Rolling hills and farmland and quintessential stone walls spread throughout North Salem, a bucolic, charming town in Westchester, New York. North Salem is a wonderful place to raise a family, a haven for children and pets. It is not uncommon to see a tractor slowly roll by the manicured lawns of colonial houses and then see a Porsche whoosh by minutes later.
Locals wryly observe that Westchester has more horses than people. Pasturelands once filled with cattle are mostly given over to horses and equestrian pursuits. Horses and barns dominate the landscape. One of the most notable barns in North Salem is Old Salem Farm (OSF). At the end of the summer, OSF hosts their annual Summer Jumper Classic show. This event not only draws Olympians but also locals, weekenders, and people from neighboring towns, who come as spectators or competitors. Not surprisingly, there are riding lessons available for all ages at OSF and other equestrian facilities in the area.
There are a number of beautiful bridle paths nearby. Golden’s Bridge Hounds (GBH) fox-hunting farm is only 45 minutes away. The extended GBH community includes Masters of Foxhounds Association & Foundation, North Salem Bridle Trails Association, and North Salem Open Land Foundation. North Salem itself has approximately 1,222 acres under preservation. Exploring the North Salem countryside on horseback is a great way to take in the scenic views.
Hiking and walking trails featuring beautiful pastoral sights are found throughout the town. Apple picking is a popular activity for first dates and family outings in nearby Croton Falls at the Outhouse Orchards and Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard. The Hammond Museum is also a peaceful retreat to explore. It houses stunning Japanese art and a serene seven-acre Japanese stroll garden.
The iconic Balanced Rock, a massive boulder perfectly balanced atop a few small rocks, is a charming roadside attraction on Route 116. There’s some controversy about the origins of the rock: Most believe that the rock is a “glacial erratic,” dropped by the last receding ice sheet from about 10,000 years ago. Others cherish the notion that the formation is a dolmen, a Stone Age tomb left by the Druids.
Dining out in style is easy when some of New York City’s best chefs have opened restaurants in town. VOX, one of Jean Georges Vongerichten’s restaurants and One Twenty One, opened by Beck Bolender (former Jean Georges sous-chef), are two favorites. One Twenty One is a great place to eat with family and friends and even has its own children’s menu.
North Salem is a small, close-knit community with an elementary school and middle/high school. North Salem Middle School/High School has just under 700 students and an impressive academic record. Students may enroll in Advanced Placement coursework and exams, and their AP participation rate is 75 percent. The Westchester Exceptional Children’s School, a private, non-profit school, is also in North Salem and is dedicated to serving special needs students in New York, Connecticut, and New York City.
Tucked away in the northeast corner of Westchester, North Salem is just 55 miles outside Manhattan. North Salem commuters can access the Metro-North Railroad stations at Purdy’s or Croton Falls; the journey to Grand Central Terminal in Midtown Manhattan is about an hour and 20 minutes. By car, North Salem is a little over an hour from Manhattan.
As of 2018, approximately 5,136 people live in North Salem
59.9 percent of residents hold a bachelor's degree or higher