One of New Castle’s greatest draws is its natural beauty with its very own network of parks and sanctuaries–a glorious 549 acres of parkland spread across seven separate parks and two preserves. Town parks and preserves include Amsterdam, Burden, Gedney, Glazier, Millwood Park, Recreation Field, Sunny Ridge, Warburg, and Whippoorwill, with facilities including hiking trails, ball fields, and playgrounds.
Parks ideal for walking, exercise, and quality time with family, friends or your canine pal include Gedney, Whippoorwill and Millwood parks. Gorgeous Gedney (many call it ‘Chappaqua’s Jewel’) is especially popular for dog walking along its beautiful pond, where you might spot a turtle swimming along with ducks and swans. It also has a year round comfort station, a popular children’s playground, plus hills families love for snow days sledding! Millwood Park is a popular haven too with a sprawling ballfield, two tennis courts, and a playground area.
And whether you are rollerblading or just looking for the perfect place to push a stroller, your best best is the 26-mile North Country Trailway maintained by the Westchester County Department of Parks. A popular section of the trail starts in Millwood. Public parking is just off Route 133, near Millwood Town Plaza. Take the well paved path north to the trailway bridge where you’ll be surrounded by natural beauty. Walkers, bikers, hikers and in line skaters are all welcome. Use caution where the road crosses public roads. For trail maps and parking information, visit westchestergov.com
In addition, The Saw Mill River Audubon Society maintains eight local wildlife sanctuaries. Trail maps are posted at each site and the trails are open to the public from dawn to dusk. Two in particular, Pruyn Sanctuary and Pinecliff Sanctuary, are ideal for a leisurely country walk. The Pruyn Sanctuary (pronounced Prine), 92 acres off Route 133, has three miles of wide open trails. Public Parking is available at both entrances, the garden entrance at the Pruyn home (off Route 133, two miles east of Millwood or just before the train entrance at the end of Woodmill Road. Following the Fern and Pruyn trails will take you on a dirt road with sections of boardwalk through a pond, arboretum, and a butterfly and hummingbird garden. There’s enough terrain change to make this an interesting walk requiring moderate endurance. The Pinecliff Sanctuary is at the end of Pinecliff Road in Chappaqua. It offers a quarter mile of wheelchair accessible boardwalk–allowing everyone the chance to experience nature. Benches and interpretive signs dot the path taking you through a pond and red maple swamp, an especially rich habitat of local birds. Stroll through in ten minutes or repeat the loop, or try the additional half mile of upland trails which connect to the boardwalk. sawmillriveraudubon.org
Sources: New Castle Recreation & Parks Department, The Saw Mill River Audubon Society and the Westchester County Department of Parks.