A Walker’s Guide To The Hutchinson River Parkway Trail

A few years ago, The Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation published a beautifully illustrated guide to the Hutchinson River Parkway Trail. It contains historical information, illustrations and maps of the trail that begins in Harrison near the Maple Moor Golf Course and ends in Mt. Vernon near St. Paul’s Church.

We’ve reproduced “A Walker’s Guide to the Hutchinson River Parkway Trail” as a photo essay. The guide is available under our References page tab
Visit our download page if you’d like to print out a copy.

Click on images to enlarge.

Some random photos of the Hutch and surroundings

I’ve been wanting to do a photo essay of the Hutchinson River for a while, concentrating on locations and areas that offer some different perspectives. The only thing holding me back was a decent camera. So, the first thing I did when I received my stimulus money was to buy a digital camera.

For the past two days I’ve gotten out on my bike to start taking those pics, which I’m sharing now. I’ll be posting an article in the next couple of days on some of the things I discovered, and people with whom I spoke along the way as I was taking these pics.

The first two pics were taken from Bay Shore Avenue in Country Club. There are a number of locations in Country Club to view the Hutch and Eastchester Bay.

The Hutch flowing toward Eastchester Bay. On the far left side of the pic is the Pelham landfill.

View from Evers Marina looking toward City Island.

Here are some views from  the bike trail along City Island Rd.

Taken from a little before the traffic circle. Looking toward Rodman’s Neck

Same location but looking back toward Shore Rd. There’s a Parks Dept. facility off to the right (out of pic).

My main interest on this ride was to get pics from the landfill side of the Hutch. It’s not easily accessible but there’s more activity here than I thought.

There’s a path down to the water but it’s not easily found.

There is a chained gate but people have just created a path around it (on the left).

I met this young man when I reached the shore.

He was just hanging out relaxing. Had his bike with him.

I had to park the bike and continue on foot.

Looking toward the HRRP clean-up assembly area across the river.

View from closer to the bridge.

Some scenes as I followed the path South toward the bay.

Looking toward the City Island Rd. side of the river going toward the island.

This is about as far as I was able to go on the path. But there are people down there fishing.

Looking back toward the bridge and Coop City.

I’d seen these pipes earlier but didn’t know where they were coming from…

…until I saw this stream cutting across the path.

The water is coming from under this structure, apparently draining from the landfill.

The landfill is accessible from the path. No signs are posted.

I walked onto the landfill and saw this structure which appears to be part of the drainage system.

Met some really cool people on my trip. I spoke with these guys who came by shortly after I got there. They told me they come here often to fish and are concerned about the condition of the river.

Also met this wonderful family who there for a family day out. Dad told me he’s been taking his family here since his daughters began to walk. He also came here as a kid. Mom told me her daughters were very interested in environmental issues, including trying to get her to give up plastic bags. They too were concerned about keeping the river clean and safe. We spoke for a while. When it was time for me to leave they gave me a bottle of water which was quite welcome.


Please take note that our domain name has changed. You can now find our website at www.hrrp.org.





Our old domain name —www.hutchinsonriverrestorationproject.org — was just a little too long. This should make it easier, prevent mistakes…and save you a few seconds of typing.

BTW, we’ve also updated, revised, and reorganized the website. Give it a look.

2019 Hutch Clean Up Report

HRRP Clean Up Site Map

Map of Clean Up Sites [click on image to enlarge]

We had a good turn out for the HRRP Annual Clean Up last Sunday. The weather was with us the entire day.

We had around 40 volunteers, some of who went out in canoes to the clean up sites and others who cleaned up the launching area stretch from the bridge toward Eastchester Bay.

We were joined this year by volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 109 of Mt. Vernon, a local Brownie Troop, and for the third year, a group from the Boys and Girls Club of Mt. Vernon.

Everyone who participated in the Clean Up received a special 10th anniversary button.

We didn’t collect as much as last year but volunteers reported that the sites didn’t have as much to clean up. We’ll be filing our clean up reports to the Ocean Conservancy and to the American Littoral Society. Here’s an inventory of what the reports will contain :

20 Cigarette butts
180 food wrappers
180 plastic bottle caps
50 metal bottle caps
80 plastic lids
60 plastic straws / stirrers
180 plastic knives, forks, spoons
504 plastic beverage bottles
90 glass beverage bottles
360 beverage cans
648 plastic plastic grocery bags
180 other plastic bags
10 paper bags
108 paper cups and plates
108 plastic cups and plates
72 foam cups and plates
5 fishing lines
180 cigarette lighters
1 tent
54 six pack holders
180 other plastic / foam packaging
5 other plastic bottles (oil, bleach, etc.)
180 cigarette wrappers
3 condoms
36 disposable diapers
1 car headlight housing
1 light fixture
10 foil baking pans
30 small pieces of glass
180 misc. plastic pieces

[click on image to enlarge]

2019 Clean Up Countdown: C U @ the C. U. tomorrow

Here’s today’s Hutch Fact:

Hutch Fact #8:

The old expression, “out of sight, out of mind,” applies to the Hutchinson River. It’s easily the most hidden waterway in the Bronx, if not the city. Many area residents are not even aware of the Hutch, never mind strangers. There are few paths where you have access to the river. Most paths are overgrown or in disrepair. Some are makeshift. In most places, fences, walls, and commercial and residential developments prevent access.

You can catch glimpses of the Hutch as you drive along the Hutchinson River Parkway or cross one of the six bridges that span the river in the Bronx, but access to the river from these locations would be illegal and dangerous. In Westchester, except for Lake Innisfree, which was developed for recreational uses, the Hutch flows through the backyards of private residences.

Because of this inaccessability, the Hutch has been subjected to all kinds of projects that have endangered life in and along it’s waters.

The dredging of the Hutch by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to turn it into a shipping channel in the late 19th century damaged and irrevocably changed the character and the ecosystems of the Hutch.

Storm and sewage conduits are continually spewing waste into the Hutch.

The commercial development of parts of the area — first, with Freedomland and then with Coop City — further compromised the Hutch.

The old Pelham landfill and dump (dubbed “Mt. Garbage” by some) on the West bank of the Hutch was used for decades by the Dept. of Sanitation until it was ordered closed in 1968. It was responsible for all types of toxic and noxious pollutants leeching into the Hutch and Eastchester Bay. These toxins were also responsible for many cases of leukemia and other diseases in nearby residents, particularly children. In 1967, the creation of the Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary was signed into law to prevent any more parkland from being threatened.

Now the Hutch is being threatened by rising sea levels due to climate change, and by two man-made projects: a proposal by the USACE to build a sea gate across the mouth of the Hutch, which could destroy the salt marshes, and a plan by the NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection to construct a water chlorination plant to deal with storm and sewage effluent. This could harm much of the aquatic life in the river, especially at a time when we’re just starting to revive it.

This where HRRP comes in. It’s our mission to educate the public about the Hutch’s history and importance as a vital ecosystem, to work with our communities to make the Hutch safe for recreation and nature, and to raise awareness and calls to action to prevent any further threats and damage.

Tomorrow, Sept. 15th 2019, we’ll be holding our 10th annual Clean Up of the Thomas Pell Sanctuary. It’s one of the most direct ways in which the public can help spread the message about this wonderous resource in our own backyard and keep it “In sight, in mind.”


2019 Clean Up Countdown: 2 days to go

Here’s today’s Hutch Fact:

Hutch Fact #7:

Our HRRP Clean Ups are done in conjunction with the American Littoral Society and the Ocean Conservancy. We submit detailed reports to both groups after every clean up as a way to monitor the overall health of our waterways. The reports are divided into different categories of refuse we collect: Most Likely To Find Items, Fishing Gear, Packaging Materials, Other Trash, Personal Hygiene. There are also sections for: Items of Local Concern, Tiny Trash, and Dead /Injured Animals. The Ocean Conservancy Report has an additional space for “The Most Unusual Items Found.”

Last year we filled 79 large trash bags of refuse (in addition to large bulky items) collected from the different sites we visit and the area from which we launch. We separate what we’ve collected into recyclables and non-recyclable trash. You can see the complete reports under the Documents section of our website.



The Passing of Inge Otto

Dear friends and members of HRRP,

It’s with sadness and shock that I report to you of the passing yesterday of Inge Otto, one of the founding members of HRRP. I found out earlier today from Eleanor Rae. Inge had been diagnosed just late last year with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), so her passing this quickly came as a shock. Due to her condition, Inge stepped down as Treasurer a couple of months ago but she was determined to remain active with the group to the best of her ability. Our July board meeting was held at her place.

Inge participated in all of our annual clean ups and was involved with every aspect from set up to break down, even piloting a canoe here and there.

Inge’s ashes will be shipped back to her hometown in Germany where they’ll be scattered in one of her favorite places. A memorial service is being planned for sometime in October or November.

We know that Inge will be with us in spirit at the annual clean up this Sunday.

On behalf of HRRP,

Carl Lundgren

HRRP Treasurer; Social Media Admin

2019 Clean Up Countdown: 3 Days to Go

Here’s today’s Hutch Fact:

Hutch Fact #6:

Although the Hutch has been called the dirtiest river in the Bronx, it teems with life and is slowly becoming cleaner and healthier. Walk along the banks of the river and you’ll still find mussels, oysters, and horeshoe and fiddler crabs in the shallow waters near the shoreline just as the native Lenape people (mistakenly called the Siwanoy) and the later Dutch and English settlers did, and depended upon. They were an important food source for both the human and animal inhabitants. We sometimes find fiddler crabs living in abandoned tires during our clean ups. Due to the efforts of local residents and groups like HRRP, the oyster  and mussel beds are beginning to thrive once again.


2019 Clean Up Countdown: 4 Days to Go

Here’s today’s Hutch Fact:

© 2018 Nathan Kensinger for CURBED New York

Hutch Fact #5:

The Hutch serves as a commercial waterway for businesses and utilities around the Bronx / Westchester border. To bring commerce to the Hutch, at the request of businessmen in Mt. Vernon in 1895, the US Army Corps of Engineers, widened, straightened and dredged the river turning it into a ship canal. But by doing so, much of the surrounding ecosystems were harmed, with many native species dying off. Through the efforts of groups like HRRP, the river is slowly being restored.


2019 Clean Up Countdown: 5 Days to Go

Here’s today’s Hutch Fact:

© 2019 Meagan Dwyer, Lake Innisfree Conservancy

Hutch Fact #4:

From it’s source in Scarsdale, the Hutch flows South between Eastchester and New Rochelle into a manmade lake called Lake Innisfree. Originally constructed as a series of three reservoirs supplying water to New Rochelle and Eastchester in the late 19th / early 20th century, it was later developed into a recreational lake for swimming, boating and fishing.