BLACK RIVER FEEDER CANAL TRAIL:

BOONVILLE, NEW YORK

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:       August 4, 2013

Length:                 Black River Feeder Canal Trail; 9.5 miles

Difficulty:             Easy. Flat stone-dust towpath. 

Directions:     

To Start from Erwin Park; 

From Rome follow Route 46 north to Boonville. Turn right on Schuyler St to Route 12. Turn right (south) and Erwin Park will be on your left next to Route 12. 

From Utica follow Route 12 north to Boonville. Erwin Park will be on your right next to Route 12.   

The 77-mile long Black River Canal was an engineering marvel of the 19th century. Built between 1837 and 1855, the Black River Canal ran uphill, connecting the waters of the Erie Canal with those of the Black River. The southern section of the overland canal linked Rome and Boonville, a distance of  25 miles. Following the rugged Lansing Kill Gorge, this section of the canal rose 693 feet and required 70 locks. The northern section of the overland canal connected Boonville and Lyons Falls, a distance of 10 miles. This section of the canal descended 386 feet and required 39 locks. In addition to the main canal, a ten-mile, navigable Feeder Canal from the Black River at Forestport to Boonville was built to maintain water levels in both the Black River and Erie Canals and to provide an adequate supply of water for the mills north of Lyons Falls. The Black River Feeder Canal Trail follows the old tow path. A 200-foot dam was built at Forestport, allowing as much as 16,000 cubic feet of water to be channeled down the Feeder Canal, with two-thirds of the water flowing south to the Erie Canal and one-third north to Lyons Falls. For more information visit; BLACK RIVER FEEDER CANAL TRAIL & BOONVILLE BLACK RIVER CANAL MUSEUM .

Starting from Erwin Park; From the parking lot travel through the 1796 covered bridge and turn right. This will bring you to the trailhead. No signs. The partially shaded, wide, stone-dust trail travels alongside the feeder canal. Cross Sargent Rd at 3/4 miles and a steel bridge over a spillway a a mile. Cross Moose River Rd at 1.4 miles where the trail becomes more isolated. Cross Hayes Rd at 2.2 miles. I passed by some yellow mile markers that originate from Forestport every 1/2 mile. Cross Hawkinsville Rd at 3.3 miles. This was as far as I rode. The trail continues south crossing Hayes Rd at 4.1 miles, Williams Rd at 4.7 miles, Millers Woods Rd at 5.1 miles and Edmonds Rd at around 6.2 miles. From here the trail appears to utilize the old dirt Canal Rd another 3.3 miles to Dutch Hill Rd in Forestport where it ends after 9.5 miles at Alder Pond. If you head left along Dutch Hill Rd, then right along Pond Ave (dirt road) you'll come to River Rd. Straight ahead is the 200 foot Forestport Reservoir Dam. Turn right and you'll come to the start of the canal where it emerges from the Forestport Reservoir (Black River) after 9.8 miles.

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CLICK HERE FOR REGIONAL MAP

CLICK HERE FOR BOONVILLE MAP

 

BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE

WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER

 

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