Ever wonder what New York City looked like before the buildings, streets, and subways? Pay a visit to the Bartow-Pell Mansion in Pelham Bay Park and find out.
Surrounded by the densest of woods is a 17th century stone house. The mansion’s grounds are extremely impressive. A fountain sprinkled with tall grass and flowers sits in the middle of courtyard. Roses and peonies line the brick walls and wrought iron gates.
Nevertheless it’s the forested surroundings that provide the most adventure on this short 1-mile loop. Hikers become totally enclosed in greenery as they trek along the Siwanoy Trail. After exiting the woods, the route traverses marshes with six-foot-high reeds and grasses before looping south along the waterfront. Cranes and other water fowl fish along the lagoon’s shores and the marshland interior. Follow the lagoon to the west, then dip through the woods to the mansion grounds. The museum within the mansion is open from noon till 4p.m. Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students and seniors, and free for children under six. The grounds are open dawn till dusk. There is also a carriage house, which is open from April to October.
Bug spray, pants, long sleeves, and a hat are recommended as this area is prone to ticks and mosquitoes.
-Mapped by MacKenzie Ryan
From New York City: Take NY-9A to exit 12 for I-95/George Washington toward West 178 Street/Cross Bronx Expressway. Keep right at the fork to continue toward I-95 North. At 0.3 miles, keep left at the fork, following signs for I-95/Cross Bronx Expressway. Merge onto I-95 North. At 8.5 miles, take exit 9 for Hutchinson Parkway. Keep left at the fork, following signs for Hutchinson River Parkway. Merge onto Hutchinson River Parkway. At 0.8 miles, take exit 5 to merge onto Hutchinson River Parkway Extension. At Bartow Pell Circle, take the third exit onto Shore Road. Bear into the driveway and park at the museum.
Mass transit: Take the 6 train to Pelham Station. Then transfer to the Westchester Bee-line 45. Get off at the first stop.