Some days it feels like the sun sets only a few hours after it has risen with our lives filled with so many tasks, distractions, to-dos and people vying for our attention. Are you feeling a need to just escape for a bit? Or, perhaps you are a local to the Hudson Valley and you just have not taken the time to explore the scenic beauty around you. The New Croton Dam is definitely a spot worth visiting – a truly impressive engineering wonder in our own backyard!
The Croton Gorge Dam, as it is also often called, has long been a favorite destination of local photographers. It is such a beautiful place and worth visiting for both the natural beauty and the unique architecture. It is located in Croton Gorge Park in Cortlandt Manor, N.Y., and at the time it was built it was the second largest masonry structure in the world. Construction on the New Croton Dam began in the early 1890s and many of the workers who built the dam were stone masons from southern Italy. The wages were pretty meager for the workers and in fact, there was a strike at the dam on April 1, 1900, and the National Guard had to be brought in to restore order! The finishing touches were completed in 1906 and the dam is among the most impressive man-made structures in the Northeast.
The “spillway” is a majestic waterfall over a retaining wall and there is an aerial bridge that offers visitors up close views. Explore the falls, the dam and then at the base of the dam is a giant field where you can get close enough to feel drops of water on your skin. On the south side of the park look for a path that will take you up to the top of the dam and the aerial bridge that crosses over the spillway. Keep your eyes out for rainbows which often form in the mist that forms from the spillway.
Those that live nearby or have a passion for engineering passion know about this hidden gem but relatively few people even know it exists! The New Croton Dam is a perfect place for a family outing or just to get away alone for an afternoon to reboot when life gets stressful. Sometimes listening to water is just music for the soul.
Let us know your thoughts and experience if you do go and visit! And, if you are already thinking about your next Hudson Valley getaway, use our online boking to reserve your favorite suite at the Caldwell House Bed & Breakfast.