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Stroller-Friendly Walks in NYC, Westchester, Rockland, and LI

Stroller-Friendly Walks in NYC, Westchester, Rockland, and LI

Get our top picks for strolling with your little one in Rockland, Westchester and Bergen counties, Long Island, and New York City.


It’s rare to find a baby that doesn’t like a walk in the stroller. The cool breeze, the pretty views, the soothing sounds. It’s no surprise your little munchkin often takes a snooze on stroller jaunts. Still, the daily stroller loop around the ’hood can lose its appeal after a while for Mom, Dad, or whomever is pushing the stroller.

Lucky for you, we live in an area that has tons of stroller-friendly parks and paths you can explore. We found some that offer more than just a path. That way the rest of the family can have some fun, too. Here are some of our stroller walks in NYC, Westchester, Rockland, Bergen, and Long Island.

Click the links above for the best stroller-friendly walks in your neighborhood!

NYC

1. Central Park

Fifth Avenue to Central Park West, 59th to 110th streets, Manhattan

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Probably the world’s most famous park, Central Park offers a variety of picturesque settings for your stroller jaunt. Walk on the Drive, which has three long-distance routes (1.7, 5.2, or 6.1 miles) or shorter lengths if you cross the paths midway. You can take a more leisurely stroll on the pathways near the Great Lawn. Plus, with 21 playgrounds, a zoo, a carousel, and more, the whole family could spend the whole day in the park for a fun day outdoors.

Why we like it: It’s Central Park. Need we say more.

2. Prospect Park

Between Prospect Park West, Prospect Park Southwest, and Flatbush, Ocean, and Parkside avenues, Brooklyn

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As Brooklyn’s flagship park, the 526-acre Prospect Park offers miles of roadways and paths for recreational (as well as serious) walkers and runners. You’ll find a 3.36-mile running lane along Park Drive.

Why we like it: This park has it all. Visit the zoo, audubon center, playgrounds, and more.

 

3. Van Cortlandt Park

Broadway and Van Cortlandt Park South, The Bronx

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The third largest park in New York City, this 1,416-acre park has something for anyone who loves being outdoors. You’ll find pools, a cross-country running course, and sporting fields and courts. Grab a map at the nature center and choose a walk that takes you on a flat, paved track or one on a trail for a more natural experience.

Why we like it: Four playgrounds are found on the perimeter of the park. They’re designed specifically for kids up to 12 years old.

4. St. Nicholas Park

St. Nicholas Avenue and St. Nicholas Terrace, Upper Manhattan

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Stroll along the park’s wide walkways that are lined with benches. The wooded park features basketball courts, playgrounds, a dog park, and barbecue areas. It’s biggest attraction is Hamilton Grange, which is the home of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

Why we like it: The park is relatively small, making it manageable without being overwhelming. It’s ideal for a short yet pleasant walk.

 

5. Astoria Park

19 19th St., Astoria, Queens

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Stroll around this nearly 60 acre public park with views of the East River, Hell Gate Bridge, and Robert F. Kennedy Bridge. Enjoy a playground, soccer field, skate park, and courts for tennis, basketball, and bocce.

Why we like it: It includes the Astoria Play Center, which has a recreation center and beautiful pool (one of the largest in the city).

 

Westchester

1. Croton Point Park

1A Croton Point Ave., Croton-on-Hudson

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This 508-acre park is located on a peninsula on the east shore of the Hudson River. It offers perfect trails for pushing a stroller. When you’re done, sit down and feed your little one at one of the many picnic tables.

Why we like it: The park is home to the Croton Dam and a huge waterfall, which is the centerpiece of the park.

2. FDR Park

2957 Crompond Road, Yorktown Heights

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You and your little munchkin will love strolling along the 2-mile paved loop. It ends at a playground with climbing walls, swings, and other equipment. Or try Crom Pond Trail. The 2-mile path will take you across footbridges and to the water’s edge.

Why we like it: You can rent a rowboat or pedal boat to use at Mohansic Lake or Crom Pond.

3. Kensico Dam Plaza

1 Bronx River Parkway Road, Valhalla

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The dam is 307 feet high and 1,843 feet long, forming the Kensico Reservoir. The county’s 9/11 memorial—an open structure called “The Rising”—is found at the intersection of pathways and viewpoints. Enjoy the track that’s perfect for stroller walking as well as bike riding or running. Plus, the park has lighting so it’s open after dark.

Why we like it: It has two playgrounds—one geared to younger kids and another for older ones. They’re located side by side, so you don’t have to worry about turning your back on anyone.

4. Lasdon Park & Arboretum

2610-NY 35, Katonah

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This stroller-friendly, 234-acre property has woodlands, open-grass meadows, and formal gardens with flower and shrub specimens from around the world. The park is home to a museum that honors Westchester veterans.

Why we like it: At the popular dinosaur garden, use your smartphone to scan the Zappar codes on each sign. Meet Lexi the T-Rexy who gives fun facts about dinosaurs. When you’re done, snap a photo with Lexi and post it at #LexiatLasdon.

 

Rockland County

1. Bear Mountain State Park

Route 9W North, Bear Mountain

Bear Mountain Park is just over the Bear Mountain Bridge. Picnic and enjoy the views as you eat near Hessian Lake. In fact, take the paved trail along the lake for any easy stroller walk. Kids will love the old-fashioned carousel, playground, and open spaces where they can run. Drive to Perkins Memorial Tower at the top of the mountain. Here, you’ll get a view of the New York City skyline.



Why we like it: The park’s zoo houses local wild animals that are being rehabilitated, including, of course, bears.

2. Rockland State Park

299 Rockland Lake Road, Valley Cottage

Walk, jog, or bicycle on the 3.2-mile, non-motorized use paved trail that goes around Rockland Lake. A new playground for children ages 12 and younger is near one of the picnic areas. The park also has a car top boat launch dock, hiking trails with Hudson Valley views, six tennis courts, and two 18-hole golf courses.

Why we like it: Enjoy a new water complex featuring a 5,000 square foot, zero entrance swimming pool with diving boards, a spray ground, and two large water slides.

 

3. Tallman Mountain State Park

Route 9W, Sparkill

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This park overlooks the Hudson River and Piermont Marsh. Enjoy a walking trail, plus a running track, tennis courts, hiking, and picnic areas.

Why we like it: Along the Long Path to the north is Piermont, a village that is home to restaurants, craft shops, and art galleries.

 

Bergen County

1. Van Saun County Park

216 Forest Ave., Paramus

Grab the stroller and hit the walking path. The 1½-mile path winds through the park and takes you past the zoo, garden, and carousel. Within its 146 acres, Van Saun County Park has popular attractions including a zoo, train, carousel, spray ground, and large playground. Enjoy lunch or a snack at one of the pavilions with tables or the grassy picnic areas located throughout the park.

Why we like it: You’d never know this park is close to heavily travelled Routes 4, 17, and 80, and the Garden State Parkway.

2. Saddle River County Park

660 Saddle River Road, Saddle Brook

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This 577-acre park connects five towns—Fair Lawn, Paramus, Ridgewood, Rochelle Park, and Saddle Brook. You’ll find a 6-mile path for walking as well as biking and jogging. Park the stroller and have a tennis match on the courts, hit baseballs on the diamond, or climb on the playground. Fido or Spot can even befriend some fellow canines in the off-leash dog area.

Why we like it: Start the trip in one town and walk your way over to another one.

 

3. Palisades Interstate Park

Along the Hudson River, Northern Bergen County

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The Palisades Interstate Park is about 12 miles long and a ½ mile wide, and it’s located along the eastern edge of New Jersey along the Hudson River. So, you’ll have lots of spots to explore with your stroller. You’ll find 2,500 acres of Hudson River shorefront, uplands, and cliffs. The park boasts 30 miles of hiking trails, a scenic riverside drive, cliff-top overlooks, and historic sights. Use access ramps to the Hudson for crabbing, fishing, personal kayaks, and canoes.

Why we like it: Inside the park, you’ll find the Women’s Federation Monument. It honors the preservation contributions of the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs.

4. Overpeck County Park

400 Fort Lee Road, Leonia

Enjoy 5 miles of walking trails to push your stroller along at the county’s largest recreational venue. The park also houses a playground, canoe/kayak launch, athletic fields, picnic spots, and fishing areas. (Fun fact: The land was once a landfill!)

Why we like it: It has clean restrooms and tons of sunny spots.

 

Long Island

1. Norman J. Levy Park & Preserve

1600 Merrick Road, Merrick

Dedicated to the memory of the late New York State Sen. Norman J. Levy, a Merrick resident and a champion for the environment, Levy Park and Preserve opened in 2000. You’ll find 3 miles of trails with exercise stations alongside them. The preserve’s highest point of 155 feet gives amazing views of the Jones Beach Tower, the New York City skyline, and numerous coastal treasures.

Why we like it: Gaze at the windmill, which is the most visible feature here.

2. Valley Stream State Park

Valley Stream State Park Road, Valley Stream

Stroll along the walking course, a loop with 15 fitness stations. You’ll also find playgrounds, basketball and volleyball courts, and nature trails. The Squirrel Nut and Hickory Nut nature trail in particular lets kids explore various habitats in the park.

Why we like it: It’s smaller than other state parks, so it’s manageable if your little one wants to escape the confines of the stroller mid-walk.

3. Christopher Morley Park

500 Searingtown Road North, Roslyn

The peaceful, mile-long paved walking trail here is surrounded by trees and beautiful homes. You’ll find three baseball fields, volleyball courts, four basketball courts, and an outdoor swimming complex.

Why we like it: A recently renovated playground will let the kids run off their energy, plus it has a nontraditional climbing apparatus.

4. Wantagh Park

1 King Road, Wantagh

Stroller along the 2-mile fitness trail. A playground at the north end of the park has equipment geared to toddlers through teens. An 18-hole miniature golf course is open seasonally. And a newly turfed dog run near the administration building has separate areas for big and small dogs.

Why we like it: You’ll find 20 simple fitness stations along the trail including stretching, pull-ups, sit-ups, and balance walking exercises that slightly increase in difficulty as you walk.

5. Inwood Park

600 Bayview Ave., Inwood

This pretty and modern Nassau County park crams plenty into its 16 acres. The walking path is located around the perimeter of the park by the water. The park is home to a softball field, two basketball courts, and two tennis courts. Older ones can play on the playground while you feed the baby or have a snack at the picnic area.

Why we like it: Re-live your youth at the roller rink. It’s open from April through November and is available for charter, weather permitting.

 

 

 


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Stacey Feintuch

Author: Stacey Feintuch is a freelance writer for print and online publications. She has written for ReadersDigest.com, BestofNJ.com, K health, The Boca Raton Observer magazine, The Bump, Care.com, Healthline, Highlights for Kids, HealthyWomen, and other outlets. She has a BA in journalism from The George Washington University and an MA in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She grew up in Morris County, NJ, and currently lives in Bergen County, NJ. A mom to two boys, you'll find her at the baseball diamond on the weekends. See More

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