Westchester Hike in Rye: Marshlands Conservancy

I go to so many preserves to see what they have to offer, and this is one of the few that is a true winner warranting return. I went to the Marshlands Conservancy with my Mom over winter break and we had a really great hike. It is conveniently located in the town of Rye in lower Westchester, right off of bustling Boston Post Road (220 Boston Post Road, Rye, NY 10580). It’s not a huge park though it does have 3 miles of trails, and it is packed with wildlife, unique and varying habitats. The visitors center is right next to the parking lot equipped with facilities, trail maps, and bird feeders. If you come at the right time of day, you may see turkey, deer, or any number of birds having their go at the feeder. You don’t even need to walk more than a few steps to get these great wildlife sightings. One early afternoon we saw at least eight turkeys hanging about, and another evening a deer was siphoning some chow out of a feeder. IMG_1724 IMG_1725 IMG_1721 IMG_1738IMG_2982 IMG_2983 IMG_2985We walked on and to get to the main trails there are two paths you can take, a wooded or a flat very user-friendly trail lined with tall billowy grass. You can walk one on the way there and one on the way back to make a loop; they all go to the visitors center. A short walk takes you down to the salt marsh (largest remaining habitat of its kind in Westchester), a vibrant scene on the day we visited. IMG_1736Here there are some looping trails that bring you around the habitat, showcases interesting birds, flora, and the shore. IMG_1730 IMG_1732There are ruins of an old structure mingled in the trails. IMG_1735One day right before dusk we were treated with the colors that appear along with a beautiful setting sun. IMG_2978These trails are easy to navigate and well maintained. It is a small enough park that I feel comfortable coming to with not too much time, because I know I won’t get lost and stumble trying to get back to the parking lot. That being said it does close at dusk, so leave enough time to make your return trip. It is a very popular place, lots of people old and young, hiking, photographing, and running along the paths, but it is still easy to find quiet trails. What a lovely place so close to my childhood home and I never knew it existed, a true gem!

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