New York : Safety by City
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Lewisboro is a small, charming town in northern Westchester County, New York.
It encompasses four hamlets.
A hamlet is an unofficial, small, populated place or community within a larger town, relying on that town or village for local services and governance due to not being legally incorporated.
The four main hamlets located within the town of Lewisboro, New York:
- South Salem – The largest hamlet, located in the southern part of Lewisboro. It contains the town hall, library, and many shops and restaurants.
- Cross River – A hamlet in the eastern part of Lewisboro, centered around the intersection of Routes 35 and 121.
- Waccabuc – A small community in the northwestern part of Lewisboro near the Kensico Reservoir.
- Golden’s Bridge – A hamlet near the northern boundary of Lewisboro, named after a bridge over the Muscoot River.
First settled in the early 1700s, Lewisboro was originally part of Salem and known as the Oblong due to its irregular shape.
The town was incorporated in 1744 and later named after John Lewis, an early resident and large landowner.
Lewisboro is steeped in local legend and intrigue.
The Old Methodist Church is said to be haunted by the ghost of a young bride who was left at the altar on her wedding day.
There is also the tale of the mysterious Melon Heads, deformed people said to live in the woods surrounding the forgotten Tallman’s Village ruins.
Today, Lewisboro offers a quaint small-town feel with beautiful parks, nature trails, and historic sites to explore.
Popular activities include hiking at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, sampling wine at Westchester County’s wine trail vineyards, browsing the shops in South Salem, and visiting the Titicus Reservoir for fishing and boating.
The town is also home to a top-ranked golf course, Winged Foot Golf Club, which has hosted major tournaments.
With its natural beauty and peaceful charm, Lewisboro is a wonderful place to experience life in a historic Hudson Valley hamlet.
If all that is not enough, you can also sleep with wolves!
Warnings & Dangers in Lewisboro
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Lewisboro has been ranked as the safest city in America for the past four years. It's a very low-risk place to visit. However, it's also rural and centered around quiet lakes. If you're looking for excitement, you won't find it here.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
HARTransit is the public bus system to get around the Hudson Valley. Metro-North Railroad runs through Lewisboro as well. Taxis and rideshares are available, but you'll rack up many charges with the distance you have to drive between nature areas. All options are low risk.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
You can count the number of thefts in Lewisboro since 2014 on one hand. You are more likely to have a bear sniff out that candy bar in your bag than get pickpocketed here. I do have to give the standard "but don't let your guard down" message here too.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Potential severe or disruptive weather can happen in any season. Treat this with medium risk and stay informed through weather apps or the local news each day. The region is used to winter storms, but they also know to stay inside when blizzards or ice storms get dangerous. Thunderstorms can make a day outside risky too. Heavy rainfall makes flash flooding on trails, near lakes, and on the streets possible.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Lewisboro has seen one robbery since 2000. That's a low risk. Even property crimes are low here.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
This is another low risk. If even pickpockets don't come here, I can't imagine why a terrorist would. That said, no community is immune to gun crimes or domestic terrorism. You should still report anything suspicious you see.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
The only scam I can even pretend to warn you about is the risk of a rental scam. With so many lakeside rental homes, you want to confirm that the homeowner has a license to rent. Never wire money to secure a home.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
This is a low risk, provided you know how to stay safe in wilderness areas and prepare for weather problems. Outside those areas and a handful of restaurants, there isn't much else to do here.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The 2023 Water Quality Report has passing grades through every measured potential contaminant. The city will advise if there are pressing issues during your stay. Flash flooding can sometimes cause water pressure issues.
Safest Places to Visit in Lewisboro
Lewisboro offers nice scenery and historical sites, but the town itself is small and rural.
Without an official tourism site, you’ll need to rely on the “Visit Westchester County” website, the Lewisboro Chamber of Commerce site, and the Parks and Preserves of Lewisboro page.
I accidentally stumbled upon a great document for visitors.
It’s a summary of the historic buildings in Lewisboro.
You can find it under the Town History section of the website.
Scroll all the way to the bottom to download it.
Use the Lewisboro Field Guide website to find trails and preserves in the region.
As a wonderful outdoor area, you have plenty of places to explore.
I love that they have a wildlife sighting page, so you can know what animals you share the trail with during your visit.
The best hikes in Lewisboro are in Mountain Lakes Park.
The Trailside Nature Museum, established in 1937, is one of the oldest of its kind.
Situated in Cross River at the 4,400-acre Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, it has exhibits, interactive displays, and programs focused on nature, wildlife, and American Indian heritage.
Hands down, one of the coolest things to do in Lewisboro (South Salem) is visiting the Wolf Conservation Center.
Access is limited to scheduled public events.
Check the schedule before you go.
If you can swing it, plan your trip around one of the scheduled “Wild Nocturnal Adventures,” where you can camp with the wolves nearby (safely contained and no threat to you whatsoever).
You won’t find a downtown core in this rural town.
However, most of the restaurants are fine dining with incredible menus for lunch and dinner.
Places to Avoid in Lewisboro
Lewisboro is a safe community without any dangerous parts of town or rough neighborhoods.
In fact, you’re more likely to creep out the residents as a stranger walking or driving through.
The town has seven lakes, but there is no public access, at least not that I can find.
This is an important note if you want to enjoy lake life.
Many rental homes are available in these neighborhood lakes.
Plan to rent one of those to use the lake legally.
Be sure to check the neighborhood association’s water safety and conservation rules.
You’ll want to use extra caution when driving through Lewisboro in the winter.
The roads are narrow, without painted lines or sidewalks in most locations.
The tree-lined streets can have branches drop snow or break off in extreme winter weather.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Lewisboro
- Lewisboro does have its own police department. You can find them on Facebook @lewisboropolice or call (914)763-8903. The department has three full-time officers and more than a dozen part-time officers. One of the more updated social media sites is that of the town supervisor. You can follow him on Facebook @SupervisorTOL.
- Sign up for NY Alerts to get emergency notifications about severe weather or other safety threats in Lewisboro and across the state. When you sign up, you’ll choose your alert area.
- Before visiting any lakes near Lewisboro, remember these letters – DEC HAB. That’s the New York Department of Environmental Conservation Harmful Algae Blooms (HABS) dashboard name. You’ll be able to check water quality tests from lakes. HABS can make a person sick and be fatal to dogs. They are easy to spot with the green film on the water, but an absence of that film doesn’t mean the water is clean. The highest risk months are in the summer.
- Stick to the speed limit in town because police aren’t very busy with crime rates this low. The speed limit for the ENTIRE TOWN is 25 miles per hour.
- If you’re visiting during the winter, do not park on any town streets when there is snow in the forecast. Snow plows need to get through, and all cars blocking that task will be towed at the owner’s expense.
- The MTA Metro-North Railroad can take you all the way to New York City. Buying a MetroCard is the best way to pay. You’ll have repurchased rides and won’t need to pull out cash for every trip.
- Anglers over 15 are required to have a fishing license. Be sure you purchase your license through the DECALS website (that’s the Department of Environmental Conservation Automated Licensing System). Fraud attempts have been made through other websites claiming to sell licenses.
- To get a feel for the community, look at the town’s website and find the Community Television section. Dozens of videos are posted from local events over the past few years.
- There’s a popular parking lot on Spring Street, but it’s only for residents with permits. You will get a ticket or towed if you park without a permit.
- As if you needed more of a reason to avoid bears in this region, a rabid bear cub was found in April 2023. Call the Westchester County Department of Health at (914) 813-5000 if you see a bear or come in contact with wildlife. Beware that this region does have feral cats too. Do not come in contact with them.
So... How Safe Is Lewisboro Really?
This is usually the part of these articles where I show off my math and context skills to give you an in-depth analysis of crime data over the past one to ten years.
I’m pretty good at it.
However, I can’t do much fancy math with the number 2.
I can tell you that of the two crimes, which were thefts, in 2022, one of them was a car break-in.
The car was unlocked, and a bunch of holiday presents, wine bottles, and cash were stolen.
Even in the safest town in America, you should still lock your car while removing all personal items.
Lewisboro crime rates haven’t always been this low, but a good decade of data supports the trend.
It’s ironic that this safe hamlet was home to one the biggest cold cases and serial killer headlines of the past two centuries.
Real estate heir turned killer Robert Durst lived in the village of South Salem when his wife Katherine went missing.
That was in 1982.
40 years later, and with a list of crimes in the wake, he died.
He admitted to one murder, claimed self-defense in another, and was eventually charged with his wife’s murder.
You might know this story from the 2010 movie The Good Life or the 2015 HBO documentary The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.
The house along Truesdale Lake is still there, but it’s on a street tucked behind a series of trees and bushes.
How Does Lewisboro Compare?
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- Visas - While Durst managed to get around with a fake passport and license while he was on the run, you'll need a valid passport to get through Customs and Border Patrol if you've visiting internationally. Either a visa or visa waiver is also required, but that depends on your country of origin and a few other factors you can learn on the U.S. State Department website.
- Currency - The U.S. Dollar (USD) is the only currency you'll be able to use here. All the major airports have currency exchange options, but you should easily be able to use a credit card for most purchases. Those have better fraud protection anyway.
- Weather - This is a four-season town that is centered around the outdoors. You'll need cold-weather accessories, including snow boots, in winter. Spring and fall bring varying temperatures, so bring layers with a rain jacket. Summers will be warm to hot, but those bugs can be nasty. Bring bug spray and sunscreen.
- Airports - The two closest major commercial airports to Lewisboro are Westchester County Airport and LaGuardia Airport. Westchester County Airport is only about 15 miles away in White Plains, while LaGuardia Airport is around 35 miles away in Queens. JFK and Newark are in the region too.
- Travel Insurance - Travel insurance is a wise investment for a region that can have travel delays from storms throughout the year. You should also consider supplemental health insurance if you don't have coverage in the U.S.
Lewisboro Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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