“See the foundation of Rockefeller's old mansion and lovely views of the Hudson on a short loop trail.”
— Karl W
Although short, this trail is a great escape from NYC/Westchester. It will allow you to see the foundation of what was once a 220 room mansion owned by William Rockefeller, some lovely views of the Hudson River, and maybe some sheep.
If you want to take mass transit from NYC to this region, you'll have to take the metro north to Tarrytown Station and then take a taxi ride. However, driving is easier so the trail description starts from the parking area on Phelps Way Road just off NYS 9.
From the parking area, cross the road on the well-marked pedestrian crosswalk. The paved pathway begins by heading west toward the Hudson River for a short distance before splitting into the Upper and Lower Trails. Take the Upper Trail
north to the Foundation (skipping the Foundation Loop
Trail). You can explore the massive foundation for a while and imagine how crazy a 220 room house would have been. Take in some nice views of the Hudson River as well.
Then continue north to another fork between the Upper Trail
and the Middle Trail
. Take the Middle Trail
down the hill to where it joins the Lower Trail
. These trails are all quite literal in their naming. Head south on the Lower Trail
which follows the property boundary and some railroad tracks. The trail will have a few look outs with benches so take your time and enjoy the peaceful scenery (unless a train is passing...). The trail then winds back up the hill to rejoin the Upper Trail
Keep an eye out for the herd of sheep that inhabit the preserve - they are a cheap and eco-friendly lawn care service.
History & Background
The Rockefellers owned and developed all of the Rockefeller State Park Preserve. On this area, William had the 220 room estate while the other unit consists of well designed wagon trails. Since the 1980s, the Rockefellers have been deeding the land over to New York State to create the beautiful Rockefeller State Park Preserve.