BOONVILLE BLACK RIVER CANAL TRAIL:

BOONVILLE, NEW YORK

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:       August 4, 2013

Length:                 Boonville Black River Canal Trail; 10 miles

Difficulty:             Moderate. Flat hard packed dirt & grass towpath. Short section of crushed gravel in Boonville.

Directions:     

To Start from the Boonville Black River Canal Museum (northern end); 

From Rome follow Route 46 north to Boonville. Turn right on Schuyler St then right on Main St. Cross the RR tracks and the museum will be on your left, just before Route 12. 

From Utica follow Route 12 north to Boonville. Turn left on Main St. The museum is on your right before the RR tracks.   

To Start from the Route 46 parking area (southern end); From Utica follow Route 12 north 17 miles. Look right for a parking area along the road with a sign reading "BREA X-Country ski trail", just before you reach Pixley Falls SP where you can also park.

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. The Canal Walkway extends along the Black River Canal south from the Boonville Black River Canal Museum. This walkway, lined with early 20th century street lights, features an original bowstring cast-iron truss bridge patented in 1841 by Squire Whipple of Utica. Although the Whipple design became the standard for the entire New York canal system, this bridge is only one of a handful still in existence.  Boonville once had two bowstring bridges on the canal: one at Main St and one at East Schuyler St. The Boonville Black River Canal Trail connects with a cross-country ski trail maintained by the Black River Environmental Improvement Association (BREIA). This trail extends south along the towpath for ten miles through the beautiful Lansing Kill Gorge, terminating below Pixley Falls State Park at the Five Combines. For more information visit; BOONVILLE BLACK RIVER CANAL MUSEUM .

Starting from the Boonville Black River Canal Museum; Be sure to check out the museum. Very impressive displays. It even has a full size mock-up of a canal barge. Head out the parking lot entrance to Main St.

Note; To connect to the Black River Feeder Canal Trail turn left and follow the sidewalk out to Route 12. Cross over Route 12 (Caution no crosswalk) and travel a short distance on-road (wide shoulder) left along Route 12. Turn right into Erwin Park and travel through the covered bridge. Turn right and you'll come to the trail head after 0.3 miles.

Turn left along the sidewalk to the canal and cross over Main St (Caution no crosswalk). This will bring you to the crushed gravel Canal Walkway section of the trail. It follows alongside the canal, crossing a steel bridge and bringing you to the Whipple Bridge (See above). Informational signs here. Cross over the truss bridge and continue south alongside the canal. After x miles the trail turns to grass. Left is the warming hut for BREIA. A map board is located here. The grass lined trail continues along the old tow path, passing by an old iron bridge over the canal. Head past the steel gate where the trail becomes isolated. Travel underneath a RR bridge at 0.8 miles. This was as far as I traveled. The dirt & grass trail continues south to PIXLEY FALLS SP (Restrooms/picnic tables) at around 8.4 miles. Be sure to check out the falls. The trail continues south passing by the Five Combines (5 locks in a row; unfortunately they are buried in overgrowth). The trail travels down hill as the canal drops after each lock. The Lansing Kill flows far below along your left. The canal is void of water along this section. The trail then ends at the Route 46 parking area after another 1.6 miles from the park. 

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