Originally served for the transportation of heavy machinery and equipment for Lock 11 repairs, the Eagle Trail begins at the east end of Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site at the Yankee Hill Lock and proceeds to the southside of the city of Amsterdam, a distance of about three miles.
It’s about two miles from Yankee Hill to Lock 11 and about another mile to the bikeway parking lot near the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook Pedestrian Bridge in Amsterdam.
A picnic table dedicated to John Turner, former Friends president, can be found near the trail beginning and another at Lock 11 on the trail. The first time the trail was walked two bald eagles were sighted – hence the trail name.
The trail is close to the Mohawk River, between the bike trail and the Mohawk. Boats, waterfowl and flotsam and jetsam are commonly seen and some remains of the former Erie Canal are visible as well. It’s a great location for birding, hiking, and horseback riding. Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash.
Wildflowers, trees and lianas (vines), and two equisetum (horsetail) groves edge the trail. The dam at Lock 11 is one of the moveable bridge dams on the Mohawk River. Also viewable across the river from the trail is the 1766 Guy Park Manor. (A proposed pedestrian walkway over the lock here is on hold.)
For more information contact the Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site, 129 Schoharie Street, Fort Hunter at (518) 829-7516 or email SchoharieCrossing@parks.ny.gov .
Photo: Eagle Trail along the Mohawk River.