)

This small, but poignant, garden commemorates the loss of life in the Holocaust.  It both honors the lives lost as well as pays tribute to those who helped save victims. Here you will find the ‘Gates of Remembrance’, a sculpture by Rita Rapaport.

While it’s a more sobering family activity than others on our list of fantastic Westchester Country Parks, exploring the hidden symbolism of the memorial is an engaging way to keep your children entertained and educated.

If you’re looking for a place for reflection and remembrance, or want to introduce children to this historical era in a gentler way than school will manage, it can be a wonderful location to explore.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

V. E Macy Park and Great Hunger Memorial (Irvington)

 

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This lovely, central park is the perfect spot for a group picnic. It’s named for the first Westchester County Commissioner of any kind, V.E Macy, who was the first Commissioner of Public Welfare.

It’s a pretty unique visit, as it is divided into three sections. In one, you’ll find all the family-related fun. Think playgrounds, picnicking, and ball fields. The Woodlands section allows for fishing and ice skating, as well as the start of local trails.

Then there is the Great Hunger Memorial, honoring victims of the Irish Potato Famine who were the original residents of the area. If you’re looking for a Westchester Dog Park, dogs are welcome with the rest of the family, but must stay on-leash. You don’t need a pass for the park.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official sito.


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The Jay Property and Marshlands Conservancy (Boston)

This now-historic property was the home of the one and only New York State founding father, and is a key part of the African American Heritage Trail in Westchester County.

It’s a beautiful Greek Revival-style mansion in itself, and the building is currently being restored along with another, nearby historic building. It’s hoped both will open to the public soon.

As the headland for the local watershed, it’s also a cornerstone of the local Marshland Conservancy, so it’s a nice blend of historical significance, conservation, and recreation. There are rules to use the area, which can be found on their site.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

Ridge Road Park (Hartsdale)

Family enjoying picnic in local park.

This is a wonderful spot for a family picnic. While it has the usual assortment of playgrounds and pavilions, it’s most notable for the Miracle Field, an area developed especially for adults and children with disabilities.

Away from the open areas you’ll find heavy woodland with trails to enjoy. Parts of the site also have historic significance, as they were part of the Works Progress Administration.

Unlike some of our list of educational Westchester Country Parks, this isn’t an overtly educational site, but there’s a lot to learn and do in the area.

You will need proof of residency to enter, and a parks pass nets you the usual discounts. Dogs can come on-leash, and the area is (of course) service dog friendly.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

Merestead (Mount Kisco)

The ‘park’ here is the grounds of an elegant country mansion, nestling in the hills over a startlingly gorgeous valley. It’s a 28-room Georgian mansion that was deeded to the county, and it’s a fun park to explore with kids or as a group.

It also has some fun hiking trails, including some easier ones along old farm roads that kids will love. There’s a gorgeous view of the Hudson Highlands framed by Chinese lanterns, old root cellars to explore, and (parents be warned) a gentle and heartwarming pet cemetery.

There’s also fantastic birding in the area.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

Kensico Dam Plaza (Valhalla)

Westchester County Parks - Kensico Dam Plaza

This historic dam once took the record for the most electrical power ever used in a construction project on the Catskill water supply line. It had its own specialist railroad, and one of the largest crushing plants in the U.S.

In fact, a whole village, including adult classes and school for the kids, sprung up on the site. The area is also home to the county’s 9/11 memorial, at an intersection of the many trails and paths that lace the grounds.

There’s also a special memorial for the First Responders nearby.  You’ll sometimes find yoga and fitness classes in the park, as well as concerts and other events.

There’s a special area for in-line skates, and plenty of picnic facilities. It’s one of the few parks on our list that can be used after dark thanks to thorough illumination.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

Westchester County Parks for Sporty People

Is your inner athlete itching for something to do? Try these fantastic Westchester Country Parks. Remember, hiking is always a fantastic way to travel on a budget, too!

Blue Mountain Reservation (Peekskill)

 

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This exquisite park is packed with trails for mountain biking as well as hiking. It’s also home to the Sportsman Center, where there are target ranges for both guns and bows.

Many of the hiking trails in the park are only appropriate for skilled hikers, including the Briarcliff-Peekskill Trailway.

There’s a 30-person dormitory-style trail lodge available for rent, and the bathhouse and some of the comfort stations carry historical significance.

There’s parking fees on some weekends in May through September, with the usual park pass discount.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

Twin Lakes Park and Nature Study (Eastchester/New Rochelle)

Westchester County Parks - Twin Lakes in Eastchester New York

Running close to the Hutchinson River Parkway, this is the destination for all things equestrian. There’s boarding space for your own horses, or you can take lessons at the riding academy.

There’s also indoor and outdoor arenas, stalls, and miles upon miles of horse-friendly trails. The Twin Lakes Farm is also a destination for the serious equestrian, with numerous horsey events trained here.

There’s also lovely native woodland and lakes to enjoy.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

Bronx River Parkway Reservation (Yonkers to Valhalla)

 

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Welcome to the oldest park in Westchester and the foundation of Westchester County Parks! Not only was this one of the first parks in the county, but it was also the first linear park, and the first parkway in the U.S.

This is an exquisite 807-acre paved linear park that’s packed with footbridges, ponds, native trees, and spectacular views. There’s also the Sprain Ridge Park to enjoy on the Yonker’s side.

If you’re looking for the perfect location to walk, run, cycle, or just enjoy nature, this simply has to be on your bucket list. There’s even a ballpark in the area. And you don’t need a pass to enjoy it, though it earns you the usual discounts.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.


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Croton Gorge Park (Croton-on-Hudson)

Westchester County Parks - Croton Goerge Park and Waterfall

This small, but water-filled and attractive Westchester County Park is ideal for fishing, picnicking, and hiking, with one of the most popular trails heading past the Old Croton Aqueduct.

It’s also an amazing location for winter sports like sledding and cross-country skiing. You don’t need a pass to enter, but it will get you some parking discounts.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

Graham Hills Park (Mt Pleasant)

Another small but lovely Westchester County Park it’s worth visiting. Named for a Revolutionary War army surgeon (we’re not really sure why he got the honor), it has around 5-miles of lovely trails, but they’re really only appropriate for advanced riders.

The park has many diverse habitats, though, and makes for a lovely ride. Most of the trails are single-track, so you will need to stay awake and mind your manners.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

Wild and Wonderful Nature in Westchester County Parks

Last, but not least, our remaining Westchester County Parks are best known for the lush diversity of nature to be found within their borders. We’ve looked at the best hikes in DC, now it’s time for NYC!

We’re not going to spoil all the natural magic with exhaustive breakdowns- just know that every preserve on this list offers remarkable flora and fauna to enjoy, and wonderful hiking and walking trails to drink it all in.

Cranberry Lake Preserve (White Plains)

Hiker stopped on mountain

This wildlife safe haven swings from mixed hardwood forest to swamp and everything in-between. Of particular note is the History Trail, which takes in notable historical ruins in the area.

It’s suitable for the whole family, but weekend programs are best to entertain young ones.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

Edith G Read Wildlife Sanctuary (Long Island Sound)

Edith G Read Wildlife Sanctuary in Rye, New York

This is the place to go for marine life in the area, with a mix of salt- and freshwater. It’s also an official Important Bird Area. There’s some exhibits on the local ecology available, too.

You can only kayak in the area as a member of the nonprofit which cares for it.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

George’s Island Park (Montrose)

View of hudson river from park that trails hudson river

This particularly special area holds both archaeological and natural significance, and trails the historic Hudson River. Tidal wetlands, wooded trails, and a freshwater pond are among the attractions.

In winter, it’s one of the best places to spot eagles in the area.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.


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Kitchawan Preserve (Ossining)

Beautiful butterfly seen in botanic garden

Once part of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, here you will find native woodland, migrating birds, and dancing butterflies. Come in late spring for the best wildlife sightings.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

Lenoir Preserve (Yonkers)

Owl spotted in tree in park

Explore woodland and fields, including unusual specimens imported from around the world- think towing ginkgos and spectacular copper beeches. The park is packed with owls, bats, and woodpeckers, and central to the major hawk migration in the area.

If you want to learn more about raptors, this is the destination for you. There’s also a spectacular butterfly and hummingbird garden (maintained by the Hudson River Audubon Society) and a dragonfly pond. You can have older kids’ parties here, too.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

Silver Lake Preserve (White Plains)

Small streams and woodlands call to the heart, but don’t bring your fishing line- it’s not allowed. There was once a grain mill in the area, but it’s a private residence now and not part of the park.

There are the ruins of the old Stony Hill village to explore, however. There’s also archaeological sites in the area.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

Wampus Pond (Armonk)

This name means ‘possum’ in the local indigenous tongue. It’s a small preserve, but very notable for Native American artifacts and historically significant sites.

There’s also beautiful woodland in the immediate vicinity of the pond, so while it’s a small preserve, it’s well worth a half-day exploration. We think it’s an underrated destination in the state.

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

Ward Pound Ridge Reservation (Cross River)

Last, but certainly not least, we have the largest of the Westchester County Parks. There’s varied terrain throughout the park, and miles on miles of wooded trails to enjoy.

You’ll also find plenty of areas for camping, fishing, and cross-country skiing in winter.  Also, there’s some historical significance to the park, which you can explore through their story board .

Keen to know more? Click here for the official site.

Conclusion

And there you have it! The Westchester County Parks offer a huge variety of activities, and some of the most spectacular natural sites and historical monuments you’ll ever see.

The only thing missing is some waterfalls, and you can find those in Rochester. The only question remaining is which one will you visit first?

For more short getaways or even longer trips visit TravelCroc.com to get detailed info on your next destination.