Recreational Value

Most people tend to think strictly in terms of history when they see the features of Schoharie Crossing.  A lot of patrons however witness these features while participating in exercise activities, most often as a form of recreation. 

The other day while walking the Overlook Trail at Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site and enjoying the various canal features along with the great colors of autumn leaves, I met a gentleman walking in the opposite direction.  We struck up a wonderful conversation, a lot of it having to do with the history of the site and what it was like even fifty years ago, but eventually the topic of health came up.  Wellness is probably a better and more soothing term for it – as many Americans only consider the topic of “health” in the mode of worse case scenarios, epidemics, disease and navigating HMO or other insurance quagmires. 
This lead me to ponder further, at the end of our walk – yes, since I reversed my path to continue on his along with a great and valuable conversation – the real worth of Schoharie Crossing to those in the community.  Of course there can always be a debate on this, and varying perspectives all have their right to opinions; however, what value can the site provide other than history? 
The ease in answering that question develops more complicated conversations but for now, let’s take on: Recreation.  For the purpose of this article, recreation will be deemed an enjoyable and active participation with the historic grounds and waterways.  There are several options here such as kayaking/canoeing the creek &/or river, there are the walking/jogging/running/cross country skiing/hiking & bridle paths, and notably there is a portion of the Canalway Bike Trail running through the site.  On any given day there are people accessing the Schoharie Crossing to utilize those recreational opportunities.   Regardless of how many are aware of it, they are engaging with this NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and HistoricPreservation site for better wellness. 
There are studies that provide statistical data on wellness and recreational resources like walking & biking paths, but let us not become bogged down by the numbers alone.  What is the community value in better, healthier citizens?  Physically, mentally and emotionally, people who are active are more likely to feel a greater sense of wellness.  This often translates in to other aspects of life, even financially.  Those with better wellness practices often require less sick time from work, school, or daily activities.  This also means fewer doctor’s visits and medical bills.  No wonder indeed, why so many incentivized programs exist today to encourage healthier living like staying active and eating right. 

So how does that fit into what Schoharie Crossing has to offer?  Simple, the site operates and therefore maintains vital recreational opportunities.  No additional cost of access, people may come to the site and be active. 
That’s rightbeing active, recreating and enjoying time spent on the site is a way to create wellness:  Physically, mentally and emotionally. 
The opportunities are right here and available.  Set aside some time, whether that is daily or weekly to make use of your heritage site.  Schoharie Crossing isn’t just about the past, it’s about nurturing the present and fostering the future – the history of an area retains no value if there isn’t a legacy to carry it on.
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