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Westchester Takes Day Off on North County Trail

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Even though he doesn’t have to go to Pleasantville Middle School the entire week, 11-year-old Ian Townsend said Monday that Presidents Day meant more to him than having the day off.

“I like that we celebrate it because we should give respect to our Presidents,” the sixth-grader said. “But it’s also nice to not have to go to school and to get outside and have fun.”

Ian and his family took to biking the North County Trailway Monday to get an active start to a week-long break from school. The Townsends were one of dozens of families across Westchester that walked, jogged or biked the paved pathway that runs more than 22 miles through Westchester County. The path replaces the former Putnam Division of the New York Central Railroad, which once ran through more than 20 stations in Westchester County.

Dan Townsend said he brought sons Ian and 9-year-old Nicholas out on the trail because the unusually warm weather and the rare day off provided a perfect opportunity to go outside.

“Unlike these guys, I’ve unfortunately not got the entire week off so I’m trying to take advantage today with the kids,” Dan Townsend said. “We don’t get to come out here too often but when we do it’s a beautiful ride.”

Nicholas, a third-grader at Bedford Road School, said he would never pass up an opportunity go outside on a day off from school.

“It’s a beautiful day and my dad likes bike riding and I wanted to go with him,” Nicholas said, adding that he didn’t need videogames or TV on his days off. “I’d rather be out here in the sun and on my bike.”

Briarcliff Manor resident Sean McCue decided to take a run on the trail Monday.

“It’s really nice to have a winter without a winter,” McCue said with a laugh. “I’m really happy to be out here on a day like today because it’s something I don’t get to do often.”

Yonkers resident Madeline Lisnak and Ossining resident Laurie Thanos said they wanted to give 8-month-old Alexandra Thanos her first trip on the trail.

“I’m a teacher and we have the week off, so I thought it was a perfect time to go for a stroll with her grandma and grandpa,” Laurie Thanos said of Lisnak, Alexandra’s grandparents. “I wanted to make sure we stayed active on our day off.”

For more information on the North County Trailway, which runs from Eastview to Baldwin Place, residents are asked to visit Trail Listings link at the Westchester Parks webpage . They can also find information on the South County Trailway, which runs from Eastview to the New York City line.

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