Aqueduct part III
Rockefeller State Park Preserve to Tarrytown, approximately 4.8 miles
(The Archville Bridge. Full disclosure, I took this photo on our way back)
This is a slightly tricky bit of Aqueduct running, especially when you get into the Sleepy Hollow/Tarrytown environs. But if you buy the map produced by the non-profit Friends of the Croton Aqueduct, you’ll have no problem. Please spend the $5 and buy the map here!
I ran this section with my friend Sharon on a recent cool, overcast Sunday morning. Trying to pick up from where we left off last time (Rockwood), we parked in a little area just off Route 9 in Archville (huh where?)
Here’s how you get there: Driving south on Route 9, just down the hill from Guadelajara restaurant, you may have noticed a bridge over the road. That’s the Archville bridge (and check out this link for the technical details on this replacement bridge built in 1998.) Go under the bridge, take the first right where you see a Gothic-y looking stone house and drive about 500 yards along the road. On your right, you’ll see an informal parking area and likely one or two cars there already. Once out of your car, you’ll see a gate a little way down the hill. Go through that gate and start following the trail up the hill. (This sounds far more complicated than it is.) You can’t miss the markers:
Look! We saw a baby deer!
The first interesting site is, as previously mentioned, the Archville bridge, originally built to connect William Rockefeller’s Rockwood estate with his brother John’s Kykuit estate. (Aw, isn’t that sweet?) Check out this excellent post from the Croton Friends of the OCA website for more on the history of this bridge.
Then, the next bit is mostly just nice, flat, trail running through Rockefeller State Park. You pass another Weir and a couple of ventilator shafts before you exit out of the park and cross the dramatically named Gory Brook Road.
Note the “OCA” on the gate!
Next up is the Sleepy Hollow High School runaround — they’ve helpfully posted a sign with directions on how to do this:
There is an interesting building just south of the high school, but I haven’t yet been able to figure out what it is/was. Here’s a photo of the old pond and estate house above. Who built this? Who lived here? Anyone know?
Now I think this pond was created from damming up a section of Andre Brook. Why does this merit a mention? Well, while you can’t see this next site from the Aqueduct trail, I would be remiss if I didn’t point it out because it is so very close. So follow me on this little historical tangent . . .
Paralleling the trail, down below the Aqueduct on Broadway, is this historical marker:
I assume this is why the Andre Brook was so named. Anyway, Major John Andre was trying to broker the surrender of West Point from its commander, General Benedict Arnold. But Andre was captured on September 23, 1780 at or near this site by “three honest militiamen.” (Does this imply that honest militiamen were few and far between?) This is a fairly important event in American history, for if Andre had not been captured, we might all be speaking with British accents, driving on the wrong side of the road and looking at the Queen on our currency. Seriously, if the British had gained control of West Point and the Hudson Valley, the Revolution might well have been scuttled then and there. (Major Andre was hanged as a spy within the week and Benedict Arnold escaped to England and his name became a shorthand for traitor. Personally I think things should have gone the other way around, but that’s another story . . .)
Okay, back to the Aqueduct. This next bit gets complicated because you have to run down to the sidewalk and along Broadway for a few blocks and then cut back up to the Aqueduct, but the map is very helpful. (Here’s the link again and no I don’t get a cut of map sales!)
Once you’re back on the Aqueduct, the rest of the way is secluded and bucolic — some of it feels like you’re running right through people’s backyards, which you sort of are:
We turned around when we hit Route 119, planning to start here next time.
So, stay tuned, part IV is coming soon!