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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Waterford Locks and Cohoes Falls

 Decided to take it a little easy today and instead of hiking, I'd do more "exploring" in the local area.  A favorite spot of mine to go to is the town of Waterford, which has many river access points, small parks, picnic areas and canal spots open to the public.  Flight Lock Road takes one along the Waterford Flight of Locks.  It presently is in use for part of the Erie Canal, bypassing Cohoes Falls just to the south and these 5 locks provide a total lift of about 170 feet.
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Skies have been clearing out as the day goes on, leaving blue skies looking back over Lock 4.
 The road eventually dead ends at the Mohawk River.  Here is a view of Guard Gate 2, the entrance to the Waterford Flight.
 Looking out to the entrance to the canal and the Mohawk.
 I parked my car at a small pull off and walked along the quiet road, which was crowded by beautiful wildflowers.
 A yacht passes though Lock 2 and continues downstream.
 The Mohawk River.  Just beyond this spot a short distance away is the Crescent Dam.
 I followed an unmarked dirt road which lead to an unmarked trail in the woods which lead to huge puddles and mud everywhere.  A young man on a dirt bike went zinging by at one point.  I was determined to continue on though.
I eventually came out to a large clearing on a steep cliff overlooking the Crescent Dam.  We received substantial rain last night from strong thunderstorms, leaving water levels extremely high.
 A look downstream at the very high water levels.  Notice the sheer drop off from the trail as well.
  At the end of Flight Lock Road is a small park which provides fishing access and a nice spot to picnic.
 Another fantastic place to visit is Lock 2 Park in the middle of Waterford.  This is a great place to park your car and stretch your legs, with easy access to Peebles Island, Waterford Harbor and the Old Champlain Canal among other places.  The water flowing down from the bridge.
 Looking down the canal where the water leads down to the Mohawk and just beyond that, the Hudson.
 After leaving Waterford, I headed down the road a few minutes into Cohoes to visit Falls View Park, a place with unparalleled views of Cohoes Falls.
 A 192 foot pedestrian bridge spans the School Street power canal leading to magnificent views as well as several informational boards on the history and geography of this area.
 Cohoes Falls from one of the lookout areas.  The Falls range from 75 to 90 feet high.
 The southern side of the Falls where water levels run the lowest.
 The river spans nearly 1000 feet across and is always a sight to behold, especially after heavy rains.
 The steeeeep stairway that leads down to a river level view of the falls.
Hard to believe that such a magnificent natural wonder can be found in the heart of an urban area like this, but this is a truly special place, steeped in history, that anyone visiting the area should make time to visit.


  1. I've been to cohoes falls a handful of times but never when they allowed riverbed access. It's so beautiful I just wish there was more opportunity to walk around more often.

    1. I agree! I've been there on numerous occasions but would love to get down to the riverbed. Sounds like there's a small window and weather conditions have to be perfect..