I love a side of history with my nature. Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site [129 Schoharie St, Fort Hunter, NY 12069] has great hiking, but also works towards preserving the Erie Canal.
There is a visitor’s center open from May through October that speaks to the impacts of the Erie Canal on the growth of New York State and the nation, but we visited a bit too early. Next time. We took a gander at the trail map and continued on.
It was a blustery day. We crossed the street and made our way to the water. The quarter of a mile overlook trail follows the Schoharie Creek and leads to the remains of the Schoharie Aqueduct.
So strong was the wind I could admire the ruins for a brief moment until seeking refuge in the woods, and just like that we started onto the 2.5 mile towpath. I was uncertain we were going the right way initially. It begins in between two sets of property, relatively unmarked. It becomes more definitively a trail, and then when you cross a street, you are absolutely sure.
The woods are peaceful, songbirds sing, ducks sit in the water, a predator must have been out at some point because we saw remnants of a deer.
It wasn’t long before we came upon the first signs of a canal lock. There are two on the trail, the first is Lock 20, the second Lock 28 – also known as Yankee Hill Lock.
Further down the line the trail meets up with the Mohawk River.
Early spring the birds were migrating in making the water a happening spot. There were some black and white ducks that were speeding down low on the river in flight, so fast I couldn’t quite identify them. Along the way you’ll find informational signage shedding light on history of the canalway. At the end of the trail you will exit the woods into a field and notice the Putman’s Canal Store.
It wasn’t open for the season when we visited, but we could read about it, and the building was painted an awfully cheery yellow. So we made it to the end of the line! Now, we had to return 2.5 miles back down to where we came from. It was a lovely stroll, no elevation gain, very relaxing. When we got back down to the residentially area we saw some cats!
I love cats, so this was very exciting business. If you’re in the market for a long stroll in the woods with a historical light, head to Schoharie.