New York Cultural Heritage Tourism Network

Chenango Canal Association

Chenango Canal Association

Box 125, State Route 20 & Canal Road
Bouckville NY 13310

Category: Erie Canalway Heritage / Museums & Related Organizations

Features: A museum, handicap-accessible canal & fishing location

Description: Bouckville, the Town of Eaton and Hamilton hold and protect the summit of the 177-year-old Chenango Canal that was originally 97 miles long. The Chenango Canal linked Binghamton and the Pa. coal mines to the Erie Canal in Utica. Today, more than seven miles are cleared along the 10-foot wide towpath for a pleasant walk that may be used by birders, dog-walkers, horseback riders and mountain bikes as well as people enjoying the outdoors. No motorized vehicles are allowed. The trail head near the Cottage Museum in Bouckville is on the corner of Route 20 & Canal Road. The museum is open April through October from 10 to 5 daily. It is self-toured unless an appointment is made for a historic tour of the canal by calling 315.893.7910. From scenic Route 20, the Towpath Trail connects to Hamilton in 4.5 miles in the southerly direction; and ends at Oriskany Creek in a lovely waterfall in another 3 miles in the northerly direction, near Solsville. Other trail heads are located at the corner of Elm Street & Canal Road, Bouckville; the corner of County Route 46 and Canal Road, Woodman Road, Hamilton at Woodman Pond; Montgomery Street, Hamilton next to the courthouse, Eaton Street, Hamilton, across from the Hooks Wiltsie Ball Field and the railroad bed trail.

Our Story: In 2000, a resident of Bouckville walked with her 3 grandchildren to the drivway behind the Bouckville Mill to feed the duck on the water. Her grandson ran ahead and found a stairway, all tangled with vines, built into the embankment that led down to a tiny little path along the water. As they walked along the pathway, she realized how straight the water was and found out that it was the historic Chenango Canal. She learned about the Chenango Canal Association (CCA) that was formed in 1992-1994 to clear a trail along the towpath, but disbanded due to insurance costs. The CCA had already build kiosks, picnic tables, benches and two stairways to the towpath. this resident formed a new Chenango Canal Association with the help of the previous group, the Town of Madison, the village of Hamilton, Madison County Tourism and many other non-profit groups and local citizens. The CCA hosts historic tours along the towpath and gives presentations at organizational meetings: funds a museum with vintage photos of the canal and the area, fund-raises at local community events; hosts trail days with local schools and colleges to encourage leadership and recreational stewardship; hosts a popular Halloween Happenin' event for the community; and finally, maintains and improves the five-mile summit of the Chenango Canal Towpath Trail.

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