Sunday, August 5, 2012

Final Plans for August 11 Canal Splash

My wife Mary, Lizzie the canal dog and I took a walk through Montezuma making final plans today. I hope next week is a bit cooler than today, but anyhow, we suffered through the heat and humidity for your benefit.

As I wrote before, we will start at the "Big Basin", which is now the park next to the Town Offices. There we will walk west toward the aqueduct and river. If you want, you can drive and meet us at certain areas, however there is a 1.5 mile walk you can't escape if you want to see most of the sites. I would guess the entire walk is about 2 miles, more of less. I have planned out a route that doesn't double back too much, and a lot is new this year! Some of the trail is bumpy and none of it is paved.

Once we learn about the basin, we will walk through the "downtown". We will see what use to be, and then walk over to the new Heritage Park trailhead, which happens to be located at the junction of the Cayuga Seneca and Erie.

 We will then take a short cut (if we don't get a lot of rain this week) over to the new trail that leads to Cayuga Seneca Lock 11. Lock 11 is the best preserved lock of the CS canal and well worth seeing. This year for the first time, we will be able to see it from the west side, as it was cleared this spring.

Along the trail, we can see the remains of the first Erie Canal. We can also see a nice wetlands area that is part of the Heritage Park.We will see the site of Meil's Drydock as we walk around it, another first this year.

Then it is onto the Montezuma Aqueduct. 

As we walk to the aqueduct, we will stop at the site of Clinton's Ditch Lock 62 and spend a little time looking it over and talking about it. Over the past few years, the nice folks at Montezuma have spent a lot of time clearing this site and it looks great right now.

Then we will walk down to the Seneca River and south to the aqueduct. The dry year has the river very low, and you can walk all around many of the piers. I guess that the river is at least 6 feet under the historic level of the river in 1850, and about 2 feet lower than a normal year these days. Mary would be under water in Erie Canal times. We will talk about why that is and many other things about the river and the canal, mans use of the swamps, cement plants, paper mills and so much more.

Here, if the weather cooperates, the Montezuma people will meet us with water, hot dogs and such items for a small donation. Hey, the walk is free!

From here, we walk back the trail to the start.

There is a lot of info in the early posts of this blog. Just click on the labels to help find the posts. We also tie to a series of canal splash handouts that we wrote for the "Following the Flow" tour we held the first year. So take a look. And come see!

Of, if you can't come August 11, and since we are so proud of what we have, we do try to accommodate private tours. See you there.

1 comment: