Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible. Pertinent guest posts are always welcome.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Trails Day: Black River Canal Museum

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Black River Canal Museum (photo from CNY)

from the Central New York Chapter newsletter, July 2011, by Kathy Eisele

Nine members and guests of the Central New York Chapter of the NCTA traveled to the Black River Canal Museum in Boonville, New York, to celebrate Trails Day on June 4. Upon arrival, Daphne Larrabee, who gave us a guided overview of the museum’s exhibits, met us. Laura Czajka, Alyssa Matthews, and Dale Ferris, curator, assisted her. Our contribution to the day was Steve Kinne’s Power Point presentation on the North Country National Scenic Trail.

The museum, located right on the Black River Canal, has wonderful exhibits from the canal days (first boat traveled from Rome to Boonville in 1850, last boat left Boonville in 1924), including changing displays of enlarged photographs of the canal and surrounding communities selected from an inventory of more than 3,000 photos. The many other exhibits include tools and other artifacts; a display showing the 109 locks between Rome and Lyons Falls, a 35 miles distance with a rise/fall of 1,079 feet; a working mini-canal replica that allows visitors (or as Daphne put it “children of all ages”) to run model canal boats through a set of locks to see how the system worked.

One of the newest exhibits is a life-sized replica of a Black River Canal Boat, constructed using original plans, that gives an idea of what life was like living and working on the canal. Currently being developed at the museum is an Archives Room, which, when finished, will be open to the public for research. The gift shop offers memorabilia, including t-shirts, books and DVDs. Also, if one of the photos in the museum’s displays particularly appeals to you, an 8x10 reprint can be ordered.

Ed Fynmore, now President of the museum’s Board of Trustees, initiated the museum in 2003 when he organized a group of interested volunteers. He, the Board of Trustees, and all of the other volunteers merit congratulations for developing a real asset in the North Country, well worth a trip to Boonville. In addition, of course, trailheads to the NCNST to Pixley Falls (approx. 6 mile hike) or to Forestport (approx. 10 mile hike) are nearby. The museum is open seven days a week starting the last week end in June through Labor Day,
10 to 4, then on weekends to Columbus Day.

See Central New York Chapter of the NCTA
See Black River Canal Museum

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Minnesota State Park Crisis

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Gooseberry Falls State Park (photo by jhy

from various sources

All Minnesota State Parks are closed until the state budget crisis is resolved. This affects the North Country Trail primarily along the north shore of Lake Superior, and the Superior Hiking Trail section.

State Parks along the route include Jay Cooke (at the MN-WI border), Gooseberry Falls, Split Rock Lighthouse, Tettegouche, Crosby-Manitou, Temperance River, Cascade River, and Judge Magney.

Shuttle operator, Harriet Quarles, reports that all gates are closed and water is turned off. Thru-hikers should be able to move through the park on the trail, but no services are available.

The NCT does pass through one other Minnesota SP on the west side of the state, which is Maplewood.

There is no way to predict how long it will take Minnesota to resolve their $5 million gap between proposals of the two political parties. Minnesota Public Radio estimates that park revenue lost on the holiday weekend could be as much as $12 million.

Most segments are on SHTA maps

See Superior Hiking Trail