michellepollack  Jun.14.2024


The Great 26 Mile Challenge invited walkers to join Mario Medici and Michelle Pollack to walk all 26 miles of the Old Croton Aqueduct in Westchester over a series of 5 walks to earn a 26 Mile Patch and Certificate. Here's a little taste of the Challenge.

Walk 1: We began our journey at the beautiful Croton Dam on April 7th with 15 walkers. We learned a little about the history of the Old Croton Aqueduct and then made our way along the trail. We encountered some rough patches but the group was thrilled to arrive at the Ossining Weir Chamber. (image above)

Walk 2: For the second leg of the journey on April 17th, 17 hikers joined us to walk from Ossining to Tarrytown. We stopped for a picnic and a photo op at the weir in Rockefeller Preserve then hiked through the spectacular grounds of Lyndhurst.

Walk 3: On April 28th, the 3rd leg of our 26 Mile Challenge took us from Tarrytown to Dobbs Ferry where we stopped at the Keeper’s House for a visit and to get some FOCA merch. The FOCA caps were a hot item – you need a cap for your 26 Mile Patch!

Walk 4: Now we're getting close!! For Walk 4 on May 19th we welcomed our highest number of walkers – 19 folks joined us for our trek from Dobbs Ferry to Philipse Manor Hall in Yonkers. The staff at Philipse Manor Hall was ready for us and our group was delighted to explore the museum to learn about the history of the Philipse family.

Walk 5: Last Walk!! From Philipse Manor Hall to Van Cortlandt Park and the Great 26 Mile Challenge is in the books! Our intrepid walkers had joined us for 5 walks along the Old Croton Aqueduct in Westchester over several weekends. Twelve of the walkers completed all 26 miles and earned a 26 Mile Patch and Certificate from the Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct.

But what we really gained along the way is friendship. As Mario says, “We started out as strangers and ended up as friends.”

Our next challenge? The remaining stretches of the OCA in the Bronx and Manhattan to earn our 41 Mile Patches!