One of our favorite aspects of life in the suburbs of White Plains, NY is the wealth of nature destinations. Even though we’re just a short drive from one of the world’s largest metropolises, it’s easy to enjoy time outdoors in the wide variety of nature preserves in this region. Our White Plains workers compensation lawyers are especially big fans of the Silver Lake Preserve, which features 236 acres of untouched woodlands, fields, streams, and beautiful topography. A few of the many reasons why we love this nature preserve include:
While it’s easy to appreciate the beauty of Silver Lake Preserve with the naked eye, we think the experience becomes even more fulfilling once you learn about the rich history of this land.
During the colonial era, Silver Lake was known at Horton’s Pond, then later St. Mary’s, before the name was finally changed to Silver Lake. The Horton’s Pond title was designated as such because the Horton family used to operate a grain mill powered by pond water here, which was formed through the damming of the Mamaroneck River. That mill is still there today, but it’s used as a private residence separate from the park.
Silver Lake Preserve was also a battleground for the Revolutionary War in 1776. It was also a site on the Underground Railroad, and many escaped slaves passed through here while making their escapes into Canada.
In 1924 and 1925, the county acquired the site in two parcels. In the northern section, you can find the ruins of the old Stony Hill Settlement, which was founded by the Purchase meeting of the Quakers.
In the late 19th century, the Stony Hill community began to expand. By the early 20th century, there were at least 26 homes and outbuildings along Stony Hill Road. The steepest point of the road was paved with cobblestones and ended in a footpath which connected to Buckhout Road. The park was officially created in 1925, but the last family living here left in 1941.
The history of this area goes back even further, as many prehistoric and archeological discoveries have been made within the preserve.
Trails & Hiking
Silver Lake Preserve Trail runs in a 1.6-mile looping trail, which is of relatively easy difficulty and suitable for hikers of all experience and skill levels. It’s a great place to introduce your younger children to hikers for the first time, and to enjoy the beauty of nature with a hike with the whole family.
Even in the steep parts of the trail, flattened rocks make natural staircases which allow you to descend without any major risk of injury. You can easily get a good workout here while taking in some of the most picturesque views the state of New York has to offer, including trees, rock formations, and ruins from homes and fireplaces from colonial times through the early 20th century.