FOCAAdmin  Jan.19.2021

Mario Medici is a new 26-Miler from Bergen County, NJ, a NJ hike leader, and frequent participant in our Walks & Tours. He kindly allowed us to reproduce his thoughts and lovely photographs for this blog entry.

The following are some random thoughts having just completed walking the 26-mile portion of the OCA.

As fellow hikers, my friend and I found no difficulty walking the entire distance in five outings averaging 5-6 miles per outing. More difficult, was determining where we would leave the second car and calculating the distance of our walk. One of the more humorous incidents was the day we walked past the second car and had to double back to find it. Picking up the OCA trail, at times, was challenging and added some unforeseen miles.

On our journey, we encountered a number of people who did not know of, or even hear of, the OCA, even those who live near the OCA. Living in Bergen County, NJ, even less people knew what I was talking about but nevertheless found it interesting as witnessed by their questions and desire to know more.

More interesting were the number of historic places and interesting sights along the OCA. Some that come to mind:

1. The reservoir and dam. Yes, the old dam is no longer there, as it it now submerged, but the new one is just as impressive.

2. Every mile or so the ventilators serve as sentries along the OCA

3. The weir holds its mysteries pending the reinstated tours.

4. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery - the final resting place of Washington Irving, Walter Chrysler, Andrew Carnegie, Civil War Memorial, Old Dutch Church and much, much more.

5. Views of the Hudson River and Palisades along with the fall colors can be breath taking…

6. My Ossining Favorites, the Double Arch Bridge and Sing Sing Correctional Facility

7. Philipse Manor built 1682 and the home to Frederick Philip owner of the western half of Westchester County before he fled to England.

8. Archville Bridge

9. The Keeper’s House built in 1857 and the only authentic keeper’s house that survived in its original location.

10. Captor’s Monument (Patriot’s Park) the place where the British spy, Major Andre, was captured. This place holds special significance for me as I live a few miles from where he was imprisoned (now a restaurant “The 76 House”), tried at the church across the street (church was since replaced with a newer church), and eventually executed (hung) a few blocks away.

11. The remains of Rockwood Hall at The Rockefeller Preserve built in 1849 and the home of William Rockefeller (John D.'s brother) and Lyndhurst make great stops along the way.

Remains of Rockwood Hall