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New York

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USA Parks
New York
Hudson Valley Region
Rockefeller State Park Preserve
Rockefeller State Park Preserve © Daniel Case / CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Pocantico River at confluence with Rockefeller Brook lower right in Rockefeller State Park Preserve, Sleepy Hollow, NY, USA
Rockefeller State Park Preserve © Daniel Case / CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Stone arch bridge over the Pocantico River in Rockefeller State Park Preserve, Sleepy Hollow, NY, USA
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125 Phelps Way
Pleasantville, New York   10570
(lat:41.1084 lon:-73.8368) map location

Phone: 914-631-1470
Rockefeller State Park Preserve offers quiet countryside walks of all lengths through forested hills and valleys surrounding sunlit pastoral fields. Thirty miles north of New York City, the property is the former Pocantico Hills and Rockwood Hall country estates of John D. Rockefeller family and William Rockefeller. Since 1983, the Rockefeller Family has generously donated over 1771 acres to the State of New York to safeguard these lands for present and future generations. Managed by New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, the Preserve is open to the public year-round, sunrise to sunset.

The trails of the Preserve are crushed stone carriage roads laid out by John D. Rockefeller Sr. and Jr. in the first half of the 20th century. Designed to complement the landscape, the 45 miles of scenic carriage roads are wide and easy to walk. Popular for walking, riding, jogging, and carriage driving, combinations of trails lead through varied landscapes and past natural and historical features, such as Swan Lake, the Pocantico River with its wood and stone bridges, gurgling streams, colonial stone walls and rock outcroppings. Trail maps of the carriage roads are available at the Preserve Office.
Nature of the Area
The Preserve is primarily hardwood forest dominated by huge oak, tulip poplar, maple, and beech trees. The forests, fields, streams, and wetlands support a high diversity of native species of resident and migratory birds, mammals, insects, amphibians, reptiles, fish and aquatic species, some of which are in decline and now uncommon in Westchester County. With 202 recorded species of birds and its Important Bird Area designation by the National Audubon Society, the Preserve is a must-visit area for birders. Over 100 species of native wild bees frequent spring and summer wildflowers. In the fall, Monarch butterflies stop to feed and lay eggs during their southward migration. An on-going environmental stewardship is underway to favor native biological diversity.
History of the Area
Rockwood Hall is a distinct bucolic section of the Preserve with commanding views of the Hudson River and Palisade Cliffs. Between 1886 and 1922, William Rockefeller's estate was 1000 acres with a 202-room mansion, a working farm, and a landscape designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, father of American landscape design. While the house and buildings are now gone, massive rock walls around the former house site and extensive grassy fields with magnificent specimen trees harken back to the heyday of the estate during the gilded age.

While in the preserve, stop in the Preserve's Gallery by the entrance where rotating exhibits feature contemporary art and natural history exhibits. In the entrance courtyard between the Gallery and Preserve office is the Tree Peony Garden.

Rockefeller State Park Preserve offers picnic tables near Swan Lake. Visitors can also enjoy a packed lunch on the trails.
The park offers over 180 recorded bird species, making it a hotspot for avid birdwatchers. Visitors can explore various habitats including wetlands, forests and meadows to spot different birds. The Swan Lake area is particularly popular due to its diverse waterfowl population. Birding walks are also organized by the Friends of the Preserve group regularly.

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