Action Wildlife Foundation, Inc. offers residents of CT, MA and NY the unusual opportunity of observing and learning about animals from North America, Africa, India, New Zealand, Asia and the Artic. As well as viewing wild animals, children can visit the small petting zoo and feed the animals as well as a museum gallery. Action Wildlife Foundation, 337 Torrington Road (Rt. 4), Goshen, CT 06756. For more information, call (860) 482-4465 or visit www.actionwildlife.org
Welcher Avenue, Peekskill, New York, (914) 862-5275
Blue Mountain Reservation is a 1,500-acre park in the northwest section of Westchester County. It features miles of trails for mountain biking, strolling and nature study, and offers challenging hikes to the tops of two large peaks, Mt. Spitzenberg and Blue Mountain.
1601 Route 9D, Garrison, NY 10524, (845) 265-3638
Boscobel is situated on a bluff on the east bank of the Hudson River opposite the United States Military Academy at West Point. The house museum and surrounding grounds and gardens are situated on 45 acres. They offer visitors memorable views of the Hudson Highlands and the Hudson River. The house was completed in 1808 for the States Dyckman family and is widely regarded as one of the finest examples of Federal architecture in the country. It contains one of the nation’s leading collections of furniture and decorative arts from the Federal period, much of it made by premier New York cabinetmakers such as Duncan Phyfe and Michael Allison. Nearby, visitors can explore the nineteenth century village of Cold Spring with its antique and specialty shops. Check for hours and days before your visit, Boscobel is not a year-round facility. Visit www.boscobel.org
Yonkers to Valhalla, (914) 723-4058
The Bronx River Parkway Reservation, Westchester’s oldest park, is an 807-acre paved linear park that was created as an adjunct to the Bronx River Parkway that opened in 1925. The Reservation touts a number of “firsts”: it was the first linear park in Westchester, as well as one of the first in the country, and, the Bronx River Parkway was the first parkway in the nation. The Reservation also has the distinction of being the first official Westchester County Park, whose establishment led to the creation of today’s County Park System of more than 50 parks spanning nearly 18,000 acres. The picturesque Reservation, which runs through the heart of southern Westchester County, features ponds, wooden footbridges, and hundreds of varieties of native trees and shrubs. It is a favorite place for bicycling, walking, running and nature study.
149 Girdle Ridge Rd, Katonah, NY 10536, (914) 232-5035
Caramoor is the legacy of Walter and Lucie Rosen, who established the estate and built a great house as its centerpiece, filling it with treasures collected on their travels. The Rosens furnished their mansion with their vast collection of European and Asian art and furnishings. With its outstanding performances, engaging arts-in-education programming, the extraordinary Rosen House, and beautiful grounds, Caramoor is a cornerstone of the cultural life of Westchester County and beyond. Since 1945 visitors have delighted in the exceptional music – from classical to opera to jazz – and the enchanting garden setting that makes Caramoor such a unique and treasured resource. Visit www.caramoor.org.
Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park is a delight for outdoor enthusiasts. This 14,086 acre park, covering land in Putnam and Dutchess counties, boasts hiking trails, a beautiful beach, picnic areas, scenic campground, and abundant opportunities for boating, hunting, fishing, and birding. The park is also home to the Taconic Outdoor Education Center which provides high quality environmental programming and Fahnestock Winter Park which includes groomed trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. The large beach at Canopus Lake is the jewel of Clarence Fahnestock Memorial Park. Its sandy shore and nearby picnic area are enjoyed by thousands of bathers. In addition to swimming, campers and day trippers can fish in or tour Canopus Lake by row boats which are available for rental. The scenic campground, formed along the park’s natural rock ridges, provides alcoves of privacy and tranquility for campers. Each of the 80 campsites has a picnic table and fire ring. The campground’s nature center houses environmental displays and a variety of touch boxes. On weekends, park staff organizes hikes and craft activities. Movies are shown on Saturday evenings for the enjoyment of all campers. Find out more at nysparks.com/parks/133/details.aspx
1609 Old Orchard St, White Plains, NY 10604, (914) 428-1005
Cranberry Lake is a 190-acre nature preserve comprised of forest, wetlands, and a 10-acre lake that was carved by glaciers thousands of years ago. There are three miles of trails, including a loop around the lake, and others that traverse the predominantly northern oak-hickory forest. The area is part of the Kensico Reservoir watershed, which provides drinking water for residents of Westchester County and New York City. The name Cranberry Lake is derived from the growth of wild cranberry, which still exist in various parts of the fen
The Darien Nature Center boasts owls, chinchillas, box turtles, a Long Island Sound Tank, hissing cockroaches, iguanas, rabbits, prairie dogs, ferrets, and snakes. For more information, call 203.655.7459.
Dinosaur State Park is one of the largest dinosaur track sites in North America. Beneath their geodesic dome, you will find an exceptional display of early Jurassic fossil tracks that were made 200 million years ago. Surrounding the Exhibit Center are more than two miles of nature trails and the Dinosaur State Park Arboretum. For more information call 860.529.8423 or visit www.dinosaurstatepark.org. Dinosaur State Park, 400 West Street, Rocky Hill, Connecticut 06067-3506.
700 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY 10577, (914) 253-3433
The Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Garden features a collection of 20th-century sculpture set within 168 landscaped acres surrounding the world headquarters of PepsiCo. Smaller pieces by Henry Moore, Seymour Lipton, Henri Laurens, and others fill the building’s courtyard, which is shaded by trees and filled with flowers and a central fountain. Monumental works, including pieces by Alexander Calder, George Segal, Isamu Noguchi, Claes Oldenburg, Louise Nevelson, Jean Dubuffet, and David Smith, are spaced throughout the grounds. A “Golden Path,” the inspiration of Russell Page, winds its way past the sculptures and through the various landscapes, offering walkers an opportunity to see the art from many perspectives. The grounds include a lake; a stream garden; lily ponds; an iris garden and perennial garden; two woodland gardens; topiary; and groves of birch, oak, sequoia, and many other species. A detailed map is available at the Visitor Center. PepsiCo welcomes the public, picnicking is allowed in a designated area. The Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Garden is located at PepsiCo World Headquarters, 700 Anderson Hill Road in Purchase. Free admission. 914-253-2000.
Earthplace is a private, nonprofit organization with a mission to educate the community about nature and how to take action in preserving and protecting our environment. There are many entertaining AND educational things to do at Earthplace. These include adventurous ‘treasure hunts’ on its 6 main trails through the woods, a visit to the Bird & Butterfly Garden or Animal Hall, as well as many more thrills to seek both indoors and outdoors. Offering kid-friendly programs and workshops like Eagle Eyes: Nature Detective, Earthplace Explorers Club, Tots Mommy & Me, and Critters & Crafts, children are encouraged to explore the environment and enjoy each new discovery. Earthplace reaches out to adults through programs including Animal Care Volunteer Workshops and Stream Exploration & Monitoring as well as ongoing volunteer opportunities. Earthplace also offers a Preschool for 3-4 year olds, School Outreach Programs, as well as children’s birthday parties. Earthplace, 10 Woodside Lane, P.O. Box 165, Westport, CT. Call 203.227.7253 or visit www.earthplace.org.
2957 Crompond Rd,Yorktown Heights, NY 10598, (914) 245-4434
Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park offers day trippers a day of fun and relaxation. The park’s spacious picnic areas, which can accommodate individual families as well as large groups, may be reserved in advance. The park’s mammoth pool can hold 4,000 bathers at one time! In addition the park offers a host of other activities for people of all ages to enjoy. The park’s Mohansic Lake and Crom Pond, provide excellent freshwater fishing and boating. Popular catches include bass, perch, and sun fish. A New York State Freshwater Fishing License is required. Both rowboats and pedal boats are available for rental; however, a regional boating permit allows visitors to launch their own rowboats, canoes or kayaks. In wintertime, the pond provides ice skating and ice fishing. All picnic areas have volleyball nets and many have softball fields or basketball courts. There is also a soccer field. Sports enthusiasts may wish to try their hand at Disc golf. The rules and scorecards are located at the course and loaner Frisbees are available from the park office. The young and the young at heart will enjoy sledding or cross country skiing.
99 Dromore Rd, Scarsdale, NY 10583, (914) 723-3470
Our mission is to educate and to promote conservation, research, and appreciation of nature and the environment while preserving the natural and historic character of our property. Features a 33-acre woodland preserve, with live animals, a museum, a greenhouse with botanical exhibits, and a hands-on discovery room. Visit www.greenburghnaturecenter.org.
28 Deveau Rd, North Salem, NY 10560, (914) 669-5033
The Japanese Stroll Garden provides a place of natural beauty and tranquility, to delight the senses and refresh the spirit. It is a place where aspects of Eastern and Western culture can be appreciated through art exhibitions, concerts, special events and educational programs in order to promote global awareness and understanding. The museum also supports the efforts of artists and performers in the Greater New York Metropolitan Region. Visit www.hammondmuseum.org.
There’s always something new at the historic sites of Historic Hudson Valley. In spring, lambs are born on the farm at Philipsburg Manor and wisteria blossoms cover the façade of Kykuit. Summer brings opportunities to kayak on the river or play 19th-century baseball at festivals like River Day and Independence Day 1856. The Headless Horseman, ghosts, pirates, and other scary characters from Hudson Valley folklore make appearances around Halloween. Winter is the time to explore the sites by candlelight and enjoy a warm cup of cider by the bonfire. You will want to come back to the sites again and again, and bring friends and family to celebrate the changing seasons at Historic Hudson Valley. Of course, Historic Hudson Valley’s sites are wonderful places to just unwind. You can read a book, picnic, stroll in a garden, hike a woodland trail, bird watch, sketch, visit the farm animals, play traditional children`s games, and enjoy the beauty and serenity of the Hudson Valley. www.hudsonvalley.org