by Nancy Papish
Visitors to the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway experience their time here at three different levels:
- They drive the Byway as a pleasant escape from their daily routine;
- They use the Byway as an access to adventure by getting out of their vehicle and doing some physical activity; or
- They get involved with projects or programs to help others enjoy the experience and more fully appreciate the Byway.
Drive the Byway. It’s a pleasant afternoon drive just to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily routine. Motorcycle groups know it, because it is the second most traveled route in New York State. Others travel it as an alternate, more scenic connection between south-bound I-87 Northway and Schenectady.
Your access to adventure. This is when we entice our visitor(s) to get out of their vehicle to investigate one of many features on the Byway whether a natural feature, recreational opportunity, or a historic site. The self- guided tour stop or one of our interpretive signs might satisfy this interest or they might wish to pursue it further venturing into the Byway corridor.
The ultimate level in visitor experience is to have them involved in one of our projects or programs. These might be to enhance or protect one of our historic sites or features. It might be a project like cutting back vegetation that has over grown a historic canal wall, or a bridge to connect to an old towpath, or interpreting a feature either by taking a photograph, documenting research, making a sign, or contributing money or in kind services to complete one of our ongoing projects.
We should provide every opportunity for a visitor or any local resident no matter which level they wish to experience along the Byway: a Sunday afternoon drive; an exploratory or physical adventure and a list of projects that would grow out of our vision for a more compelling visit to our Byway.