10 Westchester County Parks & Preserves Your Family Should Visit

Living in the tri-state area, we are incredibly lucky to be surrounded by abundant nature. There is rarely a shortage of things to do outside, from the mountains to the ocean. Especially now that we are finally closing the door on winter, we can get out and enjoy it! There are several beautiful places right here in our own backyard, so let’s take a wander through ten of the best Westchester County parks. If you’re looking for a new place to explore with the kiddos or your favorite furry friend, check out some of my personal favorites below! We’ll start at the northernmost parks and work our way down south. 

10 Best Westchester County Parks & Preserves for Your Family’s Next Outing

Best of Northern Westchester County Parks & Preserves

Baxter Preserve in North Salem

This preserve isn’t very well known, isn’t as accessible for those with more limited physical mobility, and isn’t as easy to get to. But what it lacks in ease of access, it makes up for in raw, untouched beauty, which is why it deserves its place as one of the best Westchester County parks and preserves! As part of the North Salem Open Land Foundation, Baxter Preserve is endowed as a protected natural area for generations to come. There are beautiful dirt horse trails circling the open fields and a large pond, with mature oaks and maples dotting the landscape. It is a wild, quiet place meant for wandering and meandering. You’ll see plenty of visitors out and about with their dogs or even horses. Artists occasionally enjoy one of the wooden park benches dotting the landscape as well. It’s a great place to escape.

Croton Gorge Park in Cortlandt

Situated right at the base of the Croton Reservoir, Croton Gorge Park has a little something for everyone. And it’s very accessible even for those with more limited mobility. It has loads of room for the kids to run, miles of trails for family-friendly hiking, a beautiful waterfall, the ability to walk across the top of the dam, the Croton River, and even a playground. What’s not to love? It’s a bit off the beaten path, but truly a great place to spend a lazy day outdoors. All family members (both two- and four-legged) enjoy visiting in the afternoon! So, grab a picnic blanket and sunscreen, put your walking shoes on, and be prepared to enjoy yourselves! 

Clouds in the sky reflected in the still water of Croton Reservoir.

Gedney Park in Chappaqua

Gedney Park in Chappaqua isn’t necessarily a hidden gem when it comes to Westchester County parks. Still, it is tucked away in a little valley just a few minutes off the Taconic. It offers a really great children’s playground with multiple climbing structures, swings, and slides. There’s a massive sledding hill used during winter, a small garden featuring native plants, and a lovely nature trail around the lake, perfect for a walk with your pup or a stroll with a friend. With partially paved trails, it is accessible even to those with limited mobility. Just past, there are also athletic fields and multiple quiet areas for picnics. In short, there’s really something for everyone!

TeaTown Lake Reservation in Ossining

TeaTown Lake Reservation in Ossining is a relatively new find for our family, hidden at the back end of a winding road. With a beautiful old nature, center meant to tickle the interests of the little kids, it’s an excellent place for young and old alike, especially with the most traveled lakeside trail circles for 1.5 miles around the heavily forested edge of TeaTown Lake. There are scenic places to stop and enjoy this pristine little gem of a place at every turn. Whether it’s enjoying the water lilies by the boardwalk and viewing platform, enjoying one of the rocky outcroppings along the shore, or wandering across to Wildflower Island in the middle of the lake, it’s a beautiful place that encourages a healthy sense of adventure!

Boardwalk over the Teatown Lake with water lillies below The sky is blue with white clouds.

Rockwood Hall in Sleepy Hollow

If Rockwood Hall sounds even slightly familiar, that’s because the Rockefeller family donated it, and it is at the westernmost edge of Rockefeller State Park in Sleepy Hollow. Rockwood Hall sits on a hillside right on the Hudson River, boasting some of the region’s most magnificent views! This Westchester County park features an approximately two-mile loop of carriage roads around the foundation of what was once the home of William Rockefeller – yes, that Rockefeller. Surrounding and between those roads are gorgeous, vast open fields that glow with golden light at the end of the day. There is also a small creek at the north end of the park that my own kids have splashed during warmer months and one of the best climbing trees I’ve ever seen. (Climb at your own risk).

A collage of four images showing families laughing and playing in the fields of Rockwood Hall State Park in Sleepy Hollow, NY.

Pierson Park in Tarrytown

Of the 10 best Westchester County parks and preserves, Pierson Park is a personal favorite for so many reasons! But be forewarned, it gets crowded on warm nights and weekends! Located right on the riverfront in Tarrytown (with easy access from the train station if you’re not local), Pierson Park is home to an outdoor concert stage, splash pad for the kiddos, playground, rolling green hills, grassy fields, paved walking paths and nature trails. But the real star of the show is our gorgeous Hudson River! Catch an up-close glimpse of the Cuomo Tappan Zee Bridge from the viewing pier as well. Enjoy a picnic with friends. Watch the sailboats float by as the sun sinks low. It’s a pretty magical place to spend an afternoon or evening!

A collage of four images of families and children playing at Pierson Park in Tarrytown, NY.

Best of Southern Westchester County Parks & Preserves

Rye Town Park/Beach in Rye 

Admittedly, I don’t visit this Westchester County park often enough. But every time I do, I’m reminded why I love it. From the beauty of the colorful beach boardwalk from a bygone era to the shaded grassy fields just up the hill, Rye Town Beach & Park has a little something for everyone. And, if nature isn’t necessarily your vibe, Rye Playland is quite literally right next door, capping off the old-timey feel. The pride and love with which the town maintains itself are evident in its continued maintenance and upkeep of its historic buildings. Grab a picnic blanket, enjoy an ice cream cone on the boardwalk, kick off your shoes in the sand, or buckle up for a ride on an antique coaster. 

A collage of four images of one family playing at Rye Town park and walking along the boardwalk at Rye Town Beach.

The Marshlands Conservancy in Rye

The Marshlands Conservancy is one of my family’s Westchester County parks. It has been since my kids were four. It combines several faves in one: a gentle hike and access to water. Parking is next to the nature center, often featuring ranger-led programs for kids, groups, and families. The nature trails begin as woodland boardwalks that lead to expansive meadows covered with native grasses and wildflowers. Word of caution: there are ticks. From the meadow, the trail winds down to the salt marsh & seashore, where you will see any number of beautiful birds and aquatic wildlife! Enjoy a picnic by the sand, watch the boats drift by, and dip your feet in the water. It’s a great way to spend a day!

Black and white photo of two young children walking along the water's edge at the Marshlands Conservancy at the Long Island Sound.

Manor Park in Larchmont

Larchmont Manor Park is one of those beautiful little Westchester County parks tucked lovingly into its namesake’s trees. Right on the Long Island Sound in Larchmont, Manor Park is a perfect place to enjoy sailboats as they float by. You can also have a picnic in the gazebo or even dip your toes in the water of the sandy cove. There are paved paths for walking or bicycling, and it couldn’t be more friendly for little legs if it tried.

Untermyer Gardens in Yonkers

Last on our tour of the best Westchester County parks and preserves is Untermyer Park in Yonkers. Untermyer is arguably the most manicured and formal of all the places I’ve shared. Overlooking the Hudson River, visitors can enjoy beautiful views of the Hudson Valley while wandering through the garden spaces. Visit the reflecting pool, rhododendron walk, ruin garden, or the famous Temple of Love. There is something beautiful around every bend.

BONUS: Muscoot Farm in Katonah

Okay, I lied about there being 10. But, just one more, because what would a list of the top Westchester County parks be without mentioning Muscoot Farm? Owned by Westchester County, but still very much a working farm, you can visit the goats, pigs, chickens, sheep, cows, horses, and more! There is always something happening with frequent programming for kids and families year-round. From maple sugaring to animal interactions and farm chores to 4-H programs, a weekly farmers market, and seasonal hikes, it doesn’t get more family or just plain people-friendly than Muscoot! Sorry, no dogs are allowed. Just go; you absolutely will not be sorry!

A collage of four images of children interacting with cows, chickens and pigs at Muscoot farm in Katonah.

Visit These Awesome Westchester County Parks & Preserves And Let Me Know What You Think!

While this is a list of places to explore and visit with your families and friends, if you think you’re ready to join me for your family photography session, let’s make a date. You’re my person if you love to laugh and are ready for some adventure!

Be sure to check out more related blog posts below while you’re here!

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