One of the entrances to the Ward Pound Ridge reservation in Westchester, New York
Ward Pound Ridge reservation is the largest park in Westchester County and is a wonderful spot for hiking, camping, and picnicking. There are 10 distinct trails, ranging from 1.25 to 5.6 miles long, that loop around the 4,315 protected acres.
During my visit this past week with my friend Dori, we hiked the southern part of the reservation and hardly saw another person the entire day. We trekked to the highest point in the park, a site of a former fire tower at 860 feet, and mainly followed the RT (rock trail).
An American flag the Kykuit Estate
The day after I came home from Colombia last October, I had a quintessential New England experience: a tour of the Rockefeller Estate Kykuit complete with views of magnificent fall foliage. Accompanied by close friends, it was a perfect homecoming.
Kykuit, located near Sleepy Hollow, New York, is National Trust for Historic Preservation site and served as the private residence of the Rockefeller family from 1913 to 1979. My friends and I chose the Classic Tour, which included the first floor of the main house, the gardens, and the Pocantico Conference Center, or Coach Barn, which contains dozens of classic horse-drawn carriages and vintage cars. Mostly thanks to Michelle, our wonderful tour guide, it was an unforgettable experience that I would highly recommend to any visitors to New York City or New England.
A view of Danbury, CT from Mootry Peak at Tarrywile Park
Tarrywile Park is a gorgeous, 722-acre park in Danbury, CT that is a popular spot for hiking, picnics, bird watching, and camping. I visited for the first time on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with the Western CT Outdoor Adventures meetup group and had a fantastic time with new friends, fresh air, and my newly purchased microspikes for winter hiking.
A flower pot in the sunken garden at Weir Farm
Weir Farm is an artists’ haven located on the border of Ridgefield and Wilton in Fairfield County, Connecticut. J. Alden Weir moved to the farm in 1882 and fell in love with the rural landscape surrounding him. He, along with many of his peers including Childe Hassam and Albert Pinkham, immortalized the scenery in dozens of paintings and drawings.
Today, the farm serves as a prominent walking and painting spot and during the peak season (April through November) offers painting events and classes for budding artists of all ages. The area is separated into two areas: the historic grounds including the the Weir House and Studio and the Weir Pond, and the 110-acre Weir Preserve. The well-marked trails in the preserve offer leisurely hiking opportunities.