Early Settlement — River Walk Trail
The natural environment that you encounter along this trail includes the beautiful flowing of the Kisco River, a high tree canopy, an open natural viewscape across Leonard Park and all of mother nature's wonders that live and thrive in a stream and woodlands environment.
The geological, historic and ecosystem underpinnings of this trail spans billions of years, from geological mountain building to the arrival of the railroad and the Spencer Optical plant. Along the trail you will see a huge boulder (entrance to the Grist Mill) that is evidence of the volcanic mountain building that took place eons ago. Also, as you cross over Byram Lake Road from Leonard Park to the Grist Mill site, you will be passing the area that once was an early Lenni Lenape indigenous people's village.
Fast forward to the age of the early European settlers in the 1700s. The historic remains of the Grist Mill site indicate the early migration and settlement of Europeans in our area. Moving on to 1781 and the revolutionary war, as you walk along the trail you will actually be walking through the 13th French encampment where 5,000 French troops camped on their march to Virginia and the battle of Yorktown. With the coming of the industrial age, Mount Kisco became the site of one of the largest eyeglass manufacturing plants in the United States. On the southern loop of this trail you will be walking right by this factory’s ruins.
The trail follows the course of the Kisco River, source of the water power that helped build Mount Kisco. The river also hosts a rich, biodiverse natural environment with a lush canopy featuring hundred-year old trees, as well as dozens of species of birds, fish, flowers, pollinators, and other natural residents.
Where to Park
To hike the entire trail you can park in the parking lots in Leonard Park near the pool or Tea House. You can hike the entire trail from there.