An unmarked trail wanders along the Croton River. Several longer trails start at the pak. The Briarcliff-Peekskill Trailway crosses the top of the dam. Two side trails on the River Trail connect to the Old Croton Aqueduct.
Affectionately called the Aqueduct, the 26.2-mile Old Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park, running from Yonkers to Cortlandt in Westchester County, is heavily used by its neighbors and friends. Joggers, cyclists and dog walkers use it to exercise. For others, it is route to walk to work, school, or the train station. The original 41-mile length of the Aqueduct was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1992.
While 26 miles may be too long for a walk or day-hike, the route is conveniently separated here into three sections.
- Ossining to Quaker Bridge (5.5 miles) features some of the more natural settings of the entire 26 mile route. Shortly after crossing Quaker Bridge Road, the wide path follows a route carved into the hillside and is uninterrupted by road crossings for nearly a mile. The Croton River is visible through the trees far below to the left.
- Tarrytown to Yonkers (9 miles) hails along its path an American Gothic Revival "castle" named Lyndhurst, built around 1840 and once owned by railroad baron Jay Gould. Another highlight includes spectacular views of the Hudson River and the Palisades.
- Tarrytown to Ossining (9 miles) takes you back in time to the old Dutch Reformed Church and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery as well as through a section of woodlands and the Rockefeller State Park Preserve.
The Old Croton Aqueduct has multiple access points including 90 road crossings. Use the Aqueduct map or a Westchester County map to reach various road crossings. Where the Aqueduct runs through residential areas, parking is limited. Parking areas are at Croton Dam (Cortlandt), Croton Gorge Park (Cortlandt), Joseph P. Caputo Community Center (Ossining), River Road (Scarborough), Gory Brook (Sleepy Hollow), Prospect Avenue (Tarrytown), and municipal lots which require a permit on weekdays. There are many places to park a car on streets near the Aqueduct.
Metro-North Hudson Line Ossining, Scarborough, Tarrytown, Irvington, Ardsley-on-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings, Greystone, Glenwood, and Yonkers stations are within walking distance of the Aqueduct. Although Beeline Buses run along Route 9, they often have limited service. The 1C, 1T and 1W buses along Warburton Avenue terminate at the 242nd Street/Broadway subway station (MTA #1) at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.
This loop hike climbs to the highest point of this Westchester County park and passes an interesting rock shelter.
Take I-684 North to Exit 6 (Cross River), which briefly joins the Saw Mill River Parkway, then exits to N.Y. Route 35. Turn right and follow Route 35 east for 3.7 miles to N.Y. Route 121. Turn right onto Route 121, cross a bridge over the Cross River, then immediately turn left and enter Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. Continue for 0.7 mile to the tollbooth (a parking fee is charged on weekends, daily in the summer). Make the first right beyond the tollbooth onto Michigan Road and continue for 0.7 mile to a parking area just before a turnaround circle at the end of the road (if this parking area is full, additional parking is available uphill to the left).
Walk back to a junction where a "parking" sign points to the right. Turn right into a dirt parking area, follow it to its end, then continue along a wide path, passing a cedar tree on the right. At the end of the path, steeply descend the hillside. At the base of the descent, bear right and follow the FH blazes of the Fox Hill Trail (in the direction indicated by the sign "To Junction Marker 9"). The trail climbs, passing through gaps in several stone walls. Just below the high point, it bears left and begins to descend.