CHENANGO CANAL TOWPATH:
TOWN OF MARSHALL TOWPATH:
DEANSBORO-KIRKLAND, NEW YORK
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: August 02, 2011
Length: Chenango Canal Towpath; 4 miles. 2.5 miles is developed.
Difficulty: Easy. Flat, grass lined stone-dust rail trail. Mt bike recommended.
To Start from the O & W Depot in Deansboro; From the junction of Routes 12B & 315 in Deansboro travel south on Route 315. On your right you'll spot a sign reading "Town of Marshall Towpath". Park by the old RR Depot.
The Chenango Canal Towpath follows the Chenango Canal Corridor. It is referred to by several names; Town of Marshall Towpath & Kirkland Trail. Because some sections of the canal have been abandoned or returned to private ownership, some of the trail uses sections of the O & W RR right of way. The Chenango Canal Towpath was built and operated in the mid-19th century in Upstate New York. It was 97 miles long and for much of its course followed the Chenango River, from Binghamton on the south end to Utica on the north end. It operated from 1834 to 1878 and provided a significant link in the water transportation system of the northeastern U.S., connecting the Susquehanna River to the Erie Canal. The Chenango Canal was 42 feet wide at the top and 26 feet wide at the bottom and averaged 4 feet deep. It had 116 Locks, 11 Lock houses, 12 dams and 19 aqueducts. The Chenango was unique in that it was the first reservoir-fed canal in the U.S. In this design, reservoirs were created and feeder canals were dug to bring water to the summit level of the canal. In 1878 the canal was abandoned with the arrival of the O & W RR. For more information visit; CHENANGO CANAL and KIRKLAND TRAILS . Another trail section along the canal is located south in Hamilton. See; Chenango Canal Heritage Trail .
Starting from the O & W Depot in Deansboro; The old O & W RR Depot is located here along with some signs describing the local history. The Utica City RR horse drawn streetcar traveled between Utica and New Hartford in 1863. Became the Utica & Waterville RR in 1864. Extended to Clinton in 1866 as the Utica-Clinton & Chenango Valley RR. Extended to Deansboro in 1867 and in 1868 became the Utica-Clinton & Binghamton RR. This is the oldest surviving depot along the O & W RR Line.
Note; The trail travels North as a narrow single track dirt and grass trail, however, recently the trail surface has been improved to Dugway Rd. I have not checked out this section. After utilizing the Town of Marshall Highway Dept access road the trail picks up to the left of the entrance. Mile Markers along the trail. Referred to as the Kirkland Trail, this section travels 3 miles north, crossing Dugway Rd to the junction of Routes 12B & 233. The section between Dugway Rd and Route 233 has not had any work done to it as of Sept 2021. There are plans to level and add fill as needed, but the Town of Kirkland DPW is waiting for the survey report before work can be done. Plans are in the works to improve this section and possible add parking.
Travel South along stone-dust Chenango Canal Towpath past the right side of the old depot. Bear left at the intersection and travel past the black gate. Mile Markers start from here along the trail. Follow the grass lined stone-dust trail along the old RR bed. The trail travels through open woods, then along a berm at 0.7 miles with the Oriskany Creek down to your left and a marsh on your right. Scenic. Access to the creek at 0.9 miles which then veers away from the trail. Travel along a causeway through a marsh before crossing Burnham Rd at 1.6 miles. Travel through another marsh and enter deep woods. The trail currently ends after 2.5 miles at Van Hyning Rd. An undeveloped dirt trail continues straight towards Oriskany Falls.
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BIKE IT OR HIKE IT