5 Things You Might Not Have Known About Schoharie Crossing

So you’re a fan of history, of the Mohawk Valley, maybe you’re a canawler at heart… but we present to you…

5 Things You Might Not Have Known About Schoharie Crossing

    1.  Schoharie Crossing has been a New York State Historic Site since 1966.  We’ll cover a bit more in #4 but hey, just think this site is more than 50 years old! Gov. Nelson Rockafeller was enthusiastic about establishing gems of historic preservation during the mid to late 1960’s in NY – even amidst the gut-wrenching noise of urban renewal. Preservation work began along the site and through the 1970’s and 80’s volunteers assisted visitors and continued to advocate for the site.  During this time, the buildings and canal features were evaluated, conditions planned for, funding grappled, and by the late 80’s and into the 1990’s, rehab work was ongoing.  The Visitor Center opened in 1987 and a small staff was set up to provide interpretation, research, grounds maintenance and services to those coming from all over to learn about the Erie Canal.
2016 Aerial showing some of Schoharie Crossing
2.  It may be bigger than you think.  The site is stretched out over 3 miles and includes grounds on both sides of the Schoharie Creek.  That means the site is within two towns (Town of Glen, Town of Florida) AND the Hamlet of Fort Hunter.  That’s all within Montgomery County – and all the more reason to emphasize that Schoharie Crossing is not in Schoharie, nor Schoharie County, but is were the Erie Canal CROSSED the Schoharie Creek near its confluence with the Mohawk River. On the west end of the site is the Aqueduct Boat Launch (access off NYS Rt-5S) and picnic area. Complete with picnic tables, grilling stations, a small playground, as well as concrete ramp and dock for launching small motorizes or unmotorized craft.  Used by many to enjoy the waters of the Schoharie Creek and Mohawk River, this end of the site also provides a GREAT view of the Aqueduct remains.  
     The east end of the site contains the Putman Canal Store at Yankee Hill Lock off Queen Ann Road.  This location has grill stations, an exhibit on canal stories, a set of locks from the enlarged era Erie Canal and access points to the Towpath Trail, the Eagle Trail, the Empire State Trail, and a floating dock on the Mohawk River.  In the center of the site is Empire Lock and Lock 20 from the original 1820’s canal.  Near the Schoharie Creek is the Visitor Center.  You can find a map and more information by visiting the Schoharie Crossing NYS Parks Webpage: HERE


    3. There’s a GREAT Exhibit in the Visitor Center.  Many visitors explore the site and may not realize there is an exhibit and Visitor Center.  Part of being spread out over three miles and having such ease to access the trails, picnic areas, and boat launch is also potentially missing the chance to welcome people to the site and give them information about its history, the environment, or even the programs and recreational activities available. Be sure to check this out on your visit.  Info can be found on the official Schoharie Crossing Facebook Page by clicking: HERE

      4.  It all started out in the grass.  Grassroot campaigns by the Fort Hunter Canal Society brought about greater advocacy to preserve the wonderful Erie Canal features and create a park to showcase them.  They established themselves and offered tours as well as hundreds of hours of their own time in planning, research, and petitioning for National Register status.  Partnering, networking, and old-fashioned neighborly handshakes meant that NYS would on-board property and create an historic site to preserve the history for future generations.  

    Give a listen to the Daily Traveler with Enoch Squire, For Friday, September 6th, 1957 radio clip hosted on soundcloud.com at the bottom of this article…it’s worth the listen!

    5. Networking… The site is connected via trails and roads to so much in the Mohawk Valley and surrounding region.  Easy access from NYS Route 5 or NYS Route 5S, not to mention how close the site is to both Amsterdam Exit 27 and Fultonville Exit 28 off the NYS Thruway. Route 67 from Saratoga is a splendid drive… or coming up NYS Rt 30 along the Schoharie Valley is a scenic experience.  The site is a quick hop from the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and the shops of Sharon Springs with a nice historic drive traveling east on Rt. 20 to Rt. 30A. From the North, a quick shot down Rt. 30 from the Great Sacandaga Lake and its valley or further north and onward into the Adirondacks.  And really, the site is well connected from the east for Schenectady or Albany.  Schoharie Crossing is centrally located and easy to fit into any cross-state trip or local day of exploration. 

We hope you’ve found these 5 Things You Might Not Have Known About Schoharie Crossing interesting.  Come visit the site, experience the natural and man-made beauty within it and leave with memories that will last a lifetime!



  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! There are so many wonderful things about Schoharie Crossing and all of the Mohawk Valley!

  2. The first trip of the newly formed Canal Society of NYS was to Fort Hunter on May 25 and 26, 1957. The goal was to raise awareness of the site. I wonder if these events are all linked? Neat to hear someone who actually lived around the working canal.


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