Hike Teatown

Trails are open daily from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year.

Teatown’s nearly 15 miles of trails are used annually by over 10,000 hikers for nature study and other outdoor enjoyment (e.g. jogging, cross country skiing, snowshoeing) and for many of our year-round education activities, including our summer nature camp. Teatown maintains fourteen trails that traverse diverse terrain and habitats, including abundant fields, mixed hardwood forests, laurel groves, lakes, streams, swamps and farm land. The trails range from easy/novice to moderately difficult.  Teatown’s preserve provides visitors with a unique glimpse of the biological diversity of the entire lower Hudson Valley region. The trails connect to the Briarcliff Peekskill Trailway and the Croton Aqueduct Trail.

 Click image to view a larger, printable PDF

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Find a Hike

Easy Hikes

Distance 1.5 miles

Time 45 min to an hour

Description: The Lakeside Trail is Teatown’s oldest and most popular trail on the preserve. Take a quiet stroll around Teatown Lake with your family or friends and enjoy the best kept secret of the Hudson Valley. Your hike will take you past the famous Teatown Boathouse, over boardwalks and through natural rock formations. For the youngsters, we provide ‘education stops’ to help visitors better familiarize themselves with the ecosystems and wildlife found on the preserve.

 

Route: Take a left out of the Nature Center and access Lakeside Trail from Wildflower Woods Gate or take a left out of the Nature Center entrance and follow the trail downhill. Follow blue markers to walk around the lake.

lakeside_loop_trail

Distance: 1.8 miles

Time: 1 to 1.5 hours

Description: Experience the solitude of the 1930’s Swope Family estate and discover the hidden swamps of Vernay. The Twin Lakes/Waterfall/Lakeside Trail Loop brings together the well-known Teatown Lake and its sister lake Vernay in a single walk. This hike will take you across babbling brooks, flowing cascades and calm wetlands.

Route: Take a right out of the Nature Center and cross the road. The route begins at the kiosk. Follow the Twin Lakes Loop (orange), stay to the right to join the Waterfall Trail (red), cross Spring Valley Road and turn right to cross the Bergmann Boardwalk on the Lakeside Loop (blue)and return to the Nature Center through Wildflower Woods.

vernay_waterfall_lakeside_south_loop

Time: 2 – 2.5 hours

Description: Similar to the scenic route of Twin Lakes/Waterfall/Lakeside Trail Loop, this route is for the hiker looking for that extra oomph. This extended trail loop gives a more thorough hiking experience by providing one of the best scenic viewpoints of Teatown Lake on the Northern side.

Route: Take a right out of the Nature Center and cross the road. The route begins at the kiosk. Follow the Twin Lakes Loop (orange), stay to the right to join the Waterfall Trail (red), cross Spring Valley Road and stay straight on the Lakeside Loop (blue). After a short distance, watch for the Hilltop Trail (orange) to the left and follow it uphill. Follow the Hilltop Trail back to the Nature Center.

vernay_waterfall_hilltop_loop

Moderate Hikes

Distance: 2.3 miles

Time: 1.5 – 2 hours

Description: For the more adventurous, check out one of the newest trails at Teatown! Hikers can experience the two forgotten lakes of Teatown and mature forests that have been left unscathed for close to 100 years. Discover the mysterious and peaceful stillness of Shadow Lake, the swamps near Vernay, and the skeletons of stone fences left hidden away for decades. This trail also provides an overlook to the Hudson Highlands from the highest point at Teatown (with Perkins Observatory, Bear Mtn. in the distance!).

Route: Take a right out of the Nature Center and cross the road. The route begins at the kiosk. Follow the Twin Lakes Loop (orange). At the bottom of the first hill turn right or left and follow the orange blazes back to this starting point. Follow the trail back up the short hill to the Nature Center.

twin_lakes_trail

Distance: 2.3 miles

Time: 2- 2.5 hours

Description: The Teatown Hill Loop is a trail that opens up the northern most section of the preserve. Popular to both hikers and joggers alike, the Teatown Hill Loop leads visitors away from Teatown Lake and into the largest swamp on the preserve, Griffin Swamp. Complete with long, picturesque stretches of boardwalks, hikers can see some of the first volunteer projects ever completed at Teatown Lake (circa. 1980). This loop also provides access to Teatown Hill located just West of Griffin Swamp.  (See map for details.)

Route: Take a left out of the Nature Center. Follow the Lakeside Loop (blue) and follow it down a hill toward Teatown Lake. Enter Wildflower Woods through the wooden gate on your left and follow blue trail markers to the Bergmann Boardwalk. Take a right at the end of the boardwalk and continue a short distance on the blue trail. After a short distance, watch for the Hilltop Trail (orange) to the left and follow it uphill. Follow the Hilltop Trail back to an intersection where the Briarcliff-Peekskill Trail (green) turns left. Follow green blazes to the next intersection where a spur trail (white) leads to Teatown Hill. Turn around when you reach the powerline and follow the path back to the green trail. Turn left to continue on the green trail. Follow green blazes through Griffin Swamp at every intersection until you reach a T-intersection with the Teatown-Kitchawan Trail (white). Turn right on the white trail and follow it to the Teatown Lake Loop (blue). Turn left and then a quick right to stay and the blue trail which leads back to the Nature Center.

teatown_spur_loop

Distance: 1 mile

Time: 1 hr.- 1 hr. 30 mins

Description: Located on the western most portion of Teatown’s preserve, this woodland loop provides moderate terrain with rocky scrambles and a glimmer of the Hudson River when the leaves are off the trees.

Route: Start at the Cliffdale Parking Area. Cross Teatown Road and follow blue trail markers either direction to complete the loop back to the parking lot. The loop will intersect with the Cliffdale Loop (orange).

catamount_hill

Strenuous Hikes

Distance: 5.5 miles

Time: 4 hrs. 30 mins- 5 hrs.

Description: The Big Loop/ Perimeter Trail gives our visitors the full experience of Teatown. Starting at the Nature Center, new hikers and locals alike will be able to behold all three lakes (Teatown, Vernay and Shadow), Griffin Swamp, Hidden Valley and everything in between with one unforgettable hike. Whether you are a veteran of Teatown or an avid hiker passing through, this hike will give you everything Teatown has to offer in a neatly-tied package.

Route: Take a right out of the Nature Center. Cross Spring Valley Road and follow the Twin Lakes Loop (orange). When you reach the concrete dock at Vernay Lake, turn left to follow the trail along the lake. Stay right at the end of the lake and continue to follow the orange markers up a hill to Shadow Lake under the powerline and back downhill. Turn left at the Waterfall Trail (red) intersection and follow red markers. Cross Spring Valley Road and connect to the Lakeside Loop (blue) for a short distance. Stay left on the Hilltop Trail (orange) and follow to an intersection where the Briarcliff-Peekskill Trail (green) turns left. Follow green blazes through Griffin Swamp at every intersection until you reach a T-intersection with the Teatown-Kitchawan Trail (white). Turn right on the white trail and follow it to a 4-way intersection at the Teatown Lake dam where you rejoin the Hilltop Trail. Turn left to stay on the Hilltop Trail and follow it to a sharp left intersection with the Hidden Valley Trailhead (red). Take a left to follow the red markers. Cross Blinn Road and follow the trail uphill through the fields. At the intersection post, turn left to follow the red markers through the pine grove. After crossing a small bridge, watch for the Overlook Loop (yellow) on your left (take this to add .09 mi. to the hike). Continue on the red trail. Take a sharp right to cross the boardwalk. Soon after, watch for another small bridge crossing the brook. Follow the trail where it turns right and goes uphill. As the trail descends, take a right and cross a bridge (straight is private property). At the intersection of the Twin Lakes connector (white) turn left and follow the white markers to Spring Valley Road. Carefully cross the road and follow white markers to intersection of Twin Lakes Loop. Turn right to return to the concrete pad at Vernay Lake. Turn right to walk uphill and return to the Nature Center.

teatown_big_loop

Distance: 1.7 miles

Time: 1hr. 45 mins- 2 hrs. 15 mins

Description: Come walk through the meadows of Cliffdale farm. Cliffdale farm was once an early 1900’s farm house but has now transformed into one of the education centers here at Teatown. An important destination for our summer camp programs and beloved by locals, this reminiscent farm will take you back to a simpler time in New York State. Hikers can expect an expanse of orchards and old farming grounds bordered by old stone walls that leaves nothing amiss.

Route: Park at the Cliffdale Parking Area. Start to the right of the kiosk and follow the orange blazes either direction to follow the loop trail back to this starting point.

cliffdale_loop