Summer Fun in Westchester County: Get Active
Run, swing, and sail your way through summer.
Jog Your Memory of Warm-Weather Workouts
One of the biggest pleasures of summer is forgetting about that gym membership in favor of strapping on some running shoes. What better place to get outdoor exercise than in a county that boasts countless trails, cul-de-sacs, and parks to jog through? White Plains’ Andrew Kimerling, owner of runners’ gear shop Westchester Road Runner, marathon participant, and frequent jogger, shares his five favorite summertime jogging paths.
Rockefeller State Park Preserve
A “runners’ heaven,” Kimerling says, this park is “far and away the nicest place to run,” with more than 20 miles of crisscrossing groomed carriage trails, scenic vistas, and winding brooks. Runners can delight in observing the natural habitats of surrounding wildlife within a property that spans over a thousand acres.
Weaving its way from New Rochelle to White Plains, partly along a horse trail that lies adjacent to the Hutchinson River Parkway, this trail boasts many options, says Kimerling. “Until recently, only pieces of the trail were in existence from their original design. They have finally connected the pieces to make one singular trail that converges near a big loop by Saxon Woods. This lends to a greater variety of choice where jogging is concerned, especially given the trail’s permanence for residents of both Northern and Southern Westchester.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park
Both paved and unpaved roads run through FDR State Park, which is also a favorite site for many local County races. The path is perfect for joggers, says Kimerling, due to its two loops that help runners get back to the same place they started. For that, he says, it is “far more difficult” to get lost on.
Bronx River Pathway
This path offers a wonderful scenic view of the Parkway that is “quite pretty,” Kimerling says. It has very few breaks and a flatter terrain compared with other routes in Westchester, so runners can trek as far as the Kensico Dam in the Parkway’s almost 20-mile span. Also, for County cycle enthusiasts, a portion of the Parkway closes on Sundays to bikers.
North and South County Trailways
Putnam to Yonkers
Not known for a rough terrain, this trail is ideal for those looking for a smooth path enhanced by its hardened asphalt paving. The one caveat, says Kimerling, is the trail’s effect on the knees while jogging, rendering a tougher workout overall. The biggest upside, according to Kimerling, is a general lack of ups and downs in hills and rolling plains. The path diverges into two directions, North and South, leaving runners a greater choice.
Get On a Boat
If you’ve ever felt like a fraud skipping around in Top-Siders without the skipper know-how, hook up with one of these quick-teach local sailing schools this summer—no yacht, membership, or experience required.
Suitable both for sailors who want to brush up on their skills and for never-been-on-a-boat novices, nonprofit SEAS Westchester employs American Red Cross-trained instructors to lead its low-cost, basic education program. You’ll learn boating terminology, safety procedures, and basic boat handling in a classroom setting, on top of 16 hours of hands-on (deck) action. Launching its fleet of single-sail boats from Shattemuc Yacht Club’s beach on Croton Bay in Ossining, SEAS offers TZ bridge and Palisades views and a Metro-North-accessible location. Classroom sessions begin in mid to late May, with class sequences running from May to June, June to July, and July to August. $195 for joining membership, with $50 renewal each year.
Croton Sailing School’s basic hands-on sailing classes take place at the broadest stretch of the Hudson River for beginner-friendly navigation. A “patience, not pressure” teaching philosophy guarantees plenty of personal attention, as does the four-student limit to each accredited instructor. Following a brief primer on sail theory, groups are oriented to their 24’ Rainbow, and then it’s off to Haverstraw Bay to learn while sailing. In the afternoon, students practice crew and skipper duties like anchoring, mooring, and tying nautical knots. All new sailors graduate with a nationally recognized American Sailing Association (ASA) certification. Two-day courses are offered every week from April to November, 9 am to 4 pm. $395 per person.
A four-time ASA “School of the Year,” New York Sailing School makes it easy to get your feet wet on an excursion tailored to virgins of the high seas. Take a go at steering and get an idea of what the sport is all about on the two-and-a-half-hour Introduction to Sailing outing (weekend mornings; $50). Or, if you already have your sea legs, start with a one- or two-day fundamentals course (includes morning classroom sessions; $200 to $400). If you’re serious about setting sail solo by the end of the season, breeze into NYSS’s most popular, and most comprehensive, learn-to-sail program, the Master’s Course ($850). All sailing is done aboard a roomy Sonar 23’, with plenty of opportunities to take breaks, observe classmates, and enjoy the sights along the Sound.
The Society for the Education of American Sailors (SEAS)
(914) 631-4164; westchester.sailseas.com
Croton Sailing School
(914) 271-6868; crotonsailing.com
New York Sailing School
(914) 235-6052; nyss.com
Make a Racquet
Haven’t picked up a racquet since they were made of stone? Don’t despair—even if you don’t already invest in a full-on country/health club membership, you can still get back in the game at a host of open-door facilities around the County, where you can simply drop in or sign up beforehand. Itching to get outside and hit a few this weekend? Contact your town’s parks and rec department for court booking info. (Tip: Many of our high schools and colleges welcome residents, too.)
Proform at Doral Arrowwood
Indoor and outdoor hard courts; hourly private play; private and group lessons with former ATP pros. Daily adult clinics (free placement evaluation); junior and junior high-performance camps. Pro shop on premises. Summer season: June 24 to August 25. 975 Anderson Hill Rd, Rye Brook (914) 935-6688; proformtennis.com
Six-week evening course open to all ability levels—beginner youth ($110) up to advanced adult ($135)—May 29 through July 3. Singles and doubles play with an emphasis on strategy and “movement and improvement.” Mount Kisco Recreation Commission, 104 Main St Mount Kisco (914) 666-3059 mountkisco.org
Rye Racquet Club
Nine courts (four outdoor, five indoor). Adult workshops (beginner up to former Division 1 athletes), leagues, cardio tennis, early bird/lunchtime programs, competitive singles play, club team; junior classes for all ages/levels. Japanese tennis program and nursery services. 3 South Rd, Harrison (914) 835-3030; ryeracquet.com
Chestnut Ridge Racquet Club
Six indoor, four outdoor courts; nationally/internationally ranked pros. Adult private/drill group instruction and teams; junior instruction (all levels) and competitive programs. Early childhood and senior programs; summer league memberships available. 30 Snyders Hill Rd, Mount Kisco (914) 666-2898 chestnutridgetennis.com
Hudson Valley Health & Tennis Club
Adult, junior, and children’s programs; hourly court time, no summer membership fees. Located on the Hudson, adjacent to the Metro-North. For seasonal updates, search “Hudson Valley Health & Tennis Club” on Facebook. 100 River St, Hastings-on-Hudson (914) 478-4400
Two lower Westchester locations; 16 indoor/outdoor soft courts. Private and group adult and junior instruction. Access both facilities—each with clubhouse, lounge, pro shop, and locker rooms—with a low-commitment summer tennis and swim membership (includes designated complimentary court time). Lake Isle Country Club, 660 White Plains Rd, Eastchester (914) 777-5151; Harbor Island Park, Mamaroneck Ave and Boston Post Rd, Mamaroneck (914) 777-5050; sportimeny.com
Saw Mill Club
Take up to four private lessons (or try one tennis class) contract-free. Check the site for events, including mixed doubles play, open to non-members. Juniors do not have to be members to participate in tennis classes. 77 Kensico Dr, Mount Kisco (914) 241-0797; sawmillclub.com/tennis
Golf For Good
Mark Twain famously remarked that “golf is a good walk spoiled.” Well, it doesn’t all have to go to waste, does it? Put your slice to good use by golfing for one of these philanthropic causes.
ANDRUS’ Ninth Annual Golf Fore Kids
Siwanoy Country Club, Bronxville
(914) 965-3700; andruschildren.org
Play 18 holes of golf and enjoy a buffet luncheon, cocktails, dinner, and a brief live auction—and help kids in the process. ANDRUS, located in Yonkers, offers campus-based programs, mental-health services, and community programs that benefit children and families.
Westchester Neuroscience Research Foundation Golf Outing
Leewood Golf Club, Eastchester
(914) 948-3008 westchesterneuroscience.org
The 4th Annual Outing Fundraiser for the Westchester Neuroscience Research Foundation includes a golf tournament, a putting contest, brunch, and an auction and cocktail reception (which non-golfers can attend, if you have any duffers at home that still want to help). Last year’s outing raised $70,000 toward research for brain cancer, spinal injuries, and head trauma.
36th Annual Guiding Eyes
June 9 and 10
Mount Kisco Country Club, Mount Kisco; Fairview Country Club Greenwich, CT
(914) 245-4024; guidingeyes.org
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning hosts the event, which, on June 10, features breakfast, a shotgun start, lunch served on the course, and cocktails, a silent auction, and dinner at the Mount Kisco Country Club. The day before, June 9, the country’s top blind golfers take to the links to compete in the Corcoran Cup.
Autism Speaks Fifteenth Annual Celebrity Golf Challenge
Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck
(646) 843-6661; autismspeaks.org
Last year, boldface names such as Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Boley, Chris Wragge, and Tony Devolani joined golfers to raise money for Autism Speaks. This year, in addition to a celebrity golf tournament, there will be a million-dollar shootout contest, putting contests, brunch, cocktails, and dinner.
Hudson Valley Bank Golf Outings
June 17, Mount Kisco Country Club Mount Kisco
July 22, Fenway Golf Club, Scarsdale
(914) 768-6801; hudsonvalleybank.com
Each year, the Hudson Valley Bank holds not just one, but a string of golf outings to benefit local charities. (There’s also one on September 19 at The Saint Andrew’s Golf Club in Hastings-on-Hudson.) Each outing includes lunch, cocktails, and dinner.
City of Hope Golf Classic
Westchester Country Club, Rye
(213) 241-7111; cityofhope.org
Though City of Hope is based outside of Los Angeles, we don’t mind dispatching locals to the Westchester Country Club to help out its patient care and research efforts. Each year, City of Hope’s Golf Classic raises money for the Tim Nesvig Lymphoma Fellowship and Research Fund.