Kennedy Trail, Somers

Directions: From Route 100 or Route 684, go to Kennedy Catholic High School at 54 Route 138 in Somers, NY.  Go to the back of the parking lot where you'll see a chain link fence.  The trail starts behind that fence.

Or...From Route 139 or Route 202 in Somers, turn onto Brick Hill Road.  When you reach the side street Palma Road, stay on Brick Hill, and go down hill.  On the right hand side you will find the entrance to the trail, marked by 4 or 5 boulders.  Just hop over them or go around.

Trail Information: Its a cinder trail, relatively flat and straight.   There are a few places where erosion has washed out the original trail, but alternate routes have been carved out by ATV's and runners. It is 2 miles from the Kennedy High School entrance to Brick Hill Road.  The trail continues on after that, but is not as well-maintained. The mid-way point is marked by a large felled tree on the side of the trail closest to the lake.  Watch out for deer and the occasional howling coyotes before dawn or after dusk.

Miscellaneous Information: The trail was a part of the Old Putnam Railroad line between the Bronx and Putnam County and you can still find some old railroad ties along the trail.

I'm not sure who owns the trail now, whether its the Town of Somers or Kennedy High School, but the high school cross country and track teams train on it, and no one seems to mind the local runners who use it daily.

Additional Information:

The trail is owned by the Town of Somers, but some of it does pass through watershed property, so all NYC Watershed laws must be obeyed.

Right next to the old rotting log that makes the middle of the trail, there is a trail that leads up to Somers HS, where there is a great series of trails that the Somers XC team built and race on. There are almost two miles of trails. From Somers HS, there is a trail that goes to Reis Park in Somers. From the Kennedy trail to Reis Park is probably about two miles and running these hilly trails can add some nice distance to the run. There should be signs put up this fall showing you how to get to Reis Park. Once at Reis Park, there are three fitness trails in varying lengths (1200m, 800m, 600m) that are great for doing workouts on. By combining these series of trails, one can get many miles in without repeating much, and no one minds when you run on any of the trails, except sometimes Kennedy HS-

If you take the trail from Brick Hill road and just before you get to Kennedy HS you make a right and keep staying to the right, there is a very pleasant run on a trail that runs adjacent to the Resevoir. This trail hits Plum Brook road, and if you turn right on Plum Brook road, you can go over a no longer used bridge whch is quite old. That road is closed at that point and very nice to run on.

If you make that left onto Plum Brook road, go down about 1/4 mile and make a right onto rt. 138, go down another 1/4 mile, you can make a right onto an old dirt road and tack on another 1.5 miles going out. This can make the run a nice long run, while only adding on about a mile of paved road.

The main Kennedy Trail also crosses over Brick Hill Road and heads down towards Mahopac, NY. This trail is quite rough, and if you can find your way across route 202, it continues for another three miles. There are many places where the Plum Brook actually combines with the trail, but if you don't mind terrible footing, it is a very nice run, which culminates in the Power Lines that run between route 118 and Lovell Street in Lincolndale, NY. If you are looking for a challenging hill, turn right in the power lines and run up the hill that the Somers XC team calls Avalanche Mountain.

There are many trails in this area that are worth checking out. contact Tim Fulton, XC coach Somers HS, for any information on the trails, as he maintains a lot of them with his team.

Tim Fulton
XC Coach-Somers NY