While wrapping up reports and other administrative requirements of the Byway and the two organizations that are the backbone of our community
The Friends of the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway, and
The Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition
…we have developed a 2018 Annual Report that you can view here. It was prepared for municipal officials within the Byway corridor, as a thank you to our volunteers for a successful year, and as a tool to help tell the story of the Byway to the general public. If you do not receive your copy of the 2018 Annual Report by mid February send a request for a copy.
Were you a part of it? If you were thank you for the help. If you were not please act now to make your place on the Mohawk Towpath Byway in 2019! Join the friends of the Byway while the year is young. Click here!
Welcome to a new year on the Mohawk Towpath Byway. The Byway is open today along with all of the recreational opportunities. The Byway from Schenectady to Cohoes and Waterford uses all public roads and all the public outdoor recreation facilities are open, but, as always, dress appropriately against the wind driven squalls. The ice skates and skate sailing will have to wait for colder temperatures.
We look forward to good participation at the upcoming meeting of the Friends of the Byway on Tuesday, January 8 at the Historic Grooms Tavern in Rexford. Before the meeting give some thought to what you would like to see the Friends do this year to make a difference for Byway residents and visitors.
One proposal is to reconstruct the footbridge deck on the Original Erie Canal Towpath just west of the Water Authority access road. The bridge abutments have shifted slightly with ice action over the years, but the stringers are still in good shape to serve many additional years of service.
Is there another project that you are passionate about? Bring your ideas to the meeting on Tuesday evening January 8.
A discussion around the table at the annual meeting of the Friends of the Mohawk Towpath Byway came up with surprising results. The question was, “What were the greatest achievements on the Byway this year?”
First up, Ruth related the story that at the Duathlon registration when her husband met an individual recovering from a similar medical condition as his. “The two of them are helping each other through recovery.”
Paul said, “I became more familiar with the features within the Vischer Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve.” He also added that fellow volunteer Chris had used a personal GPS devise to map trails in the Preserve and proceeded to color blaze the individual trails to match the mapping.
“Volunteers Chris and Joanne have painted a mural on the other side of the Whipple bridge aerial photo,” added Sue. “Their mural names and color codes the trails. Additionally Chris created directional signs at entrances to the nature preserve and at trail intersections complete with trail names and distances. Most of the trails have color coded discs on trees.”
Eric is proud of the Story Telling Summit that the Friends of the Byway helped host in late spring. We had folks attend from as far away as the mid west U S. It was the consensus around the table that we should do something similar next year.
Mary reported that she had given a tour of the Byway to a group of 7 or 8 hikers. They all enjoyed the experience and hope to repeat it, perhaps in another area of the Byway.
Nancy shared a story that as she and Tracy were marshaling participants at the Duathlon, Tracy pointed out a coyote crossing a distant field. Nancy continued her post, but later saw the coyote return across the ridge.
Maryanne shared a story of a visit to a historic building and had paused at the top of the stairs. While she was there she felt a push toward the stairs as if by a mischievous child, but no one was around. That story was added to the folklore of the historic property which had, at one time, housed an orphanage.
Lara successfully completed the Duathlon, and has always been impressed by the enthusiasm of the volunteers who host the event. She is looking forward to competing again next year.
During Farm Fest weekend Larry helped a visitor discover nearby Clutes Dry Dock by accessing the Byway tour on the visitor’s cell phone. The visitor was compelled to check out other features along the Byway corridor during the weekend. The self guided tour feature makes it easy to discover the Byway at your own pace and on your own time.
These individual observations illustrate the diverse interests on the Byway and the collection of resources that make the Mohawk Towpath Byway such a unique place to live, to visit and to share with the outside world. What stands out in your mind as a special resource along the waterway west?