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Showing posts from February, 2018

Pixley Falls State Park

With the 50 foot high Pixley Falls as the centerpiece, Pixley Falls State Park is a fun state park to have picnics, take a short nature hike or look at the different waterfalls that make up this park. Located near Boonville in northern Oneida County, Pixley Falls can be found on the Lansing Kill and not far from the historic Black River Canal. From the parking area, there is a short trail that will take you past a few smaller cascades and waterfalls on your way to Pixley Falls. For folks who like longer adventures, a cross country ski trail that is part of the Black River Canal Trail and the much longer North Country Scenic Trail follow the the Black River Canal, which passes by the park near the entrance to the park.

Sources and Links:
New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation - Pixley Falls State Park
CNY Hiking - Pixley Falls - Pixley Falls

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Rexleigh Covered Bridge

Located just outside of picturesque Salem, New York, the Rexleigh Covered Bridge is one of four covered bridges that are still standing in Washington County, and one of thee covered bridges that cross the Batten Kill while in New York. There are more covered bridges that cross the Batten Kill in neighboring Vermont. The Rexleigh Covered Bridge is also the location for a popular swimming hole. The 107 foot long bridge was originally built by Reuben Comins and George Wadsworth in 1874 and is one of only three Howe truss bridges remaining in New York State. The bridge was supposedly prefabricated in Troy, New York and transported by rail to Rexleigh where it was reassembled in place. One unique feature of the Rexleigh Covered Bridge are the cast iron shoes, which were used to fit the bridge timbers into joints with iron rods. This feature has been incorporated into no other known covered bridge in the United States of America.

The Rexleigh Covered Bridge has had its share of events over …

Mine Kill Falls

Tumbling down a height of 80 feet in southern Schoharie County is Mine Kill Falls (or Minekill Falls, I've seen both names used). Located in a corner of Mine Kill State Park near Gilboa, the waterfall can be easily accessible from the Mine Kill Falls Overlook parking lot off of NY Route 30. From the parking lot, there is a short trail to a deck that leads to the upper reaches of the waterfall, or you could branch off to another trail that leads you to the base of the waterfall, as well as to other hiking trails within Mine Kill State Park, including the Long Path. The trail is about a half mile long at most, but can be a bit muddy in parts. Mine Kill Falls was actually one of the first waterfalls that I visited as a young boy during the 1980s on trips to the northern Catskills from Long Island, so there is actually a bit of personal significance to me. To this day, I enjoy stopping by Mine Kill Falls when I am in the area, even if it is just for a short while.

Sources and Links:

Thompsons Lake

Sometimes the smaller lakes have the most attractions. Every so often, I can be seen paddling my way around the water in my kayak at Thompsons Lake, just up the road from Thacher State Park. Thompsons Lake has opportunities for boating from the DEC ramp and boat landing that is located along NY Route 157 at the south end of the lake. The parking area only fits about a half dozen cars, so parking can be tight at times. From there, you can start a peaceful journey around the lake, whether your boat takes you fishing, or just spending some peaceful moments in nature. I once spotted a bald eagle hanging out in the trees while kayaking on the lake. At the northern end of the lake, you have Thompsons Lake Campground, which has a nice beach and places to camp, along with the Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center, which has some hands-on nature exhibits for children and families.

Sources and Links:
New York State Department of Conservation - Thompsons Lake
New York State Parks, Recreation and …

Huckleberry Point

One of the more straight-forward hikes to a scenic overlook along the Catskill Escarpment is the hike to Huckleberry Point. It can be considered an easier to moderate hike among the hikes in the area, good for families and those people who want to see some great views without having to do too much climbing. From the trailhead on Platte Clove Road (which can be closed during the winter), you have a steady incline up an old forest road before the trail splits off towards the scenic viewpoint. The hike itself is about 4.5 miles round trip, taking the same set of trails back to the trailhead that you would take to Huckleberry Point.

Troy Baseball Monument

Did you know that Troy, New York was once home to a major league baseball team? Indeed this was the case for a few years back in the 19th Century. The home of Uncle Sam and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was the home of a professional baseball club in the National League between 1879 and 1882. The team got its start around 1861 as the Unions of Lansingburgh, who were also known as the Troy Haymakers. The name Haymakers came about in 1867 after a victory over the New York Mutuals, with the newspapers donning the team the Haymakers because they couldn't believe that a team from Upstate New York could beat a New York City team.

In 1879, the team from Troy was invited to join the National League and Troy fielded a team call the Cities. Over the four years that Troy had a team, they fielded five future Baseball Hall of Famers. They were Dan Brouthers, Tim Keefe, Roger Conner, Buck Ewing, and Mickey Welch. After some years of poor attendance and a desire by the National League to have…