Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Making Winter Plans

Winter is a great time to go around and look at canal sites. The leaves are gone, so you can see better through the woods; you can spot the horizontal line of the embankment in the woods; and sometimes, if it is cold enough, you can walk out onto the ice and (carefully, please) explore those swampy wet areas.

Lock 11 in Montezuma is one of those great spots to explore in the winter. Park on Chapman Road and walk east along the berm side of the canal, heading back toward the hamlet. (Please respect the private landowners and walk in from this side. The land between the lock and the streets is private property.) The first thing you will do is walk around Meil's Drydock. You can see how big a business this was. Then head to the old bridge abutment by the junction of the two canals. This is the only bridge abutment left in the county, so enjoy your view from the top. Then head south down the Cayuga Seneca Canal to Lock 11. This lock is the best preserved lock from the old CS canal. If the water is froze, walk down through the chamber and examine the stone work up close.

As you head out, you might see the remains of the first canal off in the woods to the left (west). And then enjoy the wetlands to the south. It is a beautiful winter walk.

The nice folks at the Montezuma Historical Society have a nice guide book for a very reasonable price that covers this area. Also, if you go back and look at earlier posts, you will find that you can download free guides for many canal sites across the county. Just look for the blue links.

Come back later and I will talk about walking west toward the river.

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