SOUTH COUNTY TRAILWAY LETTERBOX:
TARRYTOWN LAKES SPUR TRAIL:
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NEW YORK
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Planted: June 14, 2008
Last Updated; October 30, 2013
Length: South County Trailway; 14.8 miles
Tarrytown Lakes Spur Trail; 1.3 miles
Neperan Road parking lot to Letterbox; 4.6 miles
Difficulty: South County Trailway; Easy. Paved trail along a mostly flat rail bed.
Tarrytown Lakes Spur Trail; Easy. Flat paved trail.
To start from the Old Saw Mill River Road parking lot; Take exit 23 off the Saw Mill River Parkway. Northbound; The parking lot is right off the exit ramp. Southbound; Turn left on Old Saw Mill River Rd and travel underneath the Parkway. Turn right up the off-ramp, then left into the parking lot.
To start from V. Everett Macy Park; Also for a drive-by. Saw Mill River Parkway, exit Dobbs Ferry/Ardsley. At light, make left onto Route 9A (Saw Mill River Rd). Park entrance approximately 3/4 of a mile on the left.
The Metro-North Railroad's Harlem Line has a stop in Pleasantville, which is 1.4 miles from the Route 117 parking lot along the North County Trailway and a stop in Bronxville, which is 1.6 miles from the South County Trailways on-road section at Palmer Rd. This gives the hearty biker the option of doing a roughly 29 mile round trip (including the Terrytown Lakes Spur), returning to your vehicle via the Metro North Railroad . This is how we were able to bike so much of the trail without having to backtrack. The route to the stations are on-road and include a couple of tough hills and thus are recommended for experienced bikers only. If you click on the individual stations, they have available both directions and maps.
The South County Trailway is one of four interconnected rail-trails on the former New York Central Railroad's Putnam Division line. This former railroad provided freight and passenger service from 1881 to 1958 between the Bronx and Putnam County. Starting from Van Cortlandt Park in the northwest Bronx, the Old Putnam Rail Trail travels north to the South County Trailway in Westchester County. When you cross Old Saw Mill River Road the trail turns into the North County Trailway and continues north to Putnam County where it becomes the Putnam County Trailway . The Tarrytown Lakes Spur Trail travels west from the junction of the North & South County Trailways.
Starting from the junction of the North and South
Note; West up a short hill leads to the Tarrytown Lakes Spur Trail. See below.
North takes you along the North County Trailway
towards the Route
117 parking lot.
Traveling South along the South County Trailway; You cross two bridges over the Saw Mill River Parkway and Old Saw Mill River Rd before passing by the Old Saw Mill River Road parking lot. You'll soon leave the Saw Mill River Parkway behind as you head into the woods. At 1.8 miles the paved trail currently ends at Warehouse Lane and you start the only on-road detour.
Note; As of October 2013 this last detour has yet to be eliminated. Turn left and follow Warehouse Lane out to Saw Mill River Rd (Route 9A). Turn right and follow Route 9A (Caution! No bike lane or shoulder) a short distance before turning right onto N Payne St (industrial area/low traffic). Turn left onto Hayes St which then turns into Vreeland Ave after traveling underneath I-287. This brings you to Main St (Route 119). Turn left to access a cross-walk, then turn right along Main St where the paved trail picks up on your left after 2.9 miles.
The paved trail travels through Elmsford, past the old train station on your left (now a restaurant) and also past a picnic table and benches. The Saw Mill River Parkway will be to your right, however, you'll soon head into the wooded Rum Brook Park. You'll travel underneath I-87 at 4.1 miles and travel between the interstate and Saw Mill River Parkway along a wooded corridor. You cross over the Saw Mill River several times before coming alongside Woodlands Lake. When you reach the end of the lake a pedestrian bridge heads right over the small dam at 5.5 miles.
Note; This brings you to V. Everett Macy Park. The old buildings above you are closed to the public (looks like they might have served as some type of rest stop for the Saw Mill River Parkway in the past?). Turn right and pass through the parking lot (Porto-potty located here) to a short paved trail. This brings you to a memorial for the Irish Potato Famine. After checking out the memorial, walk along the grass path between the lake to your right and a habitat area on your left. Enter the path into the woods and you'll be surrounded by 4-5 very large trees. Look to your left and spot a large diameter Maple tree. Go to the backside (watch out for lurking Poison Ivy) of this tree and spot a pile of rocks. Lift up the flat rock on top to reveal the South County Trailway Letterbox.
Back on the trail, continue south and you'll cross over the Saw Mill River via an old trestle bridge. The trail is still wooded, but eventually travels through more industrial type areas. You also inch closer to the Saw Mill River Parkway. There is a parking lot just after you cross over Farragut Ave on your left at 8.6 miles. After you travel over Saw Mill River Rd (Route 9A), the trail passes through a more urban area. Travel underneath Tuckahoe Rd at 10.6 miles. You now travel along a sunken wooded corridor, passing underneath Mile Square Rd followed by Palmer Rd at 11.6 miles.
Note; To your right is an old train station? and an access road out to Palmer Rd. On our return trip we detoured out to Palmer Rd and headed right on-road. After crossing over the Bronx River Parkway at 1.3 miles you may access the start of the Bronx River Greenway on your left. Continuing along Palmer Rd you'll come to the Metro-North's Bronxville Station after 1.6 miles.
Continuing south along the trail you cross Mile Square Rd again before passing by the Dunwoodie Golf Course and coming to a spur trail on your left to Redmond Park parking lot at 12.5 miles. Before this section of trail was built you had to detour through this park. Their are pavilions with golf-tee shaped roofs that my friend and I had to seek shelter under during a walloping thunder & lighting downpour. Touched nothing made of medal and hoped the lightning spared us. The trail heads through the woods and travels over Yonkers Ave and the Cross Country Parkway. The trail heads slightly downhill along a ridge with the Saw Mill River Parkway up to your right and sports fields down below on your left that are part of Tibbetts Brook Park. Spur trails access this park. At 13.5 miles, you travel below a pedestrian bridge that crosses over the Saw Mill River Parkway. Soon, you'll spot Tibbetts Lake along the left side of the trail. The trail then levels out and after traveling beneath the stone arched bridge carrying McLean Ave you reach the end of the trail after 14.8 miles. This is the border between Westchester and Bronx Counties and an entrance to Van Cortlandt Park via the hard packed dirt Old Putnam Rail Trail .
Tarrytown Lakes Spur Trail:
From the end of the North County Trailway turn right up a short hill then down to Neperan Rd. Turn right along the sidewalk and you'll come to a bike route sign. The Neperan Road parking lot is on your right. Take the cross-walk over Neperan Rd and enter the dirt driveway for the Tarrytown Lakes Water Works building. Pass through the gate and enter the paved trail. This will take you alongside Lower Tarrytown Lake/Reservoir. The trail heads into the woods as it follows the lake. Very peaceful compared to the North and South County Trailways that parallel the Parkway. This trail ends after 1.3 miles at the junction of Sunydale Ave and Neperan Rd. You can cross the road to a parking lot located at the top of Upper Tarrytown Lake/Reservoir.
CLICK HERE FOR MAP
CLICK HERE FOR REGIONAL MAP
LETTERBOX LAST VERIFIED ON
OCTOBER 14, 2013
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BIKE IT OR HIKE IT