#386 On the Trail of the Old Croton Aqueduct

What 19th century American engineering landmark invites you through nature, past historic sites and into people's backyards? Where can you experience the grandeur of the Hudson Valley in (mostly) secluded peace and tranquility -- while learning something about Old New York?

Welcome to the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail, 26.5 miles of dusty pathway through some of the most interesting and beautiful towns and villages in Westchester County.

But this is more than a linear park. The trail runs atop -- and sometimes alongside -- the original Croton Aqueduct, a sloping water system which opened in 1842, inspired by ancient Roman technology which delivered fresh water to the growing metropolis over three dozen miles south.

At its northern end sits the New Croton Dam -- the tallest dam in the world when it was completed in 1906 -- with its breathtaking, cascading spillway (a little Niagara Falls) and its classic steel arch bridge, providing visitors with a view into a still-active source of drinking water.

In the first part of this Road Trip to the Hudson Valley mini-series adventure, Greg and Tom not only trace the history of this colossal engineering project, they literally follow the aqueduct through the village of Westchester County (with some help from Tom Tarnowsky from Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct).

WITH Nineteenth century ruins! Ancient bridges and weirs! Steep hikes and historic houses!

PLUS: How did this elaborate mechanism help revolutionize modern plumbing? And find out how portions of this 180 year old system are still used today to distribute fresh water.

For many historic images and photographs from out adventure, visit our website.


And for further listening about the Hudson River and Westchester County, check out these earlier Bowery Boys podcasts:

-- Water For New York: The Croton Aqueduct (our original show on this subject)

-- Henry Hudson and the European Discovery of Mannahatta

-- Literary Horrors of New York City (for the story of Washington Irving and Sleepy Hollow)

-- The George Washington Bridge


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