Sunday, October 7, 2018

New Croton Dam and Aqueduct

Croton Gorge County Park and the Old Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park,
Westchester Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Old Croton Aqueduct Trail (unblazed)
River Trail (Green blaze)

Total Time: 2:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 5.8 miles

Pros: Scenic waterfall and very interesting dam, nice gorge
Cons: Very busy at dam, main trail is uneventful

This was a fast-moving hike with an average speed of 3.1 miles per hour. I had seen pictures and heard of this area, but never had gone here before. The area is indeed very memorable with a huge dam and an impressive spillway and waterfall. I have heard that the water output of the dam can range from a trickle to a full-blown blast of water, which indeed was the case during my visit due to all the recent rains. The weather was lousy. It was foggy with mist, and limited visibility, but the first of the fall foliage colors were visible during this hike.

I parked in the main parking area below the dam, and crossed the road bridge over the Croton River, and the climbed up the gorge walls to the road above the dam. This road above the dam has been closed to automobile traffic since 9/11, but it is pedestrian-friendly. There were several people out walking here despite the weather. I walked along the dam to the southern side of the gorge, and took the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail southeast.

Upon reaching Quaker Bridge Road, I took the road down to the Quaker Bridge, and then took the road back up to the trail. I continued along the trail through the Croton Gorge Unique Area, and went until the trail reached Quaker Bridge Road again. I turned around at this point and headed back along the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail

I parked in the Buttermilk Falls parking area, and took the Buttermilk Falls Trail up to the waterfall, which was flowing very strongly. (This waterfall can be only a trickle during dry seasons, so it's only worthwhile visiting during the wet season or after a large rain.) I continued along the trail afte the waterfall, arriving at the view on top of the ridge, which faces south and west. I then headed back along the same way, which I then took to the River Trail by cutting through a shortcut where the trail snakes in a U as it descends into the gorge. I then took this back to the picnic area in the park, and went close to the dam wall and waterfall, before heading back to my car and completing this hike.

Map of the Route

Waterfall and Spillway at the New Croton Dam

Croton River from the Park Road Bridge

New Croton Dam and Spillway/Waterfalls

Another view of the Spillway and Waterfalls

View from the Dam Road Approaching the Bridge

View from the Dam Bridge at the Spillway

Spillway in Slow Shutter Speed

View from Above on this Cloudy Day, Looking into the Park

Me on the Dam Bridge, Above the Spillway

Me on the other Side of the Bridge

New Croton Reservoir from the Dam

New Croton Reservoir, Zoomed Out

New Croton Dam from the Dam Extension on the Southern Side of the Dam

Old Croton Aqueduct Trail

Split at the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail and River Trail

Old Croton Aqueduct Trail underneath the Power Lines

Quaker Bridge

Croton River under the Quaker Bridge

Old Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park Information Plaque

Aqueduct Aerator at the end of my Hike.
There are Several of these along the Trail.

On my Return back to the Dam, Close Up

Close-up of the Dam, Looking South

Additional Spillway High-Pressure Overflow

Another Angle of the Waterfall and Spillway

Close up of the Waterfalls at the New Croton Dam

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