Hardscrabble Wilderness Area Trail

Buckhout Corners, New York 10546

Hardscrabble Wilderness Area Trail

Hardscrabble Wilderness Area Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Situated on 235 sprawling acres in central Westchester County, Hardscrabble Wilderness Area is an easily accessible day away in the outdoors for you and your pup. Developed and managed by the town of Mount Pleasant, Hardscrabble offers rolling hills, babbling brooks, a small pond, and a moderately challenging hike.

The park is a popular hiking destination for local dog owners, as well as the few in-the-know folks that have caught on to this little gem. Situated near the villages of Pleasantville and Chappaqua, the area offers adorable cafes where you may elect to enjoy post-hike refreshment with your canine companion in summer months."

Hardscrabble Wilderness Area Trail Trip Reports

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I used to be a big hiker back in the day, but since moving to NYC my hiking days have died. After a number of years of inactivity I wanted to get back into the woods. I recently got a car, loaded up my dogs and a few friends and headed for Hardscrabble.

The area is BEAUTIFUL with gorgeous trees, bridges over babbling brooks and few people on the trails. This being my first time, I kept my dogs on leash (as posted and required) but every other dog we met (4 of them) were unleashed and it didn't seem like a problem. The trail is VERY easy to quick spurts of moderate climbs--nothing excessive that my out of shape self and my not very active friends couldn't handle. The two mini-dachshunds were ahead of us the entire time and didn't tire out until we were back in the car. We took the longest route of the many routes available by always making a left when the trail split. The trail is well marked and easy to navigate. I loved the serenity; however, running into power lines occasionally, ending up accidentally in a few backyards of private residences, and the constant but quite distant noise of a nearby highway made it hard to feel isolated.

I give it four stars and will return one day with the dogs to further explore and enjoy a quick, beautiful afternoon.
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Despite a somewhat overcast day this hike was fantastic. Our two dogs had even more fun than we did. They romped around the trail and had a blast racing through the openly wooded areas that surround it. They of course found every place the brook and trail converged (which are quite a few) and enjoyed splashing around in the pools. Just watch out for some of the swampy and muddy areas as we had to back track at the end of the trail to find a good place for the dogs to rinse off. All in all it was a wonderful afternoon and we are certainly going back!
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As far as hikes go, so so. However, Hardscrabble is a great place to take your dog for a romp and run. Lots of creeks and ponds, as well as an occasional bog with black mud that'll make you chuckle when your pup emerges.

While some times on weekends it's like a giant dog run, during off hours, Hardscrabble is often surprisingly serene. One of those "close to the city" spots that provides a great outlet for people and pups.

Hardscrabble Wilderness Area Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Buckhout Corners
Nearby City
310 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
2 hours
500 feet
Trailhead Elevation
540 feet
Top Elevation
Mount Pleasant Parks Department
Local Contacts
USGS Ossining and White Plains
Local Maps

Trail Log