Heading over the bridge as you enter Croton Gorge Park the first thing you see, depending upon the season and recent rainfall, is a rush of water coming out of a side opening in the New Croton Dam. If this is your first visit to this park you may think, “oh, that’s cool,” believing that gushing water to be the cascade through the dam from the New Croton Resevoir on the other side. Drive a two seconds further, and you will find yourself bursting fourth with, “Whoaa! Look at that!” Because when the entire dam comes into view, it is spectacular, awesome, breathtaking.
We were fortunate enough to visit Croton Gorge Park after several days of rainfall and the water roaring over the spillway was at its most impressive. Standing beside the dam you could feel the spray of the falls as you shouted to make yourself heard over the powerfully cascading water.
The dam itself stands 200-feet high and unless you notice the tiny picnic table beneath the tree, it is difficult to envision its massive scale from the title photo. The kids spent a good long while scaling the face of the dam, their first lesson in climbing rock face, while we waited for everyone to arrive.
The trail itself, aptly called the River Trail as it follows the Croton River for much of its length, was great for exploration and adventure, however, its blazing system is in need of some recovery. Fortunately, there was only one trail to follow, right along the river, and because it was narrow and curvy with lots of areas for side visits to the riverbank for log balancing and stone throwing, we moved at the pace of the kids and turned back before we needed to find the loop.
And explore they did. There was ample opportunity for poking around the rocks and sand and foam along the shores of the river. They hopped along stepping stones to reach tiny sandbar-like penninsula that jutted out into the river’s shallow edges. Rocks and stones were gathered for tossing, sticks were collected and used to dig and pretend to fish. And one fascinating, prehistoric insect was found on the trail among the dark carpet of damp leaves. We still need to figure out what it was!
A little playground beyond the parking area and a visit with some friendly, wet doggies finished our visit for this Wacky Wednesday.
Debbie’s pictures from today are fantastic. To view all of them visit her website: