Herkimer, riding the Empire State Trail
Today was a nice ride almost entirely on the trail. Four miles were unpaved and the rest paved. I find the paved sections with bumpy tree routes to be slower than the gravel parts.
Amsterdam has a steep hill with motels and the New York Throughway at the top and rest of town lower down. Here is a look back at the castle and a few businesses.
I picked up the trail right in town. Today I met three other sets of people cycle touring on the trail. This seems to be a popular route.
The first of half a dozen dams along the river. Each of them now also has a lock. It was ~42F so you can see some condensation below the dam.
At six miles came the aqueduct. The visitor center wasn’t open yet, but learned a few interesting things: one was that there were at least three versions of the canal. They didn’t start out damming the river, but instead built a separate canal parallel to the Mohawk River. This meant that they needed to deal with creeks rushing to the river with aqueducts like this one. This site still had three different canal sections. I cycled out and could see them as low filled in areas.
Aqueduct area, walkway separating two canal areas.
A lot of signs as each town would update you where you were along the way as well as have historic canal information. The peak period for the canal was just a few decades but helped get the Midwest settled and helped farmers move further west while having a way to get crops to Eastern markets.
A lot of sections looked like this. It was parallel to the Throughway for much of the route, but trees helped muffle noise so it was calm and peaceful.
In Sprakers the church let their restrooms get used.
The bank had a horse and buggy parking section. This horse was tied up, but acting restless.
In the winter, this is a snowmobile trail. They want to stop SWI.
The dam for lock #16.
A closer look at the lock.
Here was lock #18. Several of these locks had picnic tables and a few had portable toilets. One had a place to camp.
Several of these locks seemed to raise the water by about 20 feet.
I didn’t actually see a hill here, so not sure on that 8% grade sign. Overall, except for a 10% descent in Amsterdam, there were brief bits of 3% but mostly flat today.
Strava tells me: 50.03 miles in 5:33:35 for 9.0 mph. A total of 600ft gained and 3064 calories burned.
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