At 4,315 acres, Ward Pound Ridge Reservation is the largest park in Westchester County, NY, and offers miles of wooded trails, expansive vistas, and endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. The park originally had more than thirty farms within its boundaries but was dedicated as Pound Ridge Reservation in 1938. Today, guests can enjoy everything from camping and fishing to hiking and even cross-country skiing, and it’s all just a 30-minute drive from the Stanton House Inn! Here are some of our favorite things to explore at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.
Spend a Day at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation
Originally known as just Pound Ridge Reservation, the name “pound ridge” is credited to the Native American Indians who lived in the area. They had a local enclosure, or pound, where they kept game until they needed it for food. Later, the park was renamed Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in honor of William L. Ward, a former County Parks Commissioner who was responsible for the park’s inception. Westchester County employees and local organizations transformed the farmland into a park by turning the farm roads into trails and adding camping lean-to’s, fireplaces, and picnic areas.
Trailside Nature Museum
Built in 1937, the Trailside Nature Museum is one of the earliest interpretive nature centers in the United States and features a library, a Lenape-style wigwam replica, and a maple sugarhouse within the park. Visitors can enjoy a variety of museum programs throughout the year as well as changing art exhibits at the park’s gallery. You’ll see all kinds of artwork including sculpture, paintings, murals and more, all created by local and regional artists.
Behind the museum is the Luquer-Marble Memorial Wildflower Garden, dedicated to Payne Luquer and Delia West Marble. The two friends aided in the development of the park’s nature trails as well as the building of the museum, and the half-acre garden was started in their memory to help educate visitors about plant conservation. Today, the garden features a variety of endangered native plant species as well as a beautiful stone bridge, wooden benches, and a visitors center.
Ward Pound Ridge Reservation also offers 41 miles of trails that take hikers through the woods, past wetlands, and along expansive open meadows. Guests can explore a 3-mile route along the Cross River, the 3.8 mile Laurel Trail through the forest, and the 5.6-mile red trail loop that features beautiful views of Leatherman’s Cave, Raven Rock, the Indian Shelter, and the Cross River Reservoir. The park’s hilly terrain offers a mix of second-growth hardwood forest, rock outcroppings, and steep ravines, so be sure to check out a trail map before you begin your journey.
How to find even more hiking trails nearby
Head across the border into Connecticut for even more hiking opportunities!
Keep reading to explore from the comfort of your home:
- The best hiking trails throughout Connecticut
- The best Connecticut state parks
- All of the best outdoor activities in Connecticut
Book Your Stay at the Stanton House Inn!
A day trip to Ward Pound Ridge Reservation is a wonderful experience for the entire family and is the perfect way to spend a spring or summer day. After your adventures, come home to our Greenwich bed and breakfast where you can unwind in one of our stunning rooms or suites, or take a relaxing stroll through our beautiful gardens and grounds. We can’t wait to see what you discover!
Photo Credit: Goodluz | Thinkstock