Know Before You Go
Take the 1 train to 242nd St and use the nearest entrance to the park; eventually your path will cross the Old Putnam Trail. After you pass under the overpass, make a left and follow the pathway until you can head left (northwest). To your left you should see the skeleton of an old railway shelter. Go right and follow the trail a short walk past where there's an entrance to the John Kieran Nature Trail on the right (by the lake); you should see the monoliths on your left. If you continue walking along the Old Putnam Trail you'll start seeing railroad ties in the path just past where it threads between Van Cortlandt Lake and a pond; the ties appear all the way along the path until it terminates at the park border and becomes the South County Trailway (which is paved).