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New York State Parks

Rockefeller

 

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William Rockefeller bought the 200 acre estate and castle, Rockwood, from the heirs of William Henry Aspinwall in 1886. Seven years later, John D. Rockefeller bought land at Pocantico Hills.  By 1999 over 1400 acres of land was donated to the state from the heirs of the Rockefellers.

Visitors can now explore this scenic property in Westchester County known as Rockefeller State Park Preserve. Approximately 30 miles north of the hustle and bustle of New York City, the Preserve is a great spot for strolling, jogging, hiking, horseback riding, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing.  The Old Croton Aqueduct Trail passes along the eastern end of the park.

This outdoor paradise exists due to the generosity of the Rockefeller family. The awesome feature of the Preserve is the system of carriage roads built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. Designed to complement the landscape, the carriage roads, many of which are handicapped accessible, allow visitors to explore over forty miles of trails and enjoy the natural wonders of the area. These scenic paths wind through wetlands, woodlands, meadows, and fields and past streams, rivers, and lakes while traversing wood and stone bridges.

One road passes by the foundation of Rockwood Hall, once the 220 room home of William Rockefeller. A panoramic view of the Hudson River remains a spot of beauty for all who visit. Trail maps (with distance and grade descriptions) of all the carriage roads and equestrian permits are available at the Preserve Office. You can also find a Park Brochure Map as well as a Park Trail Map from the NY State Parks website.  Swimming, biking, snowmobiling, camping, and open fires are strictly prohibited.

Here's some popular hikes located in the park according to the NY-NJ Trail Conference website:

  1. Pocantico Hills Loop Walk (5.7 miles, easy)
  2. Rockwood Hall at Sleepy Hollow (2.1 miles, easy)

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