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Showing posts from February, 2019

Franny Reese State Park

Nestled at the western approach to the Mid-Hudson Bridge in Highland, New York, Franny Reese State Park is a wooded oasis situated right in the heart of the Hudson Valley. Named for the late environmentalist Frances "Franny" Reese (1917-2003), this 251 acre park was initially protected (and still operated) by Scenic Hudson, while ownership of the park was transferred to New York State in 2009. Franny Reese Park has about 2.5 miles of trails, but the highlights of the park include ruins of a 19th Century mansion and scenic views of the Mid-Hudson Bridge and neighboring Poughkeepsie. There are two access points in Highland to the park, one from Johnson Iorio Park at the Mid Hudson Bridge (you would cross under the roadway to get to the park) and also at Macks Lane in Highland. I had visited Franny Reese Start Park one late November afternoon and it was a pleasant experience. With that being said, let's explore!

Charlie The Butcher's Beef on Weck

The Empire State has plenty of iconic, yet local food delicacies. From New York style pizza to chicken riggies in Utica to spiedies in Binghamton to chicken wings in Buffalo, each region of New York State has one or more food dishes that are synonymous with the area. While you can find Buffalo chicken wings anywhere, one of Buffalo's other food delicacies, the beef on weck sandwich, is just as delicious.

So what exactly is a beef on weck sandwich, you may be asking yourself? Beef on weck is an unique carved roast beef sandwich on a salty kummelweck roll. Made primarily in the Buffalo and Rochester areas, the kummelweck roll is a type of kaiser roll topped with pretzel salt and caraway seeds. The sandwich is usually served with horseradish, beef au jus and a dill pickle on the side. It is said that the beef on weck sandwich was invented in Buffalo sometime in the late 19th Century or early 20th Century and became popular in local bars and pubs, as the salty rolls would cause patro…

Holley Canal Falls

Standing at about 35 feet in height, Holley Canal Falls (or Holley Falls, I've seen both names) in Holley, New York is a relatively new waterfall. A byproduct of the nearby Erie Canal, the Holley Canal Falls was created as a means to expunge excess water when the Erie Canal was enlarged into the present day State Barge Canal. The canal widening took place sometime during the 1910s, as I have seen both 1913 and 1918 in my research. The waterfall is fed by a waste weir from excess canal water, so this waterfall may be flowing during the summer when other area waterfalls are not. Geologically speaking, the ground around waterfall is made of red Medina sandstone and is part of the Niagara Escarpment. Apparently, it had taken a number of years after the waste weir was built for Holley Canal Falls to develop into the waterfall that we have today. It was worth the wait so that we could be able to visit a beautiful waterfall.

Holley Canal Falls is set in a peaceful setting in Holley'…

Little Falls and Moss Island

Little Falls, New York is a small city in the Mohawk Valley that has been shaped by the forces of water throughout its history. Nowhere in Little Falls is that more evident than at Moss Island. Representing the Industrial Age, this is home of Lock 17 the tallest lock along the Erie Canal, but there is also evidence of the Ice Age in the form of 40 foot deep glacial potholes from when there was an ancient waterfall that was even larger than Niagara Falls at this spot, once draining Glacial Lake Iroquois when other outlets (such as the St. Lawrence River) were blocked by retreating glaciers. While Little Falls does not have the amount of industry around the river and canal than it once had, checking out what Moss Island has to offer is a great way to see what the city has to offer.

Visiting Moss Island allows you to experience the engineering marvel that is the Erie Canal plus the wonders of nature by taking a hike around the island and seeing the glacial potholes. Avid rock climbers w…

Little Stony Point

Located along the Hudson River just outside of the Village of Cold Spring on NY Route 9D, Little Stony Point sits on a small spit of land that juts out into the Hudson River. Little Stony Point is a popular area for taking a short hike, in an area known for longer hikes to places like Breakneck Ridge, Mount Beacon and the ruins of the Cornish Estate. In fact, parking for the trail to the old Cornish Estate is located at the same place as Little Stony Point. Just cross the highway and go across the bridge over the Metro North Railroad and hit the trail. If you walk around the perimeter of the peninsula and up to the overlook, it is not a long hike, maybe about a mile round trip. If spending your day relaxing and lounging about is more of your thing, there is also a beach along the shores of the Hudson on the north side of Little Stony Point, which is popular during the summer months, but swimming is officially prohibited.

Little Stony Point was originally an island, but the area that …