Coltsfoot are blooming, buds on the red maples are bursting, pussy willows are beyond, painted turtles are out sunning, and the skunk cabbage looks fully mature.  Spring is here!  It’s like once the snow melted Mother Nature is trying to catch up.

Sue Lasker, Maryanne Mackey and Paul Olund on Canal Clean Sweep.

A trail cleanup crew discusses what seems to be part of the early “Clinton’s Ditch” north of the Clutes Dry Dock.

While participating in the Canal Clean Sweep event, a hardy group of Friends of the Mohawk Towpath Byway including Paul Olund, and neighbors Maryanne Mackey and Susan Lasker rediscovered a “back water” north of Clutes Dry Dock.  The waterbody is elongated in an east west direction complete with what seems like a distinct towpath on the south side.  Was this part of the original 1825 Erie Canal or and early excavation for a dry dock?

Map of Clutes Dry Dock

What is this water body? Is there a Byway story here?

This type of exploration would not be possible after the vegetation fully emerges, because of the buck thorn, honey suckle, multi floral rose, and other thick, emergent undergrowth.

Get out there and make your own discoveries along the Mohawk Towpath Byway as spring returns to the northeast.  A hardy thank you to all of those who were up and at it for explosion of Canal Clean Sweep events this weekend.