At first glance, there’s no evidence that an aqueduct ever existed along the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail in Yonkers, New York. The trail is often a singletrack dirt pathway that winds through communities and trees and provides an oasis of green just north of the Bronx. But take a closer look, and the trail begins to hint at a history that spans more than 175 years.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Old Croton Aqueduct was completed in 1842, when water first flowed from the Croton River south into the Bronx, providing clean water to a city with a rising population desperately needed it. The aqueduct quickly grew obsolete as New York City’s population continued to boom, and a New Croton Aqueduct, three times the size, was built in 1890. The Old Croton Aqueduct Trail teaches visitors New York history, starting from the north at the New Croton Dam. It begins to the dam’s right, and as you head south, you’ll quickly pass the first of 21 remaining ventilators, 10- to 14-foot-high structures that were placed at roughly 1-mile intervals to allow fresh air to reach the water in the aqueduct.
After about 3 miles, you’ll reach the town of Crotonville, one of several small towns along the trail. Another 2 miles farther is Ossining. This northern tip of the course up to Ossining will be the most comfortable for horseback riders. The trail crosses many public streets along its 26 miles. Drivers tend to yield to trail users but caution at these crossings, which get more numerous as the trail continues south and enters urban areas. EZ Yonkers Junk Removal
Walkers can enjoy the trail’s entire length; cyclists and other trail users may use the path but may find some sections difficult to traverse. Cyclists will need to be comfortable biking on the sidewalks and roadways of several streets of varying traffic volumes and speeds. Travelers should particularly use caution in the section of the trail following Albany Post Road, which has no sidewalks or shoulders, for about 0.3 miles south of Scarborough. Here walkers and casual cyclists will want to follow a 0.8-mile detour, which goes right on Scarborough Station Road, left on River Road, and left on Creighton Road back to the trail. The remainder of the course headed south is best suited for walkers, as the trail surface is occasionally rocky and winds through and around public streets in Yonkers.
- Rory Dolan’s Restaurant & Bar is located at 890 McLean Ave, Yonkers, NY
- McKeon’s Bar and Restaurants is located at 996 McLean Ave, Yonkers, NY
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