There’s no reason to drive hours away to hike with your kids. The Old Croton Aqueduct Trail, a 26 mile unpaved trail that runs from Yonkers to Croton, offers plenty of lovely spots to go for a walk outdoors. There’s one particular section of the trail in Irvington that’s great for all ages. It’s not too long, so young dawdlers will tolerate it, but it’s long enough to keep older kids interested, especially at the end since you finish at Lyndhurst. Here, rolling hills run all the way down to the river.
You can take a hearty stroller on the trail, but it is unpaved and there are parts of the path where it can get rocky or thick with roots. To get there, you’ll want to park behind Main Street School in the village of Irvington (park here on weekends; on weekdays, find a spot on the street nearby). The Old Croton Aqueduct Trail runs north and south through Irvington. To access the hike written about here, walk to the northeast corner of Main Street School’s parking lot. Here, you can pick up the trail. (In other words, you’re going to walk north on the trail, not south.)
From this point, the trail runs behind several grand houses, great fun for real estate curiosity seekers. There are a few creeks to explore along the trail as you walk. Don’t see them? Close your eyes and listen — a slow steady trickle will lead you right to one. Don’t let your little ones run too far ahead — the trail does cross roads in several spots. The hike is about a mile each way.
The path continues toward Sunnyside Lane, where you can head to the river for a look at Sunnyside, Washington Irving’s historic home. (Note: There aren’t any sidewalks on Sunnyside Lane.) Keep going on the sandy trail, and you’ll see an old stone tower, a favorite resting stop for our family. Shortly ahead, the trail will open up and you’ll come across wide open fields. You’ve made it to Lyndhurst’s grounds.
After a picnic lunch near the river at Lyndhurst, turn around and head back to the car.
Geordane’s, a local deli/market on Main Street in Irvington, has a nice selection of sandwiches and salads for unprepared picnickers. If you finish and are looking to sit down for a bite to eat, try the kid-friendly Black Cat Cafe.