September 24, 2016 – Sleepy Hollow, NY to Dobbs Ferry, NY
Length: approximately 6 miles
Route type: linear
This is the third leg of my section hike on the 26 mile Westchester County portion of the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail. You can check out the first leg of my hike here and the second leg here. Another beautiful day for hiking on this September morning. Temperatures were in the low 70’s and no rain. We parked one vehicle at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, which would be our ending point and drove back to Gory Brook Road in Sleepy Hollow where our hike would begin.
After parking the vehicle, we walked towards the chained off Section of Gory Brook Road (above) and turned left onto the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail. We began our hike by proceeding south along the trail.
We walked past the gate onto Gory Brook Road.
The gate has the OCA lettering on it which is a nice touch.
Crossing the road, we encountered ventilator shaft 12.
As always, the aqueduct is a nice easy, mostly level walk.
After a short walk, we crossed over Bedford Road and into the Sleepy Hollow HS parking lot.
The OCA trail goes through the back lot of the school which is evident by the sign.
When we reached the end of the parking lot we turned left and walked along the side of the high school. When we reached the back of the auditorium we turned right at the rear of the building, bordered by a fence and the school.
We followed the blacktop around the back of the school until we were walking towards the cafeteria and once again on the aqueduct.
We crossed Cobb Lane and continued along the tranquil path, now in Tarrytown.
We crossed McKeel Avenue and Hamilton Place, then came to ventilator shaft 13.
After crossing Neperan Road and East Elizabeth Street, we came to East Franklin Street where the OCA trail veers right away from the aqueduct. We walked towards Route 9 and headed south along Broadway (Route 9).
We walked on Route 9 until we got to Leroy Avenue and turned left.
There we caught up with the aqueduct which was on the right.
Walking along the aqueduct which was tucked between homes and businesses on either side, we continued on.
It’s always nice to see some wildlife on the trail.
We came to ventilator shaft 14, which is located right near Route 119.
The OCA trail once again veers right, away from the actual location of the aqueduct at Route 119. That is due to the construction of the NYS thruway, which cuts right through it. We crossed Route 119, turned left onto Route 9, heading south and crossing over the thruway.
When we came to the Honda dealership, we turned left onto Walter Street and proceeded up to Sheldon Avenue. Walking past Short Street, the aqueduct is now visible on the right. We continued following the OCA trail and then crossed Route 9.
After crossing Route 9, we entered the Lyndhurst estate property. Along the left side of the aqueduct is the indoor pool building (also known as a natatorium).
The OCA trail cuts right through the property.
Lyndhurst is a beautiful place and it is where we took our first break. The grounds are very scenic and well kept. They also have a Gothic Revival castle.
We sat on a bench facing this majestic castle and enjoyed a bite to eat along with some refreshments. I have visited this property countless times over the years and always enjoy the tranquility that this setting provides.
After a pleasant break, we got back on the trail and almost immediately came upon ventilator shaft 15.
This part of the aqueduct which passes through Irvington, is bordered by some grand estate properties, some of which are no longer residential. Long ago, palatial mansions lined the Hudson River, most of which are no longer standing. We walked alongside a high stone wall with a barbed wire fence above it. On the other side of that wall was the former Belvedere property.
Visible from the OCA is a brick tower with a cone shaped roof.
After crossing over several Irvington streets, we came to Villa Lewaro, the former estate of Madam C. J. Walker. She was an African American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a political and social activist. Eulogized as the first female self-made millionaire in America, she became one of the wealthiest African American women in the country. The estate is quite lavish to say the least, but from the aqueduct, you only get a partial view of the rear.
Crossing Main Street, we arrived at ventilator shaft 16.
Along this stretch we saw some nice homes, a long and high brick wall and an ornate wrought iron fence.
We walked by the Nevis Estate, built by James Hamilton, son of Alexander Hamilton in 1835 and named after the West Indies Island where his father had been born.
As we approached our stop point, which was Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, we came to ventilator shaft 17.
Once past the ventilator shaft, we entered the parking area for Mercy College and back to the vehicle. We drove back to Gory Brook Road and picked up the car we had parked there when our hike began. I hope you enjoyed today’s hike, I sure did. Don’t forget to follow my blog and stay informed about hikes in the Hudson Valley and beyond. Until next time folks, keep on trekking.