5 Easy Reasons to take a Field Trip to Schoharie Crossing

Students in front of the Visitor Center at the end of a Field Trip

Schools have been sending students on field trips to Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site for over 40 years.  With the opening of the Visitor Center in 1987, they had a centralized location and exhibit to accompany the walking tours and fascinating tales of the Erie Canal given by guides and teachers. 

1. The Erie Canal Song and More! There is over 300 years of history that can be covered.  From settlement in colonial New York and the Mohawk people of the Iroquois, through westward expansion, the Erie Canal, and on to present day, Schoharie Crossing has it all.  Nestled in the Mohawk Valley and along the banks of the strategic Mohawk River and Schoharie Creek, the lands that make up the site are richly historic grounds.  

2. Engaging programs inside and out! The site offers programs inside the Visitor Center with the exhibit, "Pathway to Empire: How the Erie Canal Helped Build America" as well as walking tours and the large format Erie Canal Game.  Tours can be adapted for the size of student groups and can range from just a short 20-30 minute quarter mile walk to a longer 60 minute 1 mile guided tour. There are also environmental programs to choose from, such as Food for the Brood and Fill the Bill.  Through partnerships, there are other options as well such as additional nature programs and presentations by educators from the NYS Canal Corporation - those that operate the modern canal.
     There is plenty of space to roam and explore outside of the exhibit as well.  With miles of walking trails and open spaces on grounds can mean getting some added exercise for the body as well as the mind.  The site is spread out over 2.5 miles, so there are options for programming not just at the Visitor Center. It is encouraged to explore the site as a student group, picnic on the grounds, and create your own "micro-lessons" while taking in the beauty -both natural and man-made - of Schoharie Crossing. 

3. Friendly knowledgeable staff and volunteer educators! Sharing their passion is infectious, the staff and volunteers who welcome, educate, and entertain students are dedicated to sparking inspiration in the minds of youth (and even their teachers and chaperones). New programs can be developed or adapted for particular groups. The site offers a variety of programs geared mostly for groups in grades Kindergarten, Third and Fourth, as well as Middle School.  However, any age or grade level can find valuable and relatable lessons in the site's range of programs.  With decades and decades of combined experience, site educators guide students to learning, appreciating, and adventurous discovery of our history and natural world. 

4. Ticket to Ride! Through partnership with the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, field trips can be funded by the Ticket to Ride grant.  Eligible school districts can apply for a travel reimbursement and fully funded program. It is an simple application and easy to qualify for.  Visit ErieCanalway.org for more details and more educational resources. 

5. Connecting Kids! As a New York State Historic Site, field trips can take advantage of the Connect Kids to Parks! grant program.  Any Title I school (or one within a district that contains a Title I school) is eligible for up to $1000 per grant awarded for travel reimbursement and programming costs.  This means virtually every school can apply for this remarkable program.  To find out more on how the program works, visit: NYS Parks Connect Kids! 

The intention of EVERY school field trip to Schoharie Crossing is to INSPIRE the next generation!  To show them how working together can accomplish just about anything, and if you use your skills and ingenuity, you can transform the world around you.  

Please let us know what you think are great reasons to for a Field Trip to Schoharie Crossing in the comment section below.


  1. Had a wonderful visit there last fall. The museum staff were so informative, and what a thrill to walk along the original Erie Canal!

    1. So great to hear! Thanks for the comment and THANK YOU for visiting Schoharie Crossing! We'll have another post coming soon about the 5 Ways to Spend Time at the site.

  2. These all seem like really great reasons for schools to visit


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