BRONX RIVER GREENWAY LETTERBOX:
BRONX-VALHALLA, NEW YORK
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Planted: April 19, 2009
Length: Upper Bronx River Greenway; 12.7 miles including a 2.2 mile on-road detour.
Lower Bronx River Greenway; 5.8 miles
Kensico Dam Plaza to Letterbox; 0.6 miles
Difficulty: Upper Bronx River Greenway; Moderate. Paved trail but a bit hilly in spots. Could be tough for kids on bikes.
Lower Bronx River Greenway; Moderate. Paved trail but a bit hilly in spots.
To start from the Kensico Dam Plaza; From the Bronx River Pkwy northbound, take the Broadway exit in Valhalla as you travel around a traffic circle. The Kensico Dam Plaza entrance is just off the exit. From Route 22 southbound, merge onto the Bronx River Pkwy. Take the Broadway exit in Valhalla as you travel around a traffic circle. The Kensico Dam Plaza entrance is just off the exit.
The Metro-North Railroad's Harlem Line has a stop at Valhalla Station, as well as many other stops all along the Greenway. For more information visit; Metro North Railroad . If you click on the individual stations, they have available both directions and maps.
The Bronx River Greenway is a proposed 23 mile long multi-use path that will connect the communities of the Bronx with those of Westchester county along the Bronx River. The Upper section (Westchester County) of the Greenway that has been completed runs from the Kensico Dam in Valhalla south to Bronxville with a short on-road section in between. A 1 mile section has also been completed in Mount Vernon. The Lower section (Bronx) runs from the Westchester/Bronx border south to Bronx Park where it connects with the Mosholu-Pelham Greenway . They are currently working on completing the trail south to Soundview Park where the Bronx & East Rivers meet. For more information visit; BRONX RIVER GREENWAY .
UPPER BRONX RIVER GREENWAY:
Starting from the Kensico Dam Plaza; The plaza is located directly below the massive dam. Quite a sight. There is a pavilion, rest rooms and refreshments available when the pavilion is open. The road across the top of the dam is closed to vehicles, however, I believe it is open to pedestrians. There were stairs located along each side of the dam. Head to the east side of the dam where you'll find an interesting memorial to the 9-11 victims. The paved trail starts here, travels south along the plaza and past the entrance where a crosswalk takes you over N Broadway. The trail travels left under a stone arched bridge, then turns right and alongside Clove Road Park. As you travel up a small rise it will become wooded on your left. Pass by 3 Cedar trees along your right, then a large rock next to a tree on your left followed by a clump of 4 trees. Look past these trees up into the woods and spot a large rock about halfway up. Behind it is a long rock ledge. Just to the right and below this ledge will be a large flat rock. Underneath the front edge, remove 1 flat rock to reveal the BRONX RIVER GREENWAY LETTERBOX. Continuing along the trail, you'll cross over the Metro-North rail line via a Bronx River Pkwy bridge. Beautiful old brick and stone bridge with a good view of the dam. The trail travels between the Parkway and the rail line and alongside the river in the Greenway. The trail meanders and travels up and down small hills, sometimes close to the Parkway or river or rail line. After 1.1 miles, use caution at a busy road crossing. After 1.7 miles you'll pass by a pond on your left and come to Fisher Lane. Turn left and pass by the Metro-North parking lot where the trail picks up on your right. You travel alongside the parking lot and pass by the entrance for the North White Plains Station. When you come to the tunnel underneath the tracks on your left, turn right and cross the road to the trail. Cross over the river and some busy road crossings before coming to a parking lot at 3.1 miles. The trail travels through the lot with a spur on the right to the County Center. You'll then pass by a tunnel to the White Plains Station. Check out the clock tower up to your left. The trail travels alongside the river and through a tunnel before crossing back over the river. We spotted all types of birds along the trail including Geese, Ducks and Egrets. You'll travel underneath the Pkwy under an impressive arched bridge. Next you travel underneath the railroad tracks. The trail changes from paved to stone-dust at 4.4 miles and alternates between the two for a bit. Watch your head at 4.8 miles as you travel under the Pkwy via a low arched bridge. This section is a bit more tranquil as it passes alongside a residential neighborhood. Come to a dam and small waterfall followed by a small pond in a park. The trail currently ends at Greenacres Ave after 5.5 miles in the town of Hartsdale. Heading right brings you to the Hartsdale Station.
Note; A 2.2 mile on-road detour to the next paved trail section in Scarsdale starts here.
Turn left and travel up Greenacres Ave, passing by an impressive stone church, to Walworth Ave. Turn right and travel along this residential road with beautiful old houses. When you come to a 5-way intersection the road changes to Fox Meadow Rd. take a right when you reach Crane Rd, then a left over the cross-walk at the intersection. Follow the sidewalk down to the intersection and enter the parking lot for the Scarsdale Station. This will bring you to the front of the train station in the beautiful town of Scarsdale. There are places to eat or stock up on supplies as well as shops. Continue past the train station and out to Popham Rd. Hang a right and cross over the tracks, then turn right down Depot Pl. This will bring you back to the train station and start of the paved trail on your left at 7.7 miles.
Note; Heading north (right) the trail currently ends just below an unusual bridge for the Pkwy. This bridge has "mushroom" shaped supports. As of April 2009, this section of the trail has not been extended northward.
Continue south by crossing over the dam via a whimsical wooden bridge. The trail follows alongside the river and crosses several wooden bridges. This section is very well done. Duck! At 8.3 miles is an extremely low bridge followed by an iron bridge over the river. A cross-light takes you over busy Harvey Rd. Restrooms are available at 9.1 miles at a rest stop for the Pkwy on your right. Just past this the trail briefly follows along a service road before coming to a park. Left brings you to the Crestwood Station. The trail travels alongside Crestwood Lake and then crosses over a dam at its mouth. A short 0.2 mile on-road section utilizes a bike lane at 11.5 miles. After crossing over Tuckahoe Rd you'll enter another park and come to a split in the trail at 11.9 miles. Both routes take you around Bronxville Lake, however, right takes you alongside the Pkwy so continue straight. You'll cross over another dam at the mouth of the lake where both trails merge. When you come to another split in the trail, bear left. Cross over Pondfield Rd and travel through another small park. The trail currently ends at Palmer Road after 12.7 miles.
Note; You have several options from here:
1. You can return the way you came.
2. You can head left along Palmer Rd for a 1/4 mile to the Metro-North's Bronxville Station where you can return to Valhalla.
3. You can continue your journey by connecting to the South County Trailway via an 1.4 mile On-Road route and take that trail south which brings you to the Old Putnam Rail Trail . Follow the "Old Put" south to the Mosholu-Pelham Greenway and take that trail east to the Lower Bronx River Greenway. Head north along that trail to its terminus in Wakefield. Finally, hope on the Metro-North at the Wakefield Station and return to Valhalla.
This is the route we rode. Head right On-Road along Palmer Rd crossing over the Bronx River Pkwy, Sprain Brook Pkwy and I-87. Warning; this on-road route has a long steep climb. You'll crest the hill at 1 mile. As you cross over the next bridge, look down to your right and you'll see the South County Trailway. After crossing over the bridge look to your left to spot an old Train Station. Take your next left towards that train station and access to the South County Trailway after 1.4 miles. Head right (south) along the trail. See; South County Trailway-Old Putnam Rail Trail-Mosholu-Pelham Greenway and Lower Bronx River Greenway below.
LOWER BRONX RIVER GREENWAY:
Starting from the Westchester County Line; I didn't get a chance to bike this upper section, however, it's the newest section and should be in great shape. It travels south along the west side of the Bronx River with access to the Metro-North's Wakefield Station. After about 1.5 miles you'll come to the Metro-North's Woodlawn Station and 233rd St. Turn left and cross over the RR tracks and the Bronx River Pkwy, then cross over 233rd St where the trail continues south alongside Bronx Blvd. Cross over an on-ramp for the Pkwy and the trail pulls away from the Bronx Blvd and closer to the river, although you don't get great views of it. This section of trail is in poor condition as it parallels the Bronx River and Parkway. The river crosses underneath the Pkwy and travels through the center of Bronx Park. You'll come to an intersection at 3 1/4 miles.
Note; Heading right, the trail heads southwest through Bronx Park towards the Botanical Gardens and intersects with the Mosholu-Pelham Greenway after a 1/2 mile.
Continue straight heading south. This section is in better shape, but more hilly. The trail is divided into bike and pedestrian lanes. You'll come to a 3-way trail split. Follow the far left trail (with the bike symbol painted on the trail). You'll come to another intersection at 3.7 miles.
Note; Heading right takes you along the Mosholu-Pelham Greenway, although it's alongside Dr Theodore Kazimiroff Blvd (also called Southern Blvd) through Bronx Park and towards the Botanical Gardens.
Continue straight, using the cross-light (a tough intersection to cross) and travel south along the combined Bronx River/Mosholu-Pelham Greenways. After a little over 4 miles you'll pass by Warring Playground. Restrooms and a water fountain are located here. The paved trail briefly ends after another 1/4 mile, however, just continue straight alongside Bronx Park E and you'll return to the paved trail on your left as it travels east alongside Pelham Pkwy. You come to Boston Rd at 4.5 miles.
Note; The Mosholu-Pelham Greenway continues east.
Turn right crossing the Pelham Pkwy and following a wide sidewalk along Boston Rd. Boston Rd turns right, you continue straight along Bronx Park E where a paved trail heads into Lower Bronx Park. Head left around the playground and restroom through the center of the park.
Note; Spur trail on your right leads to the BRONX ZOO .
Travel past the ball fields and come to an intersection at 5 miles.
Note; Continuing left will bring you up to the intersection of Bronx Park E & Unionport Roads. This was as far as I traveled. I didn't realize the trail continues through the park. [Trail not signed]
At the intersection head right along the paved trail past the tennis courts. The trail then travels south alongside the Bronx River Pkwy before traveling around the Parks building, underneath the Bronx River Pkwy, past the rail station and out to E 180th St at about 5.8 miles. An on-road gap currently exists between here and Starlight Park.
Future plans call for connecting the trail south to Starlight Park, Concrete Plant Park and Soundview Park where the Bronx River meets the East River.
CLICK HERE FOR MAP
CLICK HERE FOR WESTCHESTER SECTION MAP
CLICK HERE FOR BRONX SECTION MAP
LETTERBOX LAST VERIFIED ON
OCTOBER 17, 2010
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BIKE IT OR HIKE IT