Most people would describe a village as a small community, with quaint streets and an unhurried pace. The village of Ossining, as well as the town of Ossining which surrounds the village, is nothing like that.
Ossining borders the eastern shores of the widest part of the Hudson River. The town was built on five hills, offering some of the highest elevations in Westchester County. Old river mansions still dot those hills, but are now mixed with contemporary and ranch homes, condos and co-ops. The area bustles with metropolitan life. Shopping is plentiful, with both top brand retailers and unique independent stores represented in the shopping centers, mini-malls and the historic downtown area. The large Jefferson Valey Mall in Yorktown is not far, as is White Plains, which offers even more extensive shopping and entertainment.
Ossining, which was Westchester County’s first village in 1814, has had plenty of time to grow into a small city. It’s layout, which grew up in the 1800’s remains the same. Main Street still leads up a gentle hill from the train station and the river. Old Ossining is a restored area of brick Victorian buildings that is part of the Downtown Ossining Historic District, which also includes several churches and Ossining High School on Route 9. The area is a cluster of retail, restaurants and services, surrounded by what is now a bedroom community. There is a smattering of light industrial businesses, mostly along the waterfront and a weekly farmers market.
Lifestyle and Recreation
Ossining was recently ranked the second best community to live in by Westchester Magazine. Though it has had time to be highly developed, Ossining’s history gives it good reason to be so desirable. The state designated the old sections of the village as one of 14 urban cultural parks in New York State, the only one in Westchester. Part of the Old Croton Aqueduct, built in 1846, is in the village. A visitors’ center gives tours of the aqueduct in the summer months. The Old Croton Aqueduct trail, a state-run park, is a popular facility for hiking and cycling, and runs several miles through the county. It has more than 90 acres of parkland — beaches on the Hudson, nature trails and a town park with a baseball field, a basketball courts and lighted tennis courts.
Westchester’s Croton Point Park has a beach area and several open spaces. It is available for overnight camping and hosts numerous festivals. The Teatown Lake Reservation, just minutes away from Croton Point is a lush private nature reserve, offering a variety of activities, many of which are for children and families. The riverfront offers expansive views of the Hudson River and the hills beyond, and of the bald eagles which have recently taken up residence in aeries along its banks.
Ossining School District includes the village of Ossining, the unincorporated parts of the town and parts of Yorktown, New Castle and Briarcliff. Besides the high school and middle school, there are four elementary schools and a special education school. Supplementing the district schools are three K-8 parochial schools in the area.
The Ossining train station provides commuter rail service to Grand Central Terminal in New York City or Croton-Harmon and Poughkeepsie via the Metro-North Railroad’s Hudson Line. The Bee-Line Bus System provides bus service to Ossining on routes 11, 13, 13B, 14, and 19. NY Waterway also operates a ferry between Ossining and Haverstraw in Rockland County during the rush hours.
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