SOUTH COUNTY TRAILWAY

northern Yonkers, Hastings-on-Hudson, Ardsley, to Elmsford, Westchester County, NY


Directions:

The trail starts at Barney Street heading north. You can park at the parking area on Farragut Avenue. (Heading north on the Saw Mill River Parkway, this exit is the one on the right just after the exit for Hastings-on-Hudson, Farragut Parkway.)


History:

The trail is on the site of the former railroad line of the New York Central's Putnam and Harlem divisions, built 1880-1881. This rail brought service to the north central region of Westchester County, making it possible for farmers to get their products to New York City in a timely fashion. The railroad connected the Sixth Avenue and Ninth Avenue elevated roads at 155th Street in New York City with stops through central Westchester County, ending at Baldwin Place in Somers. The old "Put" stopped running in 1958.

Stations (only four of which are still in existence):

Baldwin Place
Granite Springs
Amawalk
Yorktown Heights
Croton Heights
Croton Lake
Kitchawan
Millwood
Briarcliff Manor
Graham
Eastview
Beaver Hill
Elmsford (now the Lastazione Restaurant)  -- northern end of the South County Trailway
Worthington
Woodlands Lake -- Macy Park located here (see the write-up for this park)
Ardsley
Chauncey
Mount Hope  --
Nepera Park  -- southern end of the South County Trailway
Gray Oaks
Nepperham
Bryn Mawr
Dunwoodie
Lincoln


Elmsford

Once known as Storm's Bridge, in the early 19th century the area was known as Greenburgh.  There was a post office here by the name of Greenburgh from 1834-1838.  The area was known as Hall's Corners from 1840 to 1860.  From 1860 to 1880 it was known by two names, Hall's Corners and Elmsford. 

The Elmsford Put station is now the La Stazione Restaruante.  Across the street from the restaurant is the former Greenburgh Dutch Reformed Church. In the adjacent graveyard there is a monument to one time local resident Isaac Van Wart, one of the men who helped capture British spy Major John Andre.  The church is on the National Register of Historic Places.  It is now the Reformed Church in Elmsford. 


Worthington (a flagstop station only)

Local resident Henry Rossiter Worthington (1817-1880) invented a steam pump and then a canal boat steam engine.  He had an estate nearby the station.  


Woodlands Lake

200 acres +

V. Everett Macy Park (named for one of the first Westchester County parks commissioners)  contains a body of water known as Woodlands Lake.  There was a restaurant here by the lake.  My wife and I would often go to this restaurant when it was known as La Cantina. It is scheduled to become a trailside museum.  There is a dam at the southern end of Woodlands Lake. 

early 19th century  -- water power provided by the Saw Mill River powered grain and timber mills.  The remains of an old mill, known as Howland's Mill, could be seen about nine hundred feet south of the dam. 

arrival of the railroad  -- resort hotel, the Woodlands Lake Hotel, erected.

late 19th century -- John Brown had a dairy farm here.  (It became the largest parcel of Macy Park).   The lands for the park were once a portion of the Ardsley estate of Cyrus W. Fields.  The infamous financier J.P. Morgan owned part of the parcel of land.  He owned a company that harvested ice from Woodlands Lake.  Another partial owner of the lands was Edward T. Stotesbury. 

(Sources: Della Penna and Sexton, 2002:chapter 20)

(French 1925:988)


Ardsley

The town and station took its name from the name of the estate of Cyrus Field (1819-1892), the business partner of Samuel Morse, inventor of the telegraph.  Field was born in Stockbridge, MA. He was the organizer of the Atlantic Telegraph Company, 1856-66, which established telegraphic communication between the United States and Europe. In July 1881 Field was to have entertained President John Garfield at Ardsley, but had to call home to his estate at Ardsley to cancel the preparations for the following day when he learned that the president had been shot (and later died).


Mount Hope

Mount Hope Cemetery served New York City residents. Special funeral trains brought mourners to the Mount Hope Station.  Here also is the Westchester Hills Cemetery and the Temple of Israel Cemetery.

Among the famous people buried in Mount Hope Cemetery are: cartoonist Ernie Bushmiller (1905-1982), creator of the "Nancy" comic strip in 1925; writer Frederic Dannay (1905-1982), co-creator of the popular detective series, "Ellery Queen"; movie actor John Garfield (1913-1952); and General Thomas Jordan (1819-1895), US Civil War Confederate Brigadier General and Commander-in-Chief of the Cuban Liberation Army (1869-1870).

Buried in the Westchester Hills Cemetery are composers George (1898-1937) and Ira Gershwin (1896-1983); union leader Sidney Hillman (1887-1946); movie actress Judy Holliday (1922-1965) of "Born Yesterday" fame; Broadway Producer and husband of comedian Fanny Brice, Billy Rose (1899-1966); movie director Robert Rossen (1908-1966); and movie actor and acting teacher Lee Strasberg (1901-1982)

Buried in Temple Israel Cemetery are impresario Sol Hurok (1888-1974); New York Times publisher Adolph Ochs (1858-1935); and movie producer Adolph Zukor (1873-1976), his company merged with the one owned by Jesse Laskey to become Paramount.

(Source: The Find A Grave website:
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/famousSearch.cgi?mode=city&FScityid=101608)


Great Hunger Park (V. E. Macy Park)

There is a sculpture entitled "An Gorta Mor" (The Great Hunber) by Irish sculptor Eamonn O'Doherty.  The sculpture is of a husband and wife with two children, all emaciated.  Behind them is a basket of spilled potatoes.  1.5 million Irish died; 2.0 million emigrated. 


Trail:

The trail is 6.29 miles long.  The southern end of the trail starts at Barney Street off Route 9A in Yonkers. 

 

2006 dates.  My brother-in-law Cefe and I had to start walking long distances 5 days per week and so we chose to walk on the South County Trailway.  As a result, there are a lot of 2006 dates.   Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.


PLANT LIST:

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney


Trees:
Acer negundo (box elder)  4/10/06  4/23/95
Acer japonica (Japanese maple) with keys
Acer platanoides (Norway maple) 4/12/06  4/23/95  lots of it
Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple) 3/28/00
Acer saccharinum (silver maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Aesculus hippocastanum (horse chestnut)
Ailanthus americana (tree-of-heaven)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Catalpa sp. (catalpa)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)  4/26/06 5/06/06  5/13/06
Crataegus sp. (hawthorn)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)  4/18/06  4/23/95
Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust)
Halesia monticola (silver bells)  5/05/06
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)   5/24/06
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Paulownia tomentosa (princess tree)  5/15/06
Pieris sp. (andromeda )  planted
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Prunus avium (sweet cherry) 4/17/06 4/23/95
Prunus serotina (black cherry)  5/12/06
Pyrus malus (apple tree) 4/23/95
Pyrus sp. (crab apple)  4/17/06  lots; 5/06/06 waning
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Salix alba var. (weeping willow)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)  4/25/06
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Ulmus americana (American elm) 4/03/06

Shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)  4/25/06
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)   5/13/06  5/15/06  6/15/95
Cornus kousa (kousa dogwood)
Deutzia sp. (deutzia) probably 6/15/95
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)  5/09/06 5/13/06
Forsythia sp. (forsythia) 4/23/95
Lindera benzoin (spicebush) 4/23/95
Lonicera maackii (honeysuckle)  5/13/06 soon  5/19/06
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)  5/05/06
Myrica pensylvanica (bayberry)
Pachysandra terminalis (pachysandra)  4/06/06 4/23/95
Philadelphus sp. (mock orange) 6/15/95
Rhamnus cathartica common buckthorn)   5/13/06
Rhamnus frangula (European buckthorn)
Rhododendron sp. (azalea)  planted  5/06/06
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Ribes sativum (garden currant)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rosa rugosa (wrinkled rose)  5/13/06  planted in habitat restoration area, Great Hunger Park
Rubus occidentalis (white raspberry)
Rubus odoratum (purple flowering raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)   5/18/06
Sambucus canadensis (common elderbery)
Spiraea sp. (spiraea, hort.) 6/15/95
Staphylea trifolia (bladdernut)  5/13/06
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)  5/05/06  5/13/06
Viburnum sieboldii (Siebold's viburnum)  5/06/06  5/13/06
Viburnum sp. (horticultural viburnum) 6/15/95
Vinca minor (periwinkle) 4/23/95

Vines:
Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (porcelainberry)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)  5/22/06
Echinocystis lobata (wild balsam apple)
Hedera helix (English ivy)
Humulus sp. (hops)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) 6/15/95
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)
Wisteria sp. (wisteria) 

Herbs:
Ajuga reptans (bugleweed)  4/03/06
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)  5/06/06
Allium vineale (field garlic)  4/25/06
Anemone quinquefolia (wood anemone)
Anthriscus sylvestris (wild chervil) 4/18/06  4/23/95 5/4/93  5/06/06  lots and lots of it
Arabis glabra (tower mustard)  5/10/06  5/17/06
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit) 
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress)  4/26/06  5/4/93  5/05/06 5/13/06
Capsella bursa-pastoris (shepherd's purse) 4/19/06
Cardamine hirsuta (hairy bittercress)
Cardamine impatiens (narrow-leaved bittercress)  5/19/06 soon
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed)  5/05/06  5/13/06
Chelidonium majus (celandine)  5/05/06 5/13/06
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)
Claytonia virginica (spring beauty)  4/23/95 5/4/93
Coronilla varia (crown vetch)
Duchesnea indica (Indian strawberry)  5/06/06  5/13/06
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane)  5/06/06 5/09/06 5/13/06
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)  4/19/06 4/23/95
Galanthus niveale (snow drops) 3/28/00
Galium aparine (cleavers) 5/10/06
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)  5/06/06  5/13/06
Glechoma hederacea (gill-over-the-ground)  4/23/95  4/26/06  5/4/93 5/05/06 5/13/06
Hesperis matronalis (dame's fern)  5/13/06
Hieracium caespitosum (field hawkweed)  5/25/06
Hyacinth sp. (hyacinths) 4/23/95
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Iris pseudacorus (yellow flag)  5/23/06  6/15/95
Lamium amplexicaule (henbit)  5/05/06
Lamium purpureum (purple dead nettle)  4/23/95 4/25/06
Lapsana communis (nipplewort)  5/22/06
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper)  5/24/06
Lysimachia ciliata (fringed loosestrife)
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort) 
Medicago lupulina (black medick)  5/08/06 5/13/06
Myosotis scorpioides (forget-me-not)   5/13/06  6/15/95
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)
Orobanche uniflora (one-flowered cancerroot)  5/13/06
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)  5/05/06 5/06/06
Peltandra virginica (arrow arum)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)  5/06/06 5/09/06 5/13/06
Podophyllum peltatum (may apple)
Polygonatum pubesens (hairy true Solomon' seal)  5/13/06
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Potentilla canadensis (dwarf cinquefoil)  4/19/06 5/13/06
Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil) 6/15/95
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)  5/05/06
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaf buttercup) 5/4/93
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup)  5/22/06
Ranunculus bulbosus (bulbous buttercup)  5/08/06
Ranunculus ficaria (lesser celandine) 4/03/06 4/23/95 5/4/93  lots of it  5/05/06waning
Ranunculus recurvatus (hooked crowfoot)  5/13/06
Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)  4/10/06
Sedum acre (mossy stonecrop)  yellow flowering succulent leaved sedum   5/27/06
Senecio vulgaris (common groundsel)  5/06/06  5/22/06
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Solanum carolinense (horse nettle)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade)  5/22/06
Symplocarpus foetidus (swamp cabbage) 
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 4/05/06 4/23/95 5/06/06
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)
Trifolium pratense (red clover)  5/17/06
Trifolium repens (white clover)  5/18/06
Trifolium sp. (hop clover)  5/13/06  6/15/95
Tulipa sp. (red tulip) 4/23/95
Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot)
Typhus sp. (cattails)
Verbascum blattaria (moth mullein) 6/15/95
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Veronica arvensis (corn speedwell)  5/05/06
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)  5/06/06
Veronica persica (Persian speedwell)  4/07/06
Veronica serpyllifolia (thyme-leaved speedwell)  5/09/06  5/13/06
Viola sororia (common blue violet)  4/05/06 5/06/06
white mustard sp. 4/23/95

(glory of the snow) 3/25/2003
springress 5/06/06Prunus serotina (black cherry)
unknown blue iris flower, hort. ?  5/13/06  6 petals, whitish blue, purple mix

Rushes
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Grasses:
Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass) 4/19/06 5/06/06

Ferns and fern allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)


May 30 1945 p. 22

"A multitude of very friendly inch worms came out to greet the Torrey group as it proceeded from Woodlands, up Ferncliff Road to the Bridle Path along the Sprain Ridge Brook, and across the fields and woods to Ardsley. The group was composed of fifteen old, new, and prospective members and their friends, all of whom evidenced commendable interest in nature study, and did not particularly mind the somewhat inordinate interest in human nature displayed by the inch worms . . .

Woodland Lake, Westchester County, NY 5/12/46
A circuit was made around the lake and south to Nepera Park in spite of the rain. The rare find was the northern thyme-leaved speedwell (Veronica humifusa) on the east side of the lake, usually reported only from northern portions of the state. V. Chamaedrys L. Was also seen in the woodlands. Total attendance was 5. Trip leader, William Rissanen.