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Old Croton Aqueduct Trail

The High Bridge

The High Bridge

The High Bridge remains the most majestic and visible portion of the Old Croton Aqueduct in New York City. Rising 114 feet above the Harlem River's mean high tide, the bridge originally had 15 stone arches built to resemble a Roman aqueduct. This was the final link in the Old Croton Aqueduct — the bridge was completed in 1848, six years after the aqueduct began operating. A temporary siphon carried the water across the river while the bridge was being built. In 1927, the central arches over the river were removed and replaced with a single steel span in order to accommodate the larger ships that were then being used.

View From The High Bridge

High Bridge is now the oldest remaining bridge connecting two boroughs in New York City. The Brooklyn Bridge was opened in 1883, and is the oldest bridge in New York City to still carry traffic. The George Washington Bridge, which connects New York to New Jersey less than a dozen blocks away on the Hudson River, was completed in 1931. High Bridge is currently closed for repair. To follow the Old Croton Trail across the river, use the pedestrian/bicycle path on the Washington Bridge.

The Highbridge Water Tower was built in the 1872 to serve the northern neighborhoods of Manhattan. The tower is open on weekends in July and August, and the views from the top are unbeatable.

The aqueduct runs directly south from the High Bridge through Highbridge Park along an unpaved path. To reach the bridge, which is down a steep slope from Amsterdam Avenue, take the footpath that loops from the ballfields just south of the Water Tower. The path is rough and care should be taken. An easier alternate route is to enter at the south and walk a loop there and back.

On the Bronx side, Follow:

  • VIEW ONLY: Bronx – University Avenue at 170th Street (Bronx)

Crossing the Harlem River:

  • University Avenue north three blocks to E. L. Grant Highway. The entrance to the bridge is at this intersection.
  • Washington Bridge across the Harlem River, to 181st Street and Amsterdam Avenue (Manhattan)

On the Bronx side, Nearest Train Station:

The 4 train will let you off at the 170th Street and Jerome Avenue. Follow 170th Street west for 1/2 mile to the High Bridge.

On the Manhattan side, Follow:

  • Amsterdam Avenue/181st Street to 173rd Street - enter the park for views of the bridge at the Water Tower terrace
  • Water Tower terrace to footpath - walk to the ballfields to the south of the tower, follow the path down the slope to the High Bridge plaza
  • Unpaved path from bridge plaza to Edgecombe Avenue/158th Street

Alternate Route:

  • Amsterdam Avenue/181st Street to 173rd Street - enter the park for views of the bridge at the Water Tower terrace
  • Amsterdam Avenue to 170th Street
  • 170th Street to Edgecombe Avenue (travel east)
  • Edgecombe Avenue to 158th Street
  • Edgecombe Avenue and 158th St. entrance to Highbridge Park; north on unpaved path to bridge

On the Manhattan side, Nearest Train Station:

The A, C, 1 and 9 trains will let you off at 168th Street and Broadway. Walk east to Amsterdam Avenue, then north to 173rd Street.

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