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Archive for the ‘Waterways’ Category

YNN, link to original post

It’s a quiet, pretty walk along the Erie Canal path in Chittenango. The area’s history dates back centuries. However, you might not be aware its rich paranormal activity. “When we first started investigating the Erie Canal, we came as a fluke. We didn’t really expect much, but we did get a lot of evidence,” said Stacey Jones, the founder of CNY Ghost Hunters.

The original Erie Canal is actually half a mile up the road. It was 40 feet wide and four feet deep. It was used from the 1820s through the 1850s. The area is believed to be haunted. “There was an outbreak of Cholera at one point and a lot of the people building the canal were buried out in the woods and were not given proper burials,” said Jones.

Douglas Rainbow, the Co-Founder of the Chittenango Landing Canalboat Museum added, “Clay Hill road, which sits up here about half a mile on the right, was originally called Cholera Hill. And the mass graves are still visible if you know where to find them.”

This canal, or the Enlarged Erie Canal was expanded to 70 feet wide and 7 feet deep to allow for larger barges. It was used from the 1850s through 1917. It also has its share of paranormal stories.

In the 1800s, a Sheriff and his horse died there. “The lore surrounding it is that the horse got spooked by something that was on the other side of the canal and it was describe as being something like a ghost-like figure or a shadow figure. And that’s what ended up spooking the horse and killing them both,” said Jones.

That death was documented in local papers. Two other deaths were also well known. “The boiler exploded here in 1906. And there was two men killed. One guy was pushed through the building by timbers and was crushed and died later on that night. The other one had his head blown off. And the body was found down in the woods down there, and they never did find his head,” said Rainbow.

However, there’s one death that very few people know about. In a dying message to his sister, a man told her about a boy who he and his friend witnessed drown in the canal when they were just 10 or 12 years old. And before the sister died, she told the story to Douglas Rainbow, the Co-Founder of the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum.

“This kid was from out of town and they goaded him into jumping off the bridge, which he went into the mud head first. I don’t think he jumped. I think he was pushed. And they realized that he died. He suffocated and died. And they didn’t know what to do with him. And there was an old barge parked along here, called the “Beech Nut.” And it was far enough away from the wall, and they buried the body in the mud,” said Rainbow.

There isn’t any record of the death. “You didn’t report it nationwide. It didn’t go out in a bulletin. You went to your local PD if you son or grandson was missing. And generally, that’s as far as it went,” said Rainbow.

Stacey Jones and her team, the CNY Ghost Hunters, have done several paranormal investigations there.

Jones said, “We get a lot of EVP which is electronic voice phenomenon. And the phenomenon is disembodied voices. We’ll ask questions, and these voices will come back and give us answers.” She continued, “Everybody experiences something different here. Some people get pictures. Some get EVP. Some people actually physically see things.”

Jones and her team say it’s the compelling evidence they get every visit that will keep them coming back for years to come.

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Judah Schiller introduces ‘water biking’ to New York with ride across the Hudson River

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People in Oswego interested in exploring nature may feel like the closest options are in the Adirondacks hours away, but Oswego actually has a few places of its own that give students a taste of nature.

It may be surprising to some Oswego State students that there are impressive hiking trails close to campus.  On the site of Rice Creek Field Station, less than a mile and a half there are trails that might at first appear untouched for years. However, that is also what gives Rice Creek its appeal. There are a few indications that civilization has touched the area, like the occasional telephone pole and some foot bridges to cross streams.

For students looking to explore trails that make them feel like the only living things around are animals, Rice Creek is perfect. With the scenery flying by, and the feeling of pure nature, these trails are great for an outdoor run.

Unfortunately, not many students actually know about the existence of Rice Creek, or its trails. Nature paths as beautiful and pure as Rice Creek are resources that provide a lot for students, and since it’s so close to campus, and now accessible via the Green Laker Shuttle, maybe the trails will be used and appreciated to the fullest.

For students willing to take a short trip, Sterling Nature Center, about 10 miles away, has even more to explore.  Sitting on 1,200 acres, the park features over 10 trails equaling 1.9 miles along the untouched shores of Lake Ontario. The park also offers major attractions during the year, ranging from canoeing and watching the sun set in summer, to snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter.  Whether you are going to take a run, take photos, or just escape from everyday life, a trip to either of these sites is definitely worth the time.

Interactive map of Oswego hiking options

source: The Oswegonian

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Written by Daniel Chazin, Poughkeepsie Journal, link to original post

This 129-acre preserve on the Hudson River in Philipstown is on private land, but an agreement with the landowner allows public access to the four-mile trail network. The trails are maintained by volunteers of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, who recently built a new trail to carry hikers away from the residential area and connect with the existing trails. The trail is open, and improvements to it will be made through September. The hike described here is a figure-eight loop that includes the new trail segment and offers spectacular views across the Hudson River.

Location: 1.8 miles north of the Bear Mountain Bridge (2.6 miles south of the intersection with Route 403 in Garrison), turn westward onto Mystery Point Road off Route 9D. A small parking area is on the left.

Time: 2.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Length: Four miles

From the kiosk at the end of the parking area, head south on the white trail. Almost immediately, a blue trail begins on the right. This will be your return route, but for now continue ahead on the white trail, which parallels Route 9D for about a quarter mile, then bears right, away from the road. After passing a connection to the blue trail, the white trail descends rather steeply to cross a stream in a ravine. It turns right and briefly parallels the stream, then bears left and climbs out of the ravine.

The white trail now begins a gradual descent toward the Hudson River, running close to the southern boundary of the preserve. About a mile from the start, the white trail ends at a dirt road. Turn right and proceed north on the road, passing the Manitou Marsh to the left and yellow and red trails to the right.

After passing a brick house to the right and abandoned wooden and brick buildings to the left, you’ll come to a T-intersection with another dirt road. Turn left and cross the railroad tracks on a wide stone-arch bridge. This is an active railroad, and you may see Metro-North or Amtrak passenger trains on their way to Poughkeepsie, Albany or New York.

On the other side of the bridge, turn left onto the blue-blazed River Trail, which parallels the railroad for a short distance, then turns right and crosses a woods road. The trail climbs over a shallow ridge and descends to the river, where it turns left and heads south, following a narrow footpath along a bluff overlooking the river. Use caution, as there are steep drop-offs to the right, and in one place the trail has been rerouted inland to avoid a dangerously eroded section. Soon you’ll reach a spectacular viewpoint, with Sugarloaf Hill to the north and the West Point Military Academy visible across the river.

After following closely along the river for about a quarter of a mile, the trail bears left and heads inland. At a junction with a red-blazed carriage road, turn right and continue to head south on the blue trail, which now runs slightly inland, with views of the river through the trees.

In another quarter mile, follow the blue blazes as they turn sharply left and head north. Soon, the trail bears right and begins to run close to the Metro-North rail line. It then bears left and reaches a carriage road. To the left, the carriage road is blazed red, but you should turn right and continue to follow the blue blazes, which head north along the road.

When you reach a T-intersection, turn right and continue to follow the blue trail until its end at the bridge over the railroad tracks. Turn right, cross the bridge, then immediately turn right and proceed south on the dirt road that parallels the tracks. When you reach the trailhead for the yellow trail, turn left and follow this trail steeply uphill on a rocky footpath. The yellow trail soon levels off and proceeds through an evergreen grove that was devastated by Superstorm Sandy, then reaches an intersection with a blue trail.

Turn right onto the blue trail, which soon descends into a ravine (the same ravine you crossed earlier on the white trail), climbs out of the ravine, then bears left and follows the top of the bank above the ravine. After awhile, the blue trail begins to parallel the entrance road, and it ends at a junction with the white trail. Turn left and follow the white trail a short distance back to the parking area where the hike began.

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by Leslie Lippai, Scarsdale10583.com, link to original post

If you forgot to buy a summer house in Westhampton Beach this year or aren’t going to Martha’s Vineyard for vacation, you might think your only option is to drive out east to Long Island for some beach and paddling fun before the season’s over. Well, although no one will ever confuse Easthampton’s Main Beach with Rye Playland — and kayaking on Georgica Pond is not exactly the same as paddling on the Hudson, it is possible to have a really good time in and on the water around Westchester.

The basics: Westchester County offers a variety of park passes for access to all county-owned parks, pools and beaches where one is required. Visit www.westchestergov.org to learn about your options. Always call ahead before leaving home to make sure a beach has not been closed temporarily after a storm and heavy rain fall. Also, make sure you read the parking signs about where and when you can park. And while it’s not advisable to fall into the Hudson, the river is getting cleaner each year and you should be fine if you overturn, just try not to swallow the water. Visit riverkeeper.org to get up-to-date information on all things Hudson River. Keep in mind that once late September rolls around, parking fees are slashed dramatically, the water is still warm and the crowds for the most part are gone, so it is a great time to jump in or paddle on. And what’s better after a nice day at the beach than ice cream or paletas. We’ve included some of the best shops in the area. Need a kayak or canoe? If you don’t want to buy a new one, check out craigslist for used kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards of all price levels. Don’t want to go it alone? kayakhudson.com offers tours all over our area and provides the equipment without the hassle of loading it in your car. For the truly brave, check out www.manhattankayak.com or www.nykayak.com, which will have you kayaking or doing standup paddle boarding on the water in lovely New York City in no time. How cool.

Armonk

Wampus Pond, Route 128. The pond is named after the Indian tribe who sold the land to New York in 1696. There are rowboat rentals on the weekend and holidays, a kayak launch and fishing for all to enjoy in addition to picnic facilities. Call (914) 273-3230 for more information or visit www.westchestergov.com/wampus-pond

Croton-on-Hudson BluePig

The beach at Croton Point Park is part of a 508-acre park located on a peninsula on the east shore of the Hudson River. The park has camping spots, walking paths, playgrounds, a kayak launch and spectacular views of the Hudson River: (914) 862-5290. Here are some reviews on the park from contributors at Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/croton-point-park-croton-on-hudson-2. For ice cream afterward, locals rave about The Blue Pig (121 Maple St, Croton-on-Hudson; 914-271-3850; thebluepigicecream.com). Popular this season are Pig M&M (vanilla ice cream with M&Ms), honey vanilla with lavender, garden mint chip, and olive oil. New this summer is an outdoor brick courtyard complete with twinkly lights.

Hastings-on-Hudson

Kinnally Cove is directly across the river from the Palisades Cliffs with ample parking. It is a great place to launch a kayak or canoe. There is permit parking (Monday-Friday) across from the lot but you can park after 6pm and on weekends without a permit. For more information, call Hasting’s rec department at (914) 478-2380. While there is no great local ice cream shop to be had in Hastings, the town has a hopping restaurant scene, including Juniper (juniperhastings.com)

Irvington

Scenic Hudson Park is on the Hudson River. The park is accessed via Bridge Street parallel to the Hudson River and the Metro-North tracks. This 4.5-acre park includes a kayak launch. For more information contact Irvington Recreation & Parks (914) 591-7736.

Larchmont

The most popular put-in site for kayakers is at the end of Beach Ave, often called “Dog Beach,” where a public road leads along the Long Island Sound. There is no parking near the launch and you have to leave your car several hundred yards away. If you have the strength to lift your craft over a five-foot retaining wall, try launching from where Ocean Ave curves to meet Magnolia. There is a turn-around loop and parking is allowed nearby. Also, off Lindsley Drive, at the edge of Flint Park, there are rocks that lead down to the water. Some people put in kayaks in here, although we are told it is muddy at low tide.

Mamaroneck

At nearby Harbor Island Park, at the intersection of Mamaroneck Avenue South and East Boston Post Road, you can launch a kayak or canoe year-round. At times the park is overrun by Canadian geese and their droppings, so watch where you step. Call (914) 777-7784 or visit www.village.mamaroneck.ny.us. Skip the ice cream and try a paleta. Paletas are Mexican frozen pops that are either water-based (made with fresh fruit and/or fruit juices) or milk/cream-based, and offered in a rainbow of colors and flavors. We like Paleteria Fernandez, 350 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck 914-315-1598. Hibiscus flower, cantaloupe, kiwi, and mango are just some of the fun and funky flavors to sample.

Mount Vernon

Not a beach or a place to launch a kayak, but definitely worthy of a mention is Willson’s Woods, on East Lincoln Avenue. The facility is one of the oldest in the Westchester county parks system and was acquired in 1924. The park is well-known for its waterpark, Willson’s Waves, complete with a wave pool where you can body surf on three-foot wave, splash downward on an 18-foot high water slide, wander through cascades and fountains in the water playground, or just cool off on the spray deck. The park also has areas for picnicking and fishing. Call (914) 813-6990 for more information.

New Rochelle

Glen Island Beach on Pelham Road offers picnic tables, miniature golf, playgrounds, fishing and more. There is also a kayak launch. Call (914) 813-6720 for information or visit http://parks.westchestergov.com/glen-island-park.

Rye

Rye Playland offers up sand, surf and walks along the boardwalk. There is also self-launch access to Long Island Sound for kayakers and canoers. Call (914) 813-7010 or visit www.ryeplayland.org. Ice cream for everyone at the charming Longford’s Own-Made Ice Cream (4 Elm Pl, Rye 914-967-3797; longfordsicecream.com). The “own-made” ice cream, crafted in Port Chester, boasts 36 flavors and 20 flavors of sorbet, gelato and LoYo.

lighthouse Sleepy Hollow

In this historic town, Horan’s Landing Park, at 9 River Street, offers direct and perfectly legal public access to the Hudson River. The park has a riverside path, sandy beach at mid-to-low tide (no swimming), and picnic tables. The kayak/canoe/boat launch is restricted to car-top vessels (sorry, no trailers). Launch your canoe or kayak here to explore the Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow waterfronts and the Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse (sleepyhollowlighthouse.com). More experienced kayakers can cross the Hudson to wander through the meandering channels of Piermont Marsh or paddle upriver to Croton Point Park. Pick up a copy of the Hudson River Water Trail Guide to help you plan your river adventure. Parking: limited parking on site, additional metered parking on Beekman Avenue. Call (914) 366-5109 for more information. Afterward, try the Lighthouse Ice Cream and Coffee Kompanies (27 W Main St, at the Tarrytown Harbor, Tarrytown 914-502-0339; lighthouseicecreamkompany.com) for high-quality, locally sourced ingredients, such as milk and cream from Salem, New York-based Battenkill Valley Creamery.

Yonkers

While not exactly a beach, The Brook at Tibbetts Brook Park offers lots of water fun for the kids. The park’s former 81-year-old pool has been replaced with a new aquatic complex complete with a spray playground for kids of all ages, in-pool basketball and volleyball, lap lanes for getting in a daily swim workout, and the signature lazy river that inspired the renaming of this water wonderland “The Brook.” (914) 231-2865

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James C. Montanus put his camera on a tripod, and used a 30 second time exposure in order to capture the dramatic lightning over Lake Ontario.

James C. Montanus put his camera on a tripod, and used a 30 second time exposure in order to capture the dramatic lightning over Lake Ontario.

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Click here to watch the video: Reflections on Biking the Erie Canalway Trail

Click here o find out more about the Erie Canway Tour.

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