From the kiosk at the northwest corner of the parking area, proceed north on a wide path, following the Fox Hill Trail, marked with “FH” blazes. After crossing a wet area on a boardwalk and a stream on a bridge, the trail continues between stone walls. When the “FH” blazes turn right, continue ahead and cross a covered bridge over the Cross River. Just beyond, you’ll reach junction 1, where...
From the kiosk at the northwest corner of the parking area, proceed north on a wide path, following the Fox Hill Trail, marked with “FH” blazes. After crossing a wet area on a boardwalk and a stream on a bridge, the trail continues between stone walls. When the “FH” blazes turn right, continue ahead and cross a covered bridge over the Cross River. Just beyond, you’ll reach junction 1, where you turn left onto the Brown Trail.
At junction 46, turn right and follow the Brown Trail uphill on a wide woods road. The trail levels off, then resumes its climb. When you reach the top of the climb at junction 45, bear right to continue along the Brown Trail, which now descends. After traversing a relatively level section, the trail climbs steadily.
Continue ahead at junction 44, where another road joins from the left. Just ahead, at junction 5 (marked by a cairn on a stump), bear left, leaving the Brown Trail, and follow the Deer Hollow Trail, marked with “DH” blazes. This trail follows along the hillside, with Deer Hollow below on the right.
In a quarter mile, the Deer Hollow Trail begins to descend, passing a trail register on the right (please sign) and a blue trail on the left that leads into the Lewisboro Town Park. At the base of the descent, it crosses an intermittent stream, then climbs again, passing a yellow trail on the left. From the crest of the rise, the trail descends steeply, then more gradually. It soon begins to parallel a stream on the right and passes the start of another blue trail on the left.
After passing a fenced-off horse farm, with Route 35 visible in the distance, the trail crosses the stream, goes through a gap in a stone wall, and passes a wetland on the left. At junction 40, a white-blazed trail comes in from the right, but you should continue ahead on the Deer Hollow Trail.
The trail now follows a relatively level route, with some minor ups and downs. It passes rock outcrops to the right, continues to parallel the wetland on the left, and goes through an area with thick barberry bushes. After paralleling a stone wall for some distance, it climbs a little, then makes a short, steep descent. You are now about a quarter mile from Route 124, which may be heard and seen through the trees.
Soon, the trail begins to climb, passing more rock outcrops on the right. In two places, the trail is diverted onto a footpath to avoid badly eroded sections of the road. After bending to the left, the Deer Hollow Trail reaches junction 8. Here, you should turn right onto a white-blazed trail and follow it for a third of a mile to junction 7.
Turn left at junction 7 onto the Brown Trail, which soon descends – first steeply, then more gradually. At junction 3, turn right, briefly rejoining the Deer Hollow Trail, but when the two trails diverge (at a sign for junction marker 42), bear left to stay on the Brown Trail, which descends to cross a wet area on a wide boardwalk.
For the next three-quarters of a mile, the Brown Trail follows a woods road along the Cross River, below on the left (to avoid several wet sections, it detours slightly to the right). This is a particularly scenic section, with the trail paralleling the cascading stream. Most of the way, the trail is elevated above the stream, but it dips down in places to approach the stream.
When you reach junction 2, turn left, cross the covered bridge over the river, then immediately turn right to proceed west on the Fox Hill Trail, which continues to parallel the stream. After passing high above the stream, below on the right, the trail goes by a playground and picnic area on the left. A short distance beyond, the Fox Hill Trail reaches another covered bridge over the river. Turn left (do not cross the bridge) and retrace your steps on the Fox Hill Trail back to the parking area.Publication: Submitted by Daniel Chazin on 01/29/2009 updated/verified on 11/22/2020
This hike loops around the northern section of this Westchester County park and parallels the scenic Cross River.
Whether you are going for a day hike or backpacking overnight, it is good practice to carry what we call The Hiking Essentials. These essentials will help you enjoy your outing more and will provide basic safety gear if needed. There may also be more essentials, depending on the season and your needs.
Hiking Shoes or Boots
Water - Two quarts per person is recommended in every season. Keep in mind that fluid loss is heightened in winter as well as summer. Don't put yourself in the position of having to end your hike early because you have run out of water.
Map - Know where you are and where you are going. Many of our hiking areas feature interconnecting network of trails. Use a waterproof/tear-resistant Tyvek Trail Conference map if available or enclose your map in a Ziplock plastic bag. If you have a mobile device, download Avenza’s free PDF Maps app and grab some GPS-enhanced Trail Conference maps (a backup Tyvek or paper version of the map is good to have just in case your batteries die or you don't have service). Check out some map-reading basics here.
Food - Snacks/lunch will keep you going as you burn energy walking or climbing. Nuts, seeds, and chocolate are favorites on the trail.
Sunscreen and insect repellent
Rain Gear and Extra Clothing - Rain happens. So does cold. Be prepared for changing weather. Avoid cotton--it traps water against your skin and is slow to dry. If you are wearing wet cotton and must return to your starting point, you risk getting chills that may lead to a dangerous hypothermia. Choose synthetic shirts, sweaters and/or vests and dress in layers for easy on and off.
Compass - A simple compass is all you need to orient you and your map to magnetic north.
Light - A flashlight or small, lightweight headlamp will be welcome gear if you find yourself still on the trail when darkness falls. Check the batteries before you start out and have extras in your pack.
First Aid Kit - Keep it simple, compact, and weatherproof. Know how to use the basic components.
Firestarter and Matches - In an emergency, you may need to keep yourself or someone else warm until help arrives. A firestarter (this could be as simple as leftover birthday candles that are kept inside a waterproof container) and matches (again, make sure to keep them in a waterproof container) could save a life.
Knife or Multi-tool - You may need to cut a piece of moleskin to put over a blister, repair a piece of broken equipment, or solve some other unexpected problem.
Emergency Numbers - Know the emergency numbers for the area you're going to and realize that in many locations--especially mountainous ones, your phone will not get reception.
Common Sense - Pay attention to your environment, your energy, and the condition of your companions. Has the weather turned rainy? Is daylight fading? Did you drink all your water? Did your companion fail to bring rain gear? Are you getting tired? Keep in mind that until you turn around you are (typically) only half-way to completing your hike--you must still get back to where you started from! (Exceptions are loop hikes.)
Check the weather forecast before you head out. Know the rules and regulations of the area.
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
- Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
- Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
- Repackage food to minimize waste.
- Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
- Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
- Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
- Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
- In popular areas:
- Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
- Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
- Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
- In pristine areas:
- Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
- Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
- Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
- Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
- Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
- Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
- Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
- Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
- Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
- Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
- Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
- Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
- Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
- Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
- Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
- Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
- Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
- Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
- Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
- Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
The Trail Conference is a 2015 Leave No Trace partner.
(c) Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org.