Visitors will delight in the ever growing haven of open space in Westchester County known as Rockefeller State Park Preserve. Approximately 30 miles from the hustle and bustle of New York City, the Preserve is an idyllic spot for strolling, jogging, horseback riding, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. With 180 recorded species of birds and its IBA (Important Bird Area) designation by the National Audubon Society, the Preserve is a must visit area for birders. In season, licensed anglers enjoy fishing for bass in the 22 acre Swan Lake and for brown trout in the Pocantico River.
In addition the beauty of the Preserve inspires many artists and photographers to memorialize its scenic vistas. While in the park, stop in the Preserve's Gallery across from the Visitor Center. Its rotating exhibits feature the art of local artists. Within walking distance are the Preserve's nearest neighbors - The Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, a nonprofit farm and educational center designed to demonstrate, teach and promote sustainable, community-based food production and Blue Hill restaurant.
These numerous outdoor opportunities exist due to the foresight and generosity of the Rockefeller family. The Preserve land is comprised of a portion of the Rockefeller family estate in Pocantico Hills given to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in 1983. Since the Preserve's inception, additional bequeaths have extended its size to over 1,400 acres.
The most notable feature of the Preserve is the system of carriage roads built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. Designed to complement the landscape, the carriage roads, many of which are accessible, allow visitors to experience and enjoy the natural wonders of the area. These scenic paths wind through wetlands, woodlands, meadows, and fields and past streams, rivers, and lakes while traversing wood and stone bridges. One road passes by the foundation of Rockwood Hall, once the 220 room home of William Rockefeller. Its Olmsted designed landscape with its panoramic view of the Hudson River remains a spot of beauty for all who visit. Trail maps (with distance and grade descriptions) of all the carriage roads and equestrian permits are available at the Preserve Office. Swimming, biking, snowmobiling, camping, and open fires are strictly prohibited.