Located in the Hudson Valley, in Ossining, New York, Teatown Lake Reservation has approximately 834 acres dedicated to the preservation of nature and a renowned education center. In 1176, British taxation made tea scarce. With a large chest comprised of tea, John Arthur moved to the Westchester area with the hopes of making a large profit off his tea. The Daughters of Eve discovered Arthur’s plan, and decided to siege his farmhouse until he agreed to fairly sell his tea. This is where the name, Teatown originated.


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The Teatown Lake Reservation was originally owned by Arthur Vernay. Under Vernay’s ownership, the estate was called The Croft. When Vernay passed away, the estate was given to Dan Hanna. Hanna made a few renovations to the estate, including the new stable. Currently, the stable is the Teatown Lake Reservation’s Nature Center.

A few years after Hanna was given the house, the Chairman of General Electric, Gerard Swope, Sr., purchased the estate. Since Swope’s family had a passion for riding horses, Swope built new horse trails. Another major renovation Swope did was creating the 42 acre lake, which was possible from damming Bailey Brook.

In 1957, Swope passed away. His children became the owners of his property. But, six years after Swope passed away, his children donated 194 acres of land to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. This land donation was used as an outreach station. By 1971, Teatown had expanded notably and was thriving under the direction of a board of directors. It became apparent that Teatown did not need to maintain its relationship with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. So, the partnership ended.

Today, the Teatown Lake Reservation has over 800 acres of land. The Reservation continues to preserve the environment while simultaneously education visitors and the general community about horticulture and the overall environment.

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There are two main attractions at the Teatown Reservation Center: the Visitor Center and the hiking trails. The Visitor’s Center is located at the entrance of the Teatown Reservation Center and is the perfect location for people to learn a quick background of Teatown and the wildlife that call it home.

Raptor Loop showcases a few of the Reservation’s non-releasable birds.

Animal Ambassadors features local wildlife that is used for educational classes, workshops, and activities.

Wildflower Woods is a fenced-off classroom where people can learn about the forests in New York, and the overall United States.

Artist on Display showcases a highlighted local artist that captures elements of nature. The current artist in residency is Berl Brechner.

Aside from the attractions in the Nature Center, the Teatown Lake Reservation has over 15 miles of hiking trails. Every trail is open every day, regardless of the weather. It’s important to note that the trails can easily become slippery when it rains, and will mostly accumulate snow during the winter. While many people utilize the snow to do cross country skiing or snowshoeing, you should be cautious of exploring the trails during inclement weather. The hiking trails are divided among three different levels of difficulty:

· Easy hikes include the Lakeside Trail, Twin Lakes/Waterfall/Lakeside Trail Loop, and Twin Lakes/Waterfall/Hilltop.

· Moderate hikes include the Twin Lakes Loop, Teatown Hill Loop, and Catamount Hill.

· Strenuous hikes include the Big Loop and Cliffdale Loop.

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3.Educational Opportunities

Educational Opportunities
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The Teatown Lake Reservation has so many educational opportunities that the educational programs at the Teatown Lake Reservation seem endless. These educational programs include field trips, classes, workshops, teacher training, clubs, and camps.

One of the most popular educational opportunities at the Teatown Lake Reservation is their field trip program. During their field trip program, students are able to learn about STEM based topics in a fun and engaging way. Each activity is taught in a small group. In other words, there the ratio of instructors to students is 1:12. Thus, every student who visits the Teatown Lake Reservation will leave the field trip with new experiences and knowledge.

Another popular program at the Teatown Lake Reservation is their class programs. While the Reservation offers a variety of classes for people of all ages, one of their most renowned and extensive classes is for undergraduate and graduate students. The Teatown Lake Reservation partnered with Pace University to create an ecology course that gives students some in-field experience. One of the best benefits of this course is once students pass it, they are able to intern with any local environmental organization they have their sights on.

For more information about field trips, classes, or any other educational opportunity at the Teatown Lake Reservation, check out the Reservation’s website, or contact them during their hours of operation.

1600 Spring Valley Rd, Ossining, NY 10562, Phone: 914-762-2912, website

More Things to Do in the Hudson Valley

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Best Things to Do in the Hudson Valley: Teatown Lake Reservation

  • History, Photo: Courtesy of Pakhnyushchyy - Fotolia.com
  • Attractions, Photo: Courtesy of r3v1a - Fotolia.com
  • Educational Opportunities, Photo: Courtesy of Alekss - Fotolia.com
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