One sunny spring day last month, my family and I packed a light lunch and set out to explore the bucolic beauty of Wampus Pond in Armonk. The expansive pond is certainly the focal point of the park and the first thing you see as you enter. It’s amazing to think that right off one of the busiest roads in the area, such a peaceful enclave of nature exists. Wampus Pond is one of those hidden-in-plain-sight gems that you don’t want to miss. If you’ve never been, may I suggest a visit in the near future–you won’t be disappointed.
Located right on Route 128 in the Town of New Castle and the Town of North Castle, Wampus Pond is a breathtaking jewel of a park. The park offers an array of activities for all–whether you want a bit of an adventure or you just want to sit peacefully with a good book while enjoying nature.
Wampus Pond was named after the Indian from whom the land was originally bought in 1696. The name Wampus means “opossum” and the natural pond was formerly known as Wampus Lake Reservoir. Wampus Pond was once part of the New York City water supply and in 1963, Westchester County bought Wampus Pond and 93 acres from the City of New York.
Recently, a cultural resources inventory was performed which unearthed several Native American artifacts as well as remnants of historically significant residential developments in or near the park. The rich history of the land makes for a truly thought-provoking visit through Wampus Pond. You never know what you may come across or who may have walked the same path hundreds of years ago.
Activities All Year Long
Throughout the year, there are many things for visitors to do at Wampus Pond including ice skating, fishing, boating and bird-watching. Dogs are welcome in the park but must be on a leash at all times and are not permitted in the picnic areas. One activity that many anticipate in the warmer months is the opening of the pond for row-boating. Take a few hours to enjoy a peaceful sail across the pond or pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it.
Rowboat rentals are available on weekends and holidays, Memorial Day through Labor Day, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Visitors may rent the boats in the building situated between the parking lot and the water. Boat rentals can be purchased hourly or daily and the fee is discounted for those with a Westchester County Park Pass. Visitors may also choose to bring their own car-top boats but must have a permit.
In addition to the rowboats, there are picnic tables set up throughout the park so visitors may be able to relax and enjoy the serenity of the park’s natural surroundings. Wampus Pond makes for the perfect spot to enjoy a quick lunch-hour break, relaxing in its quiet serenity. Please note the park is a carry in/carry out facility.
As Westchester County Parks Deputy Commissioner Peter Tartaglia says, “Wampus Pond is a fantastic spot for a picnic, to study nature or take a few turns in a rowboat on a beautiful summer day. Its location on Route 128 between Armonk and Mount Kisco make it an easy spot to visit when you’re visiting either or both towns.”
Take some time to visit Wampus Pond throughout the year. In the spring, the buds on the trees start to come alive, while in the fall all of the gorgeous autumnal colors of the leaves frame the pond. Kids and adults alike will enjoy ice skating in the winter while summertime is made for boating. Wampus Pond is one of Westchester’s loveliest spots and it’s right here in Armonk. Plan your visit soon and prepare to be amazed with its splendor.