Last weekend we took a wonderful half-day trip to Croton-on-Hudson. The town was charming and the damn was breathtaking. Only an hour from NYC and an hour and fifteen minutes from Long Island, Croton-on-Hudson was the perfect distance for us to go with our toddler without making it a whole thing.
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What is there to do in Croton on Hudson?
The biggest attraction is the Croton-on-Hudson Dam. The dam is located in Croton Gorge Park, which is its own special spot on its own.
There is also the Van Cortlandt Manor, Westchester Trail Rides, and more!
Why you should check out Croton-on-Hudson
Croton-on-Hudson is perfect for a quick day trip! There’s plenty do, the people are nice, and it’s super close to NYC and Long Island!
How to get there.
The simplest way to get to Croton-on-Hudson from New York City is to take the astoundingly narrow Taconic Parkway. It took us an hour and fifteen minutes to get from the Nassau-Suffolk border to Croton-on-Hudson.
Surviving a Road Trip with an Infant
New Croton Dam
Built in 1907, the New Croton Dam is over 200 feet high. It was built to provide a reliable water supply for New York City, and is still in use today as part of the city’s water supply system. It is located in Croton Gorge Park, a 97 acre park at the base of the dam where you can get close enough to feel the mist of the fall.
The dam is an impressive feat of engineering, standing at a whopping 266 feet tall and over 2,200 feet long. It has a capacity of over 19 billion gallons of water, and is responsible for providing water to millions of people in the New York City area.
Here are some statisitcs from The Village of Croton-on-Hudson website:
Time to Consturct: 14 years
Add to Water Supply: 34,000,000,000 gallons
Total Length: 2400 feet
Thickness of Masonry at Base: 216 feet
Thickness at top of main dam: 21 feet
Thickness at spillway: 10 feet
New Croton Dam Visitor Information
All of this information is from the website. Double check here to make sure the information is current before your day trip to Croton-on-Hudson!
- Admission and fees
- County park pass is not required for admission.
- Parking fee: $5 with Park Pass, $10 without Park Pass — weekends only in May and September; Daily Saturday, May 27 through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4.
- Directions: Route 129, Cortlandt, NY 10566 • (35 Yorktown Rd, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520 using online maps)
- Park hours: Open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to dusk, year-round.
- Phone: (914) 827-9568
- Restrooms: Stand-alone buildings available mid-April through Oct., daily during regular park hours. Portable potties available daily off-season.
- County parks map & guide
- Dogs must be leashed. Service animals welcome.
We went on a blustery Sunday afternoon and January, and there were still a few other families by the dam. We parked in the main lot to see the dam and then parked in the hiking lot to walk across the dam.
It was freezing and very windy on top! Definitely worth it for the view. We had our lightweight jogger stroller (an absolute must-have for adventures like this) and I noticed that it felt like it could blow away, even with my 30lb toddler in it. So be sure to hold onto your hat (and kids)!
My favorite part of visiting the dam was marveling at the engineering aspect. it’s hard to imagine dreaming that up and getting it build, as Alphonse Fteley did.
We will definitely be brining Bodhi next time. The park is spacious and we saw a few other people with their dogs!
The Van Cortlandt Manor
Next time, we will definitely be visiting the Van Cortlandt Manor. The Van Cortlandt Manor is a historical museum located in Croton-on-Hudson. It’s currently closed due to renovations, but will hopefully be open soon!
See this description from Historic Hudson Valley:
Throughout the year, Van Cortlandt Manor also welcomes tourists and schoolchildren to the site to explore life in the “New Nation” period, when the political and social aftershocks of the Revolutionary War were experienced by a community that included enslaved Black residents as well as wealthy and working-class whites.
If the name sounds familiar, it’s where The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is held!
Do you need a full day in Croton-on-Hudson?
Generally, probably not. We left our house on Long Island at about 9:30 am on a Sunday, arrived at 11, and were back home before 3. If you wanted to explore the surrounding area, then you could make a whole week out of it. We live close, so we weren’t too concerned with “seeing it all”- we can always go back!
Some other cute towns around Croton-on-Hudson:
- Tarrytown (Sleepy Hollow, Sunnyside, Lyndhurst Manor)
- Briarcliff Manor
- Sleepy Hollow
- Katonah (cute little downtown)
There are also plenty of scenic parks in the area:
Where to Eat
Both Croton-on-Hudson and the surrounding towns have plenty of great places to eat.
105 Twenty Bar and Grill
We went to 105 Twenty Bar and Grill for lunch. It was delicious! We were the only ones in there at noon, but more people trickled in after. I got the vegan burger and my husband did a Build-A-Burger. I’m always skeptical of vegan food in towns with under 50,000 people, but this was absolutely delicious. It was the perfect end to our day trip to Croton-on-Hudson!
Here are some other restaurants in Croton-on-Hudson
- Croton Colonial Diner
- Ocean House Oyster Bar & Grill
- The Tavern at Croton Landing
- Eatalia On Hudson
- Yuka’s Latin Fusion
- Samurai Japanese Restaurant
We also stopped at Baked by Susan to grab some unique desserts. I will say it was not worth the price (this was all around $30!). It would be a good stop if you’re on your way to a party or something were you need an elevated homemade cake or dessert.
Have you ever visited Croton-on-Hudson? Do you hunker down in January or feel the need to get a change of scenery? Let me know below!
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A wonderful trip. It is an area that I did not know, nor had I heard of, but it seems wonderful