Best Bronx Bike Ride New York 2010 - Old Croton Aqueduct Trail
The Old Croton Aqueduct Trail follows the path of the Old Croton Aqueduct, New York City's major source of clean drinking water until 1959 (we now get most of our water from the Catskills). According to the city, when water began flowing along the aqueduct, on June 22, 1842, it took 22 hours to travel 41 miles, from the Croton Dam in Westchester to Manhattan, and a day-long celebration was held around the fountain at City Hall. The New York City section of the trail, which ends in Central Park, is a great urban bike ride: Parts of the trail are hilly and unpaved, and you pass through five miles of city parks and a bunch of interesting neighborhoods in the Bronx and Upper Manhattan. In Van Cortlandt Park, where the trail starts along a dirt and wood-chip path, you can actually see a small section of the old Romanesque aqueduct, a stone wall that curves eight feet below ground. If it's not closed for repair—it is, currently—you can cross from the Bronx into Manhattan on the High Bridge. The bridge—the oldest connecting the two boroughs—rises 114 feet above the Harlem River. It has 15 stone arches that were built to resemble a majestic Roman aqueduct.