Chenango Canal Historic Towpath
The Chenango Canal Association is dedicated to preserving, maintaining, and improving the historic Chenango Canal and its towpath. Its main project right now is maintaining a 5- mile segment of the Chenango Canal north of Hamilton, known as the Towpath Trail. This segment is the summit of the canal, its highest point.
The trail runs on the Chenango Canal historic towpath and also a mile along the abandoned railroad leading south towards the Village of Hamilton.
Revitalization of the Chenango Canal Summit region began in 2001 when a Bouckville resident, Diane VanSlyke - now a Canal Society of New York State member - was walking with her grandchildren to feed the ducks on the canal water and discovered a stairway and footpath that were almost completely hidden by overgrowth. The stairway had been put in by the then defunct Chenango Canal Association as a way to improve access to the Chenango Canal and the towpath in this area.
The Chenango Canal Towpath Trail had been initiated by the Chenango Canal Association in 1994, but had been abandoned because of the cost of liability insurance. Word got out, volunteers rolled up their sleeves and in 2001, the five-mile Chenango Canal project was reborn. This group has led the charge for the project, but many volunteers have also gotten involved, from school groups, college classes, scout troops, FFA groups and many others.
As part of the project, the Chenango Canal Association was able to secure a small cottage, once a barbershop, for a museum and meeting place. Located at the intersection of the canal and State Route 20, the museum site includes a handicapped-accessible fishing deck.
The Chenango Canal Towpath Trail stretches from Woodman’s Pond at the south end, through Bouckville, and eventually to the Oriskany Creek near Solsville. For more information about the Chenango Canal Towpath Trail, go to www.chenangocanal.org.