“Butler Preserve is 300 acres of forest and crags. Part of greenway connecting 6 parks and preserves.”
— Rob Cummings
Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildlife
This run is a meandering route around the various trails at the Butler Preserve. The run has a variety of terrain, and both climbs and descend throughout the park. Taking the full loop is a great way to get out for longer outings, and to see the whole park, but you can make you own loop option easily.
This trail system connects with Merestead in the west and across the I-684 bridge it connects with Westmoreland Sanctuary
and the Fox Lane High School/Middle School Campus for extended runs.
The route begins at the Lake Bridge Road trailhead and begins on the Orange Trail
. This will take you to the eastern border of the park, and you'll continue here for about a mile until this trail meets with the Red Trail
From the junction with the Red Trail
, continue to head around the perimeter of the park. The Red Trail
defines the northern border of the park, before turning back south and joining the Yellow Trail
to head south again.
There will be an offshoot for the Orange Trail - South
branch, which will add on a little more distance for the first return to the trailhead. This branch meets back up with the Yellow Trail
after a short distance.
After returning to the trailhead area, take on of two trails the cut through the middle of the park. Both the Red Trail
and the Blue Trail
terminate in the northeast corner of the park, so take one on your way to the north end, and cruise down the other on your way back to the car.
History & Background
The Butler Preserve was the first preserve donated to the Nature Conservancy. It has 300+ acres and is bounded by interstate 684 on the east and Merestead Park to the west. The southern border is the Mt. Kisco watershed land, which surrounds Byram Lake. To the north are large estates.
The preserve features the well known "Hawk Watch" complete with bleachers and a raptor silhouette chart. The trails are hilly and challenging. Part of the trail goes right over the border between the Hudson River watershed and the Long Island Sound watershed's northernmost headwaters. This is sort of the Westchester County equivalent of the Continental Divide.