Rockwood, the stretch of farmland and cluster of wooded paths that drape the Hudson just north of the Tappan Zee bridge in Sleepy Hollow, is a bit of a Hudson Valley secret. It took me years to discover this magical spot in my own proverbial backyard.
The park is technically part of the Rockefeller State Park Preserve—the huge swath of hiking and equestrian trails that surrounds Stone Barns—but Rockwood boasts its own particular story and is worth singling out for a separate visit. The stone foundation of the late William Rockefeller's former country residence remains on the site, elevating and framing the highest point of the parkland. And the Rockwood trail loop is, in my opinion, the gem of the Rockefeller State Park Preserve complete with pastoral landscapes, grazing sheep, sweeping river views, and a pair of climbing trees that will captivate children of all ages.
Some good things worth noting if you go...
- Find the trail map here. Rockwood is the parcel of green land closest to the Hudson river.
- Head south at the trailhead to take the river trail; you'll end at the elevated green space that's circled by the remaining structural walls of the former mansion.
- This is an ideal 'hike' for young children—a lazy stroll with preschool aged children takes 45 minutes, tops.
- Visit the nearby sites Stone Barns or the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery to make a full day of it.
- For pre- and post-snacking, try Wobble in Ossining for breakfast, Lefteris for amazing Greek fare, and Coffee Labs for a good roast (both in Tarrytown).
All photos by Rebecca Pitts.