Latest FOCA News

photo: Oliver Lednicer

Cross-country skiing and snow shoeing are suddenly popular. A few years ago, walkers who saw me on my skis used to ask “ Where do you get skis like that?” Now the tracks on the trail are already formed when I get out on an afternoon. Snow-shoe tracks are even more prevalent sometimes breaking up the smoother ski tracks.

Some sections of the trail are better than others. My recommendations are: Park your car at Gorey Brook road in Sleepy Hollow. Here there’s an easy entrance to the trail where it runs parallel to the Rockefeller Preserve. Skiers who don’t like hills should stay on the Aqueduct for a smooth tranquil run past the Sleepy Hollow Weir Chamber and north to the bridge over the highway. Those who like hills should enter the Rockefeller Preserve just north of the Weir chamber and follow Peggy’s Way south for some gentle hills before returning to the Aqueduct.

Another beautiful section is in Hastings, starting at Washington Avenue and accessing the trail just south of Aqueduct Lane. This section, down to Untermyer park has good views of the river and the Palisades and relatively few streets to cross. Some skiers remove their skis at street crossings but one can clump slowly across the pavement without a problem.
Give it a try before the snow disappears!

Questions? Call Mavis 914 693 0529.


If you’ve walked or skied by the Keeper’s House on these cold winter days, you may be wondering what progress is being made. You can see that the gaping east wall is being filled with appropriate bricks. You may be aware that every effort is being made to use the original bricks for repairs to keep the integrity of the house. If we run short of old bricks, some can be rescued from an unnecessary chimney. The other worrisome exterior problem is the southwest corner. You’ll see the scaffolding – a good sign of work in progress.

Inside a good part of the roof and floor framing is done. Wall moldings have been removed and tagged to be re-installed. Again, efforts are made to retain as much of the original moldings as possible. And of course saving the two medallions by making small repairs is of prime importance. “ Finish” carpentry is being done as temperature inside permits. Plumbing is 50% complete and electrical panels are in.

We are all impatient to see the job done – but an unusually cold spate of weather has not been helpful. Keep your fingers crossed for a benign early Spring! Mavis Cain