Today being Saturday, there were lots of folks out on the trail and canal. The weather was a little drier and cooler, too, so it was a very pleasant walk.
Along a road next to the trail near the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs, an Amish family had set up a table selling homemade goodies. Most definitely, Steve and I had to buy some homemade cookies!
The dad in the family was also a teacher and they had two boys helping out while mom sewed. She shared that they used to live in Ohio but liked it better in New York because it was less humid. They had the most patient horse in the world. And yes, the molasses cookies were melt-in-your-mouth good.
We finally got to the place on the canal I’ve been dying to see: the Schoharie Crossing. It is the last place you can see a good example of the aqueducts that carried the Erie Canal across streams.
It is also the only place you can find all three iterations of the canal in a relatively close area. Note to hikers and bicyclists: traveling down the trail from Fultonville, you turn the first time you see the sign Schoharie Crossing Historic Site visitor center, if you want to see the visitor center (which has a bathroom, tiny free museum, gift shop and sites of Fort Hunter), turn where it says to. There are no distance indicators but it isn’t a far walk.
After you visit the area, get back on the trail and go about three miles until you get to the second sign directing you to Yankee Hill park and historic site. You will see it and the barge canal from the trail. This is a neat place because you can see the current barge canal and the old canal locks side by side.
There is also a replica of an old canal store (has bathroom) and picnic tables. If you go to the Schoharie website, it shows a map that says you can take the old towpath trail to the Yankee Hill park, however, there is nothing on the ground to help you find directions or distance to match the online map.
All that being said, it’s worth the time to stop and see this spread out historic site. It meant so much to me after seeing the whole canal to see it all come together.
The aqueduct, even in ruins, is so amazing. Imagine building a bridge to carry water carrying boats, cargo, passengers and mules, all over a river!
Additionally, in 2011, there was a terrible flood that destroyed part of the historic area, but because of the flood they discovered the site of old Fort Hunter, commissioned by Queen Anne in the 1700s.
And on a completely different note, look up Amsterdam Castle, N.Y. We all need one of these.