By Seth Fera-Schanes
Fall is the perfect time for a Metro North train ride up into the Hudson Valley and worth spending a full weekend day outside the city. With apps like All Trails you can get information on a number of hikes to easily plan your trip in advance.
One fun adventure is hiking the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail starting from Croton Gorge Park. The park is only 4 stops on the express train from Grand Central (plus a $9 cab ride from the train to the park.)
My recommendation is to spend a little time at the Croton Dam before beginning the hike. There are countless photo opportunities and if you want to play frisbee, soccer or football with friends there are large grass areas to do so.
The Croton Aqueduct was the city’s water supply and the trail runs from the New Croton Reservoir down into Yonkers which is around 22 miles. You can walk the trail in segments (and then get back onto a Metro North Train) so don’t feel like you are committed to the full hike once you start.
I did 5 miles between Croton and Ossining. The trail is flat and well maintained; it almost seems like a fire maintenance road. You won’t feel like you are in the deep wilderness but it is still a nice tree lined path and a comfortable distance for beginners. If you wanted to increase your outing, keep heading south into Sleepy Hallow. This will add another 6 miles and you can end your day in the Sleepy Hallow Cemetery.
When I arrived in Ossining, I walked an extra .5 miles to the train and then 30 minutes later was back in the city. This is an easy adventure for those looking to get out of the city but not have to commit to some of the more challenging hikes further upstate.