‘standing on the edge of the [croton] dam, I am… ‘

Having hiked a good chunk of the lower half of the Croton Aqueduct trail from Yonkers to Tarrytown a few weeks back, yesterday we returned to pick up the path where we left it and continue further north to Croton-on-Hudson.  The route,  somewhat fragmented in terms of actual trail, takes one up via Sleepy Hollow, through an uninspiring part of Ossining (maybe all of Ossining is uninspiring?), and then northeast and away from the Hudson River up the southwestern side of the Croton River to the impressive New Croton Reservoir Dam and Croton Gorge Park.

At the northern end, there is actually more path than indicated on online maps, allowing fewer miles along busy roads than expected.  Hitting some turns and road crossing needs diligence, however, with trail marking somewhat wanting in places.

The reservoir at the end of the trail was first created by damming the Croton River in the mid 1800s, and Croton Lake, as it was first named, was the first out-of-city drinking water course for NYC.   The dam itself was completed in the early 1900s, then the tallest dam in the world:  a good 600 m plus in total.  Water from here now only supplies a relatively small percentage of NYC’s potable source.

The flow of water has quite the roar:


One can walk right across the top of the dam, and having done so, we hiked down the other side of the Croton River on quiet, suburban streets to the Croton-Harmon MetroNorth station.  Just over 17 miles total from Tarrytown station.

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