Saturday, October 11, 2008

Charlie Major Nature Trail

Mottville Arch Bridge

Today since the weather is Indian Summer perfect, I decided to use Rich & Sue Freeman's Take Your Bike! Family Rides in the Finger Lakes Region as a guide and walk the Charlie Major Nature Trail. Using the converted Old Short line rails, this trail is a 45-minute hike runs from Old Crow Road right behind O'Neil Lane in Mottville to the east side of Mill Road just north of Old Seneca Turnpike.

This land was donated to Town of Skaneateles by Jack and Irene Bryant who were both murdered while hiking in North Carolina. Jack was Skaneateles town attorney for 26 years.

There are 4 geocaches ( GC17Z7B - GCPVKM - GCNRRF - GCG3F4 ) to be found along this path. Actually found the Mottville Arch Bridge cache (GC17Z7B) after walking the trail.

Using the the coordinates below I drove to the parking area.

Location - N42° 58.386 - W76° 26.640

Parking - A parking area on Crow Hill Road near the corner of Railroad Street and Skaneateles Creek, marked with a wooden "Charlie Major Nature Trail" sign.

Note - clicking on photos enlarges them.

The trail sign at the trailhead.

From the parking area on Crow Hill Road, headed southeast on the trail.

The Skaneateles Creek was on my right running parallel to the trail. Skaneateles Creek flows northward from Skaneateles Lake into the Seneca River.

Crossed a wooden/steel bridge over the creek.

There is a deep water hole to the right of the bridge.

Before coming to a brick shed took a side trip on a trail to my left. This trail heads uphill to O'Neil Lane, passed a dam, and crosses the old mill race of Mottville Woodworking Factory.

The dam in the creek to my right.

This is the original site of saw and grist mills. In 1857 the Earll Tallman Distillery was built to produce cologne and alcohol. In 1882 the distillery was converted to a paper mill and became known as Lakeside Paper Company.

The spill way at the Lakeside Paper Mill.

This paper mill (the Little Mill) was connected by a railroad to the Big Mill and concrete supports that once supported huge steam pipes between the mills still stand in the creek.

Returning to main trail passed the brick shed and reached a "Y" intersection.

Went right on another side excursion. This brought me to the remains of the dam and headrace from Mottville Woodworking Factory.

View of Skaneateles Creek.

Crossed a third bridge.

Reached the end. Location - N42° 57.777 - W76° 26.464. Turned around and hiked the dirt and crushed stone trail back to my starting point.

The serene Skaneateles Creek.

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