Shadow Lake Trail Opens in Westchester (NY)
YORKTOWN, NY (July 21, 2004) – The Trust for Public Land celebrated the opening of the Shadow Lake Trail at the Teatown Lake Reservation in Yorktown, Westchester County today. The hiking trail was created on a 50-acre property that includes a lake, streams and dense woodlands with 100-foot tall trees that has been permanently preserved by the combined efforts of TPL, Westchester County, and Teatown Lake Reservation.
In April 2004, TPL acquired the land from private owners and the land. The property is now owned by Westchester County and managed by Teatown Lake Reservation as part of their 850-acre preserve, Westchester’s largest privately owned nature education center.
“The property we protected was one of the largest remaining tracts of undeveloped open space in the area. It is wonderful to know that people can now get out and explore it on a new trail,” said Kate Garrett, project manager for the Trust for Public Land.
The mile-long trail links to a 14-mile network of trail at the Teatown Lake Reservation.
“The result of the collective efforts of so many individuals and groups is a beautiful and interesting new trail that highlights the sections of the Shadow Lake property that figured prominently in the decision to try and protect in from development. The new trail provides access to the nine-acre Shadow Lake that feeds into Teatown Lake and the Croton Reservoir, to the wetlands that further protect the watershed, to beautiful rock outcroppings and to woodlands that provide needed habitat to local wildlife,” said Gail Abrams, executive director of the Teatown Lake Reservation.
Just as the protection of the property was made possible by a strong partnership, the construction of the new trail was a joint effort. Volunteers from the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference initially laid out the trail route and a variety of volunteers worked with Teatown’s trail crew to clear the route.
Forty high school students and their parents from the Hyde School in Woodstock, CT participated as part of ongoing community service work. With help from Teatown’s staff and trail volunteers, the Hyde School volunteers constructed a new bridge and much of the clearing needed to create a new trail.
During the first two weeks of July, Helping Out People Everywhere/Work Appreciation for Youths (HOPE/WAY), brought a group of young adults who come from an at risk environment to Teatown for a summer program giving them an opportunity to learn life skills, character development and a respect for themselves and the environment. As one of their projects, they created the connection linking the new trail to Teatown’s Back-40 Trail and the rest of the trail network. They also “blazed” the entire length of the new trail with color-coded markers.
Children attending Teatown’s summer day camp have already been able to explore the edges of the lake to discover various forms of pond life and to watch the great blue heron and other wildlife that frequent the lake.
“This new path opens up the property for public enjoyment while respecting its beauty and natural character. It’s a wonderful addition to the trail network of the Teatown area that is among the most extensive in Westchester,” said Joe Stout, Westchester County commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Conservation.
Shadow Lake is within the Croton Reservoir drainage basin, which made it a top candidate for protection from development.
“Providing trail access to this new area enables people to gain a firsthand understanding about how various ponds, lakes, streams and wetlands combine to form an overall system that ultimately provides us with clean, high quality drinking water. It’s easy to see in following the hiking trails in this area,” said Jerry Mulligan, Westchester commissioner of planning.
The Shadow Lake Trail can be reached from Teatown’s Back-40 Trail, which begins at Teatown’s main parking lot on Spring Valley Road. Future plans include creation of a trailhead parking area on Route 134, which will provide a more direct access to the trail. For more information or directions contact Teatown Lake Reservation at www.teatown.org or 762-2912, ext. 10.