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Walkable Westchester Paperback – March 9, 2009
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I very highly recommend this book to anyone new to Westchester (or New York City and the tri-state area), anyone with kids, and anyone who lived in Westchester and can't name more than a few dozen places to hike or bicycle. The book has very clear directions; places are marked with the recommended/allowed activities -- very useful for anyone looking for a safe off the road bicycling with kids.
Buy one for yourself! Buy 3 for your friends!
Although the new edition contains many improvements, collectors may well want to have both editions.
Also, since the great majority of these trails are on public parks, you may well be satisfied to use the first edition.
Robert C. Ross
The book includes detailed maps of the parks, as well as a number of lovely photographs. This book is comprehensive, amazing in detail, and was clearly a labor of love.
My husband and I have lived in Westchester County for over 20 years, and we take nature walks almost every week. Yet, this book introduced us to several wonderful parks we would have never known about otherwise. For example, this book inspired us to try some terrific trails within Rockefeller Park (such as the Pocantico River Trail and 13 Bridges Loop) that we had not tried before, as well as the adorable little TeaHouse path hidden within Irvington.
I cannot praise this book enough, and I am so grateful this couple did the exhausting work of compiling the information in this book.
Unfortunately, a few of the many preserves, almost always the most tranquil walks as they exist well away from highways and their noise, they list and describe, unknown except to locals, are not well maintained. Initially state and local funds were provided for their acquisition and the donating families also provided some support for marking and maintenance of trails, but the effort has not been sustained in some preserves and some of the trails mentioned, particularly those in the Levy Preserve in Lewisboro, have been disfigured by the use of ATVs and their rider's trash. To their credit the authors do mention the unauthorized use of these vehicles in this location as well as others. Enforcement, like maintenance, seems to be lacking.
This guide is a thorough, excellent and a welcome introduction for people seeking quiet, lovely walks in parks, preserves and arboretums close to New York City.
For each of the places covered in the guide there are detailed trail descriptions as well as comments on the terrain and other significant facts. While they provide plenty of practical advice, Jane and Walt Daniels keep the book lively with comments like this about a long-neglected preserve: "Consider Marsh Memorial Sanctuary to be a comeback kid." Overall, this is an excellent guide book.