July 16, 2022 – New City, NY
Length: Approximately 2.4 miles
Max elevation: 269 ft.– total elevation gain approximately 138 ft.
Route type: Circuit
Free Web Map: Kennedy Dells Park Map 2021
Trailhead parking: 19 Zukor Rd, New City, NY 10956
Ample parking is available – Restrooms on site
The park is open year-round, from 8am to sunset.
Kennedy Dells County Park consists of 179 Acres of flat rolling topography. The extreme westerly portion is heavily wooded consisting of Hemlock, White Pine, Beech, Maple, Black and Red Oak, White Ash, and Black Locust. Along the western boundary of the park is the scenic Crum Creek, paralleled by a trail. An old road leads down to the ruins of a stone dam, stone arches that once supported a bridge over the creek, and a stone pumphouse. The park is owned, operated and managed by the Rockland County Park System.
Amenities include hiking trails, a fitness trail, horse corral, nature studies, soccer, baseball, cross country skiing, picnic tables, pavilion, and farming demonstrations. Restrooms and handicapped facilities are available.
Owned in the early part of the century by the well-known movie producer Adolph Zukor. New City was at one time to be the Hollywood of the east. Rockland County acquired 80 acres in 1969 with an additional purchase of 97 acres in 1975. Remains of the stone bridge across Crum Creek still exist.
There are two major trails in the park, the 1.4-mile white-blazed Bridle Path, and the 1.4-mile yellow-blazed Fitness Trail. These trails can be combined to make a 2.4-mile loop hike around the perimeter of the park. Although the Bridle Trail is open to equestrian use, it is primarily frequented by canines (accompanied by the owners and other family members).
A section of the Bridle Path parallels scenic Crum Creek, the western boundary of the park, and an old road leads down to the remains of a stone dam (now breached), a road bridge over the creek (all that remains are the stone-arch abutments) and a stone pumphouse (with ruins of the machinery still inside). The park features nearly level topography, so the hikes are all easy.
I visited Kennedy Dells County Park in 2014 and decided to pay it a return visit. I was looking to do an easy walk on a late Saturday morning and this park was the ideal place. There is plenty of parking and there are restrooms available on site. Since there was a light drizzle during our time there, there weren’t many people on the trails.
This hike loops counterclockwise around the perimeter of the park utilizing the Bridle Path and the Fitness Trail.
As shown in the elevation graph, it’s a mostly level hike.
From the north end of the main parking area, proceed west and continue on a rough paved road, passing soccer fields on both sides. Go around a gate and continue on the road as it bears right and climbs a little.
As the road bends to the left, a white blaze on a tree to the right marks the start of the Bridle Path. Turn right and follow this white-blazed trail, covered with wood chips for part of the way, which heads through a wooded area. Although open to equestrian use, it is more heavily used by walkers with their dogs.
After passing a field to the left, the trail bends left and reaches the Eleanor Burlingham Tree Nursery. Here, it turns right, then heads left and begins to run along a golf course, which borders the park to the north. When a dirt road comes in from the left, bear right and continue to follow the park boundary, with an old stone wall to the left.
Soon, you’ll reach a cul-de-sac at the end of a residential street. Here, the trail turns left and begins to run along an old paved road, with the back yards of homes to the right. After a short distance, the road turns left and proceeds through a hemlock forest, paralleling Crum Creek, in a ravine below to the right.
In a few minutes, you’ll reach a fork. The white-blazed Bridle Path bears left, but you should continue to follow the paved road, which bears right and descends towards the creek, where it ends abruptly. Steps on the left lead down to a viewpoint over a stone dam, which has been breached. On the opposite side of the creek, stone arches are all that remain from a bridge that formerly carried the paved road over the creek. To the right, on the east side of the creek, a stone building contains the remnants of old pumping equipment.
After taking in this scenic and historic site, go back up to the fork and turn sharply right to continue on the white-blazed Bridle Path. The trail continues to parallel the stream, now visible to the right. Two hiking trails, blazed blue and orange, go off to the left, but you should continue ahead on the white-blazed trail.
Eventually, the trail reaches the level of the creek, with homes clearly visible on the opposite side. A short distance beyond, you’ll reach a T-intersection, where the Bridle Path ends. Turn left onto a gravel road, and in about 150 feet, turn left again onto a stone-lined dirt path. This is the Fitness Trail, and you’ll pass a number of fitness stations along the way.
The Fitness Trail bends to the right and soon reaches a T-intersection with a dirt road. Turn right, passing a field to the right. At the next four-way intersection, turn left to continue on the stone-lined Fitness Trail, which passes a field to the left and homes to the right. After crossing a stream on a wooden bridge, it bends right, turns left and passes another field. It then turns left and descends on a long switchback. After again running along the park boundary for a short distance, it turns left, goes by a soccer field and ends at the parking area where the hike began.
A really nice park that’s good for a short easy walk with the possibility of seeing different kinds of wildlife. The small waterfall/cascade and stone ruins are worth checking out. Although surrounded by private property, it gives you the feeling that you are more removed from civilization.
Easy walk in the woods, cascades on Crum Creek, stone ruins, plenty of parking.
Dog park on site and you may see some unleashed dogs on the trails.
Take a Hike!