walk on the wild side

When spectacular autumn colors beckon us outside to appreciate nature’s splendor, it helps to have a few ideas on where to go for some unique walking experiences.

Lace up your walking shoes for a day at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills. On Saturdays and Sundays through November, enjoy talks and walking tours on the farm as well as activities scheduled throughout the day. Visit the four-season soil-based greenhouse or learn about wild edibles at a foraging talk and then stop for a snack at the Blue Hill Café and Grain Bar. On 80 acres adjacent to the Rockefeller State Park Preserve, the grounds are open year round Wednesday through Sunday. [914-366-6200 or www.stonebarnscenter.org]

Ready for an unusual walking tour experience? Drive up to Northern Westchester to see the alpacas at Faraway Farm in Yorktown Heights. Weekend tours by appointment year-round await visitors to this hilltop sustainable working farm. See the herd of 20 Huacaya alpacas, prized for their soft, colorful fleece, as well as two Icelandic horses. Learn about the history and care of these adorable animals. The farm store features apparel knit from homegrown alpaca yarn including hats, scarves and teddy bears. [www.farawayfarmalpacas.com]

Westchester’s Niagara Falls
While you are in Northern Westchester, visit Croton Gorge Park. This 97-acre park at the base of the New Croton Dam is gorgeous in every season, especially autumn. A popular destination for hiking, picnicking and fishing with direct access to New York State’s Old Croton Aqueduct trail, the sights and sounds of the cascading water are not to be missed. The original Old Croton Dam was built in 1842 to supply drinking water to New York City. The new dam, known as the Cornell Dam was completed in 1907 and stands over 200 feet high. [https://parks.westchestergov.com/croton-gorge-park]

Get in the Spirit – Cemetery Tours
Autumn is the perfect time for a walking tour at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Daytime and evening guided tours are available through November. This historic 90-acre resting place includes woodland hills, mausoleums, statues and gravesites for such luminaries as Washington Irving, Andrew Carnegie, Elizabeth Arden and William Rockefeller. Interested in more true tales of the dearly departed? Try the two-hour Murder and Mayhem lantern tour to boost the spooky vibe! Advance ticket purchase is recommended. [914-631-0081 or www.sleepyhollowcemetery.org]

Inclement weather? No Problem!
Don’t let the rain keep you from enjoying an indoor walking tour of the Lyndhurst Mansion. This 19th century Gothic Revival mansion built in 1838 is the former estate of financier Jay Gould. Take a guided tour to learn about the previous residents and appreciate the ornate furnishings of a by-gone era. Located in Tarrytown on 67 acres with views of the Hudson River, this is a rain or shine destination. [914-631-4481 or www.lyndhurst.org]

A stroll through the Neuberger Museum of Art on the campus of Purchase College adds color and culture to your indoor walks. New exhibitions include Yto Barrada: The Dye Garden by French-Moroccan multi-media artist and 2019 Roy R. Neuberger Prize recipient (September 25 through Decemeber 22) and Art Got into Me, featuring more than 50 works created by Engels the Artist (October 9 through December 22). The museum’s 6,000-piece permanent collection includes paintings, sculpture, prints, photographs and African Art. Enjoy a self-guided tour or the monthly Art Sandwiched-In curator-led tour (914-251-6100 or www.neuberger.org)

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