Distance: 1.25 miles, option to add Constitution Marsh
Skill Level: easy, good for little walkers
Elevation Gain: 100′
Type of Hike: loop
Trail Condition: mulch, dirt, field
Wow Factor: views of the Hudson
Note: closed Jan-Mar and every Tues, paid entrance
How to get there: Located on 9D, 1 mile south from 301. 1601 New York 9D, Garrison, NY 10524.
Summary: Go into the gift shop to purchase your admission pass. Head straight down the brick walkway. Take a detour to check out their herb and rose gardens and stop to take in the views from the overlook on the front lawn. Follow the horseshoe path and cut across the gravel area (where they hold Shakespeare in the park) to the little spring house hidden in the trees and almost directly across from the side of the big house. There is a kiosk with maps and an interactive list of plaques to see and learn about around the trail.
There is such a change from walking the open ground to entering the trees. If your little ones need a break you could stop and check out the first gazebo. Follow the path over a foot bridge and head along pretty much the only steep section. The trail will split. I like to go left so you finish with the viewpoints. There may be some road noise on this side. If you need to make the hike shorter, you could cut down the service or wood roads.
Follow the loop until you get to the South Overlook. You can pause here on the bench nearby and check out the mud flats and mountains on the other side. There is a steep descent down to Constitution Marsh if you want to make your trip longer.
Keep heading to the summerhouse pavilion, pull up a bench and take a look at Constitution Island and West Point. Head back to where you started the loop. Make a left onto the path over the stream, past the gazebo, and toward the house. Hang a right back to the parking lot.
If you want to go straight to the trail from the gift shop, head down the driveway toward the house. Veer left through the wall and follow the path to the half hidden spring house and kisok.
Facilities: restrooms at the gift shop