Join us for this 5.5 mile brisk paced evening walk along the Old Croton Aquaduct trail to Croton Dam (and back). This route will generally be on an easy/flat surface dirt surface but will be taken at a brisk pace. Our goal is to reach the dam and enjoy the waterfall and then return via the same route.
You are welcome to join us at a slower pace, but please note the official meetup will be taken at a brisk pace, so that we have time to enjoy the dam and return before dusk.
Please remember to bring a headlamp/flashlight with you, we will return during twilight, but under the trees it gets darker sooner!
Distance: 5.5 miles
Dogs: Friendly, well behaved dogs are welcome, but should be on a leash. Owners should find out and respect the rules of the park, and follow requests made by the organizers. Please make sure you bring water for your dog.
What to bring/wear
Wear hiking boots or sneakers. Bring water and something to snack on, and don't forget the flashlight!
Cancellation notices: We will be monitoring the weather prior to the hike and if conditions dictate the hike is subject to cancellation. Please make sure to check your email/site prior to leaving for the hike, cancellation notices will be sent prior to 5.15 pm if required.
Liability Waiver: This is a social group of like minded individuals that enjoy hiking, it is not organized by a professional hiker. Hiking or outdoor activities have inherent risks. Your participation in our hikes or other events could be dangerous and can result in serious injury, medical emergency, even death. By signing up for this event, you agree to participate completely at your own risk and to take full responsibility for your own safety and well being, including those of your guests.
Information about the OCA
The Croton Aqueduct is a masonry tunnel that brought New York City its first supply of clean, plentiful water, and thus contributed to its development as a great metropolis. The Aqueduct was built in response to the fires and epidemics that repeatedly devastated New York City in the late 1700s and early 1800s, owing in part to its inadequate water supply and contaminated wells.
Construction began in 1837 and the first Croton water entered the Aqueduct on June 22, 1842. The first chief engineer of the Aqueduct was succeeded by John B. Jervis of Rome, New York. The Aqueduct carried water 41 miles from the Old Croton Dam in Westchester County, north of New York City, to two reservoirs in Manhattan - on the present sites of the Great Lawn in Central Park and the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue from where it was distributed.
Its capacity was soon exceeded by the demands of a spiraling population growth to which it actually contributed. Although the Croton Aqueduct was in use until 1955, it was superseded by the New Croton Aqueduct, triple the size, laid further inland, and tunneled deep underground. The New Croton Aqueduct was started in 1885 and went into service in 1890. It currently supplies about ten percent of New York City's water.
Now a National Historic Landmark , the Aqueduct is considered one of the great engineering achievements of the 19th century. The tunnel is an elliptical tube 8.5 feet high by 7.5 feet wide. It is brick-lined and represents an early use of hydraulic cement for most of its length. The outer walls are of hammered stone.
Designed on principles dating from Roman times, the tunnel is gravity fed for its entire length, dropping gently 13 inches per mile. To maintain this steady gradient through a varied terrain, its builders had to cut the conduit into hillsides, set it level on the ground, tunnel through rock, and carry it over valleys and streams on massive stone and earth embankments and across arched bridges. Typically, it is partly buried, with a telltale mound encasing it.