Three Westchester County parks you should see this summer
July means that summer is fully underway, and you may be finding the season’s early euphoria fading as you try to figure out what to do and where to do it. To help FCWC has composed a list of the three hidden gems from Westchester County.
1) Cranberry Lake Preserve – White Plains, NY
Situated on a peninsula between the Kensico Reservoir and Rye Lake, Cranberry Lake Preserve offers 190-acres of land to explore and enjoy just outside bustling White Plains. One of Westchester County’s parks, this area it is unique to have such a large lake and 7-acres of bog and wetland so close to an urban area.
Cranberry Lake Preserve is also a place for viewing hard to come by plant species due to the quarry part of the park where minerals are leaching into the soil. Some of these species include pink lady slipper, sun dew, and of course the park’s namesake, cranberry. A huge rock excavation, the quarry provided the granite for the Kensico dam and is an important feature in the County. Today, visitors can explore the site which has a landscape that would be more common of areas Upstate.
2) Blue Mountain Reservation – Peekskill, NY
Known more for the sportsman center and mountain biking, Blue Mountain Reservation actually has a number of unique landscape features, making it a must-visit destination this summer. This County Park has the largest number of functioning vernal pools (over 136) in the County, offering important amphibian habitat and breeding area. The park features miles of trails, including challenging hikes to the tops of two park peaks, Mt. Spitzenberg and Blue Mountain.
3) Marshlands Conservancy – Rye, NY
The Salt Marsh at Marshlands Conservancy is one of the largest remaining salt marsh mud flats along Long Island Sound in Westchester County. Located along the Atlantic migratory bird flyway, this area is a great birdwatching location; over 230 species have been sighted there. Visitors to Marshlands Conservancy can participate in nature studies or just enjoy the forest, meadow, salt marsh, and shore.
Special thanks to John Baker, Director of Conservation and Ken Uhle, Landscape Architect for Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation for assistance in putting this list together.