Self Guided Tours
As one of America’s Byways® you can unlock a unique piece of America’s story as you explore the 26 mile route between Waterford/Cohoes and Schenectady along the historic waterway west. This audio tour is one tool you can use to learn more about the Mohawk Towpath Byway and its special places. There are stops along the Byway where you will discover our local communities and the role they played in the westward expansion of the country and in the Industrial Revolution. Request a tour map and brochure at one of our Visitor Centers or from local municipal offices. On your cell phone (or regular phone) dial 518-649-9990 to access the tour.
Biking the Byway
Dust off your 10 speed and get out for a fascinating experience on the Mohawk Towpath Byway. This 36 mile challenge is a great way to see many of the historic and recreational features within the Byway’s corridor. Down load a copy of the cue sheet, historic narrative and map, pack water and favorite carbohydrates and start on the Colonie/Niskayuna bike path at either the Colonie Mohawk River Park or Niskayuna Lions Park. This ride was a part of the Byway’s 5th Anniverary Celebration of being one of America’s Byways® (August 28, 2010).
A handy guide to all the special places and hints of the best Byway stories are contained in a newly reprinted “Discovery Guide to the Mohawk Towpath Byway”. Click on the cover image to the left to download and print a PDF or e-mail us a request with your mailing address and we will have a copy of the 64 page, full color guide in the mail to you as soon as possible.
Historic Bike Tour
This self guided bicycle tour highlights historic points of interest between Vischer Ferry and Rexford. Starting and finishing at the Vischer Ferry Fire House in the hamlet it makes a 15 mile loop. This ride was designed for a National Trails Day celebration in Clifton Park. The best time to make this ride is a weekend morning when traffic is light, or on a week day in mid morning. Wear a helmet and be conscious of traffic around you. Don’t forget your tour map and narritive tour description.
Walk into History
Spindle City Historic Society has produced a self-guided walking tour of the Harmony Mills National Historic District. The Mill District is an important monument to the industrial and social growth of the city. The characteristic red brick structures were once the largest textile manufacturing complex in the nation. Part of these structures are now being made available as loft apartments. The Spindle City Historic Society (237-7999) is housed at the Visitor’s Center in the historic Cohoes Music Hall building where copies of the self guided tour map and descriptive narration are available
Vischer Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve
Through a cooperative venture between New York State and the Town of Clifton Park, over 400 acres of historically and ecologically significant land adjacent to the Mohawk River, much of it within the Vischer Ferry Historic District, has become the Vischer Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve. The Preserve has three areas of interest: a wetland ecosystem, the remains of the historic Erie Canal, and the site of the town’s first settlement. The Preserve is open to all, nature lovers and historians, for study, recreation, or simple enjoyment of this lovely natural area.
Click on the image to the left to view a 20 page local guide booklet published in 2002 with more detail.
History Mystery Tour
“The best canal history in the world is in Upstate New York. The best of the best is in the Capital region. Finding these historic sites is not easy; in fact it’s something of a mystery. This four page guide (click here) will help unlock some of the best secrets.” The guide is published by Louis Rossi, author of “Cycling Along the Canals of New York” and is written as a self guided bicycle tour of key sites in Cohoes and Waterford. However, if you are willing to get out of your car occationally you can find many of the sites within a short walk of major streets and the Byway. So print out the guide and start unlocking the mystery.