Easy, Lazy, Pretty: Around the Lakes
“What a surprise to find these two lakes right up the hill from the train station. We were there in the evening and it really came to life. Some guys fishing caught what looked like a huge bass. Really great, peaceful time there right after a major bike ride.”Steve K.
The Tarrytown Lakes — the Upper Lake and Lower Lake — are the centerpiece of this 80-acre reservoir park. It’s located at the top of the hill in Tarrytown, and really is the hub of many of the trails that leave the area. Consider: two bikeways wrap around the north and south side of the lakes. The path to the north — the Tarrytown Lakes Extension — is a paved multi-use path that connects to the North and South County Trailways, enabling an extended, even multi-day bike ride from Tarrytown to Brewster, from Tarrytown to New York.
In winter, when the ice is thick enough (and designated safe), skating is permitted on the lakes, a tradition that reaches back to
How to Get There
It’s a 40-minute, 6.5-mile ride from Tarrytown to Briarcliff Manor’s old shopping district.
- Start at Tarrytown Lakes parking area on Neperan Road;
- Follow the Tarrytown Lakes Extension path north: cross the street from the parking area to pick up the bike path and travel one mile along the lake’s edge.
- Cross Neperan Road again at the old abandoned stone pump house at the north end of the lakes to pick up the North County Trailway.
- Turn left at the end of a tiny spur of the Trailway (basically an on-ramp to the path), passing old, unused railroad tracks on the left.
- Follow this pathway for about 6 miles until you reach the large, yellow-and-brown tudor structure of the Briarcliff Library on your left. A little off-ramp leads you into the library’s parking lot.
- Ride through the Law Memorial park, a large greenspace with a pathway that will put you up on Pleasantville Road (follow the path around the pond, behind the tennis courts and through the children’s playground where a gate will let you out onto the street). The shops are to the right.
You can make a loop of this adventure by combining the North County Trailway with the Old Croton Aqueduct trail, if you don’t mind an easy on-road route to meet said OCA. Note that the OCA is NOT paved, but the section you’ll ride back to Tarrytown is pretty well-compacted and scenic.
- Once in Briarcliff, continue north on Pleasantville Road (the main street) for a half mile, reaching Poplar Road.
- Turn left onto Poplar and ride for .2 miles, reaching Dalmeny Road.
- Turn left onto Dalmeny Road, and ride for .6 miles.
- The road becomes Scarborough Road, and it’s a pleasant downhill roll to the Old Croton Aqueduct from here.