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    North of NYC North of NYC By Houlihan Lawrence By Houlihan Lawrence by

    The Blossoms

    Those first shoots and sprigs are always cause for celebration because they’re harbingers of blooming flowers and warm weather to come. The gentle white blossoms don’t last long before being displaced by lush waves of green, but those couple of weeks stretch a surreal canvas over everyday living.

    The Farmer’s Markets

    Great chefs and gourmands have long evangelized letting the catch or forage of the day dictate the menu, and with abundant Farmer’s Markets in our communities, there’s no shortage of places to score some fresh local bounty.

    farmer's market vegetables

    The biking

    Thanks to the abandonment of the lost “Old Put” train line that once served central Westchester and Putnam counties, three interconnected trailways afford joggers and bikers over 22 paved miles of smooth, graded right-of-way without ever sharing the road with automobiles. Further north, the Dutchess Rail Trail couples up with Walkway over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie, linking to additional mileage in Ulster County.

    The Picnics

    From the Hudson Valley to the back country of Connecticut, we’re in the bread basket of the Northeast offering some of the most idyllic and scenic picnic spots. What better way to enjoy it than noshing in nature? Dust off a picnic blanket, break out the sporks and hit a local farmer’s market for ingredients. Storm King Art Center ( New Windsor, NY) and Lasdon Park Arboretum (Katonah, NY) have designated picnic areas, while Stamford Museum and Nature Center (Stamford, CT) invites picnicking on the Meadow, alongside 80 acres of nature trails.

    picnic and bike

    The Patio Brunches

    Weekend brunches are infinitely better al fresco, and we’re lucky to have plenty of places to do it, each offering a unique experience. Whether watching tugboats trudge up the Hudson from Irvington’s Red Hat on the River, Hinckleys in the harbor docking at L’escale in Greenwich Harbor, teleporting to Paris in the courtyard of Chappaqua’s Le Jardin du Roi or sampling locally-sourced cuisine over crashing water at The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls, the food and surroundings are equally on point.

    The Hiking

    Trails, trails everywhere. We’ve got paths skirting shorelines, wandering through the woods and into the past. Backpackers can pick up the Appalachian Trail at multiple locations in the Hudson Valley and Litchfield Hills. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation between Bedford and Lewisboro boasts 4,700 acres, including paths followed by the fabled Leatherman, a nomadic French-fluent vagabond immortalized in local legend. The Leatherstocking Trail in Lower Westchester affords routes for residents in our busier suburban neighborhoods that seem worlds away.