Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park, a gem in the midst of New York’s sprawling suburbs, is as beloved by visitors and day-trippers alike as it was on its opening day in 1922. Boasting a convenient location in Westchester just off the Taconic State Parkway, coupled with year-round activities for the whole family to enjoy, its not hard to see why the park is so popular.
Team sports take center stage on the lush green landscape of the park. Volleyball nets, two NCAA regulation basketball courts, softball and soccer fields are all available for use. Perhaps most popular is the disk golf course, offering nineteen challenging holes of play on both field and forest. Disk golf aficionados may like to take note that this unique course is free in the winter off-season. Kids will be excited to find that the park’s rolling hills are also open in the winter to sledding.
After the games, kids can explore the park’s playground while the adults relax and have lunch at one of the many picnic sites. For large groups, picnic areas or shelters can be reserved in advance. There are also concession stands available near the pool and parking for snacks and drinks. Runners, walkers, and cross-country skiers will fall in love with the park’s trails. Although limited in size, they are well marked and maintained, making them a great option for use with children or elderly.
Despite the seemingly limitless activities on land, be sure to bring your bathing suit when visiting Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park. The crown jewels of the park, Mohansic Lake and attached Crom Pond, feature boating and fishing all year. Both rowboats and paddle boats are available for rent, and locals are free to use the boat launch with proof of a regional boating permit. In addition, visitors must also display a New York State Freshwater Fishing License to fish on premises, but are rewarded with plentiful bass, perch, and sun fish in return. Visitors, take note that the lake is also available in the winter for ice skating and fishing.
Just across from the lake is the park’s enormous pool, designed to accommodate 3,500 swimmers and 1.5 million gallons of water. Clean and well staffed by lifeguards from June through Labor Day, locals and visitors alike can have some fun in the sun while beating the heat.
Originally named Mohansic State Park after its namesake lake, it was changed to its current moniker on the hundredth anniversary of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s birth. Regardless of name, the park has long been host to community events, fundraisers, and festivals throughout its history. One of the more famous annual events is the Powwow and Native American Festival, hosted each September by the Taino Naboria Society. The festival is a gathering place for local and regional tribes, as well visiting tribes from around the country, and features traditional crafts and jewelry. Demonstrations, music, dance, and food also play a central role in the festival’s popularity. Many trail and hiking groups hold meetings in the park, and charitable walks are a regular sight on the trails.
Located in Yorktown Heights, NY, the park is accessible on its north side via Crompond Road, and also offers a Bee-Line bus stop at this location. For highway travelers, the park is served by its own exit off of the Taconic State Parkway. Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park is open all year, from 8am to sunset on weekends and 9am to sunset on weekdays, and is family friendly with conveniently placed restroom facilities. Dogs must be leashed, and are allowed in all areas of the park excepting offices and the pool or picnic areas. Although all fields and picnic areas are free for individuals and families, there is an $8 fee per car to enter the park, so carpooling is recommended. For more information, call the park at (914) 245-4434, or visit the park’s website.