Address: 125 Phelps Way, Pleasantville, NY 10570

Rockefeller State Park Preserve Website

 GPS Coordinates:

Latitude 41.112919

Longitude -73.836517

A person is standing in a field next to a lake.

Rockefeller State Park Preserve, nestled in the scenic eastern foothills of the Hudson River in Westchester County, New York, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The park covers 1,771 acres, featuring over 55 miles of carriage roads. These roads wind through diverse landscapes, including open meadows, dense forests, tranquil brooks, and the picturesque 24-acre Swan Lake. These paths are a legacy of the Rockefeller family, who meticulously planned and laid them out, ensuring a scenic and serene experience for visitors. The trails are available in the state park and extend into the adjoining private lands still used by the Rockefeller family, offering a unique mix of public and private land exploration.

A path through a wooded area with trees in the background.

Birdwatchers flock to the park, an Important Bird Area designated by the National Audubon Society, to glimpse the over 180 species reported. The varied habitats support a rich array of birdlife, making it a prime spot for bird photography and observation. The preserve’s wildlife is diverse, with birds and other fauna that may be spotted throughout the park.

Bird species that call the Park home include:

  • Canada Goose
  • Mallard
  • Bufflehead
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Red-Tailed Hawks
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
A black and white woodpecker perched on a branch.

Historically, the park is a testament to conservation and philanthropy. It was donated to the state of New York by the Rockefeller family beginning in 1983, with its history dating back to early 20th-century estates and philanthropy. The Rockwood Hall section, which fronts the Hudson River, offers glimpses into the past with its stories of the opulent mansion that once stood there. This section was once the site of William Rockefeller’s home, an English Gothic castle, one of the largest private houses in the U.S. Although the mansion no longer stands, the area provides historical context and stunning river vistas.

A bridge over a body of water.

The Visitor Center at the preserve offers more than just information; it houses a small art gallery featuring local artists’ works, often inspired by the preserve’s natural beauty. For those interested in sustainable agriculture and food production, the nearby Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture provides an interesting detour, with its animals often grazing in the preserve.

A bench in front of a house.
A house with a wooden fence in the middle of a grassy field.

With its rich blend of natural beauty, wildlife, historical significance, and community focus, Rockefeller State Park Preserve offers a multifaceted experience for all visitors looking to enjoy the great outdoors, delve into history, or find a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle.

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