Old Croton Aqueduct Trail

The Croton Aqueduct was New York City's major source of clean drinking water from 1842 to 1859, and is now considered one of the great engineering achievements of the 19th century. Engineered by John B. Jervis, who also oversaw the building of the E... more

The Croton Aqueduct was New York City's major source of clean drinking water from 1842 to 1859, and is now considered one of the great engineering achievements of the 19th century. Engineered by John B. Jervis, who also oversaw the building of the Erie Canal, the aqueduct was designed using principles dating from Roman times. The aqueduct itself is an underground brick-lined tunnel is an elliptical tube 8.5 feet high by 7.5 feet wide. The tunnel was gravity fed for its entire length, dropping gently 13 inches per mile. As the aqueduct reaches from the Croton Dam and reservoir in Westchester County all the way to 42nd Street in Manhattan, that means fresh water traveled almost 41 miles by gravity alone! Today, the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail follows the path of the original Croton Aqueduct where it traveled from Westchester through the Bronx and Manhattan. The trail is not always well-marked but it is easy enough to follow with it's distinctive marble ventilator turrets, set about a mile apart. These turrets kept fresh air circulating in the aqueduct tunnel when it was still in use. The trail reflects the changes that the aqueduct has gone through since it was first built - a w... more

The Croton Aqueduct was New York City's major source of clean drinking water from 1842 to 1859, and is now considered one of the great engineering achievements of the 19th century. Engineered by John B. Jervis, who also oversaw the building of the Erie Canal, the aqueduct was designed using principles dating from Roman times. The aqueduct itself is an underground brick-lined tunnel is an elliptical tube 8.5 feet high by 7.5 feet wide. The tunnel was gravity fed for its entire length, dropping gently 13 inches per mile. As the aqueduct reaches from the Croton Dam and reservoir in Westchester County all the way to 42nd Street in Manhattan, that means fresh water traveled almost 41 miles by gravity alone!

Today, the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail follows the path of the original Croton Aqueduct where it traveled from Westchester through the Bronx and Manhattan. The trail is not always well-marked but it is easy enough to follow with it's distinctive marble ventilator turrets, set about a mile apart. These turrets kept fresh air circulating in the aqueduct tunnel when it was still in use. The trail reflects the changes that the aqueduct has gone through since it was first built - a walk on the Aqueduct can take you not only through stretches of leafy green space but also past backyards. local parks and village centres. The Trail is open to pedestrians, joggers, cyclists, cross-country skiers and equestrians.

In New York City proper, the trail begins at the New York City border in Van Cortlandt Park. However, the route of the aqueduct trail runs a short distance parallel to Metro North's Hudson line, making it easy to hop on and off the trail without a car. You will find the trail within a half-mile walk uphill & eastward from most of the stations on the Hudson Line.


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Financial District Description

Old Croton Aqueduct Trail is located in the Financial District neighborhood of Manhattan. The financial hub of the United States, the seat of New York City government, and home to some of New York's oldest buildings, the Financial District has an illustrious history. 17th century settlers began building here, and given the many seafarers of the time, boats could be conveniently docked at one of the slips right near the settlements of wooden homes. Right nearby, in the heart of the district is Federal Hall, where George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States in 1789, also the meeting site for the First Congress. New York City was both the capital of the United States and New York State at the time.

The street names reflect the district's fascinating history: Fulton Street, named after Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat; Maiden Lane, originally called Magde Platje in Dutch; Beaver Street, recalling the once-significant beaver pelt trade, etc.

The area today houses some great economic powerhouses, including the headquarters of major banks, the New York Stock Exchange, in addition to the World Financial Center. Contrasts are extraordinary, from old two- and three-story old brick buildings near South Street Seaport to the nearby modern mega-skyscrapers. Some of the numerous other attractions include Fraunces Tavern, where George Washington bid farewell to his troops (also, they have a museum!); the newly-landscaped City Hall Park; the Museum of the American Indian and the US Custom House at Bowling Green; Trinity Church, the first parish church in New York City and the resting place of Alexander Hamilton and Robert Fulton, among others; War Of 1812 strong hold Castle Clinton; the Staten Island-bound South Ferry; Battery Park; and the Federal Reserve Bank. Sadly, the biggest attraction since 9/11 has been the former World Trade Center site, although, thankfully, construction has finally filled the long-standing gouge in Lower Manhattan's face, and the stunning 9/11 Memorial and its attendant museum are welcome signs of a healing city. And, of course, soaring a symbolic 1,776 feet over the memorial is the new 1 World Trade Center!

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New York, NY
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Admission And Tickets

Free

This Week's Hours

Sunrise - 1 am

Nearby Subway

  • to Fulton St
  • to Broadway/Nassau Sts
  • to Fulton St -- 0.1

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