The Friends of Schoharie Crossing have announced the completion of the three-mile long Eagle Trail at the Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site.
The Friends of Schoharie Crossing decided to undertake a non-traditional approach through Parks & Trails New York’s Adopt-A-Trail program. Instead of adopting an existing trail segment, this friends group decided to create and adopt an entirely new trail connection on New York State Canal Corporation-owned land.
Work started on the trail at the 2019 Canal Clean Sweep, allowing visitors to walk along a 2.5 mile towpath trail from the visitors center to the Yankee Hill Lock, hop on the Eagle Trail, and make the leg of the trip from Fort Hunter to Amsterdam on the Erie Canalway Trail.
With this new trail segment, the public can now enjoy enhanced views of the Erie Canal, the sound of rushing water at Lock 11, and the rustling of equisetum, or as the locals call it, horsetails. John Naple, an active member of the Friends of Schoharie Crossing, is fascinated by the plant and animal species along the trail. He explains that the horsetails, sometimes referred to as scouring rushes, were used to clean and scour dirty cooking pots, and were among the plants that were used to make coal and oil, prior to the use of modern seeds plants.
Rich in history the Eagle Trail serves as an extension of the pedestrian bridge in Amsterdam and the Chuctanunda hiking trail. Originally constructed for the transportation of heavy machinery and equipment for Lock 11 repairs, and starting to revert back to its natural state, the time was ripe for a formal path along the river from Amsterdam to the Schoharie Crossing Site, and the Friends of Schoharie Crossing were up to the task. The Eagle Trail boasts views of the foliage along the Mohawk River and outdoor recreation along the Erie Canal, while the nearby wetlands create several ready-made swimming pools for canine friends.
The Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site is located at 129 Schoharie Street, Fort Hunter. More information is available online.
Photo of Eagle Trail at the Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site provided.