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History of the Croton Dam►
Croton Gorge Park is a Westchester County park at the base of the New Croton Dam in New York. The original Croton Dam was built in 1842 and carried water to New York City via a 41-mile underground aqueduct. To build it, the county moved four towns and exhumed and relocated bodies from six cemeteries.
The New Croton Dam replaced the original in 1906 to increase the city’s water supply. The dam impounds up to 19 billion gallons of water in Croton Reservoir. It’s unique in that its spillway is both natural and man-made. A naturally formed waterfall cascades down to the Croton river alongside a 297-foot stepped masonry structure.
When it first opened, it was the tallest dam in the world. Along with its sprawling retaining wall, it is the third largest hand-hewn structure in the world. It is behind only the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Wall of China. Maybe it should have been named the Great Dam of New York.
The city replaced the bridge over the spillway twice, in 1975 and 2005. New York City permanently closed the bridge to vehicles after the September 11 Terrorist Attacks. The Dam was also guarded during both World Wars.
A Winter Visit to Croton Gorge Park►
I re-visited Croton Gorge Park with Take a Hike NJ. We took photos of the huge waterfall from the base and from the park’s bridge over the river. My previous visit had been in autumn. This time, snow and ice made the trails slick, so I opted not to hike down the aqueduct trail.
This visit, we didn’t have the fall foliage to admire. But the bright winter sun created a rainbow over the falls. Icicles spilled over the steps.
- Bear Mountain State Park
- Fort Montgomery State Historic Site
- Croton Gorge County Park
- Bear Mountain Bridge
Location: 35 Yorktown Rd, Croton-On-Hudson, NY 10520
Designation: County Park
Date designated/established: 1964
Date of my visit: February 27, 2022