The Mohawk Towpath Byway is a roadway. It’s a series of local, county, state and federal highways between Schenectady and Cohoes and Waterford, New York that follow the Mohawk River. The route tells the story of the waterway west and it’s many layers of history: pre-European, Erie Canal and Industrial Revolution, and the role our communities played in the westward expansion of the country.
The Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition, Inc. oversees the implementation of the Byway Corridor Management Plan and consists of the Cities of Cohoes and Schenectady; Towns of Clifton Park, Colonie, Glenville, Halfmoon, Niskayuna and Waterford; and the Villages of Scotia and Waterford. The concept of the Byway grew out of a 1998 initiative of the Mohawk Valley Heritage Corridor. It became an official New York State Byway from State legislation creating it in in July of 2003. Bylaws of the not-for-profit Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition are available online.
Friends of the Byway
The Friends of the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway is a membership organization that acts as a bridge to the community by increasing public awareness of, focusing attention on, and expanding the use and appreciation of the Mohawk Towpath National Scenic Byway. We initiate, organize, promote, and encourage cultural, recreational, and educational activities along the Byway Corridor. We also stimulate gifts and endowments for the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition, Inc, as well as raise funds to support Byway projects and activities.
We, the Volunteers that Run the Byway, want to convey the importance of the Byway story in the creation of our community and municipalities. The story is part of our identity as residents of the Empire State. We are the descendants of many immigrants who came to this area because of the opportunities to sustain our families on the fertile soils, trade with Native peoples, or make exploration and settling of the West possible. This was the home of early technology, engineering, and science that started railroads, waterways, ironworks, and electricity. Much of our common modern world started here in experiments and early prototypes that are the basis of our everyday lives. We harnessed the waterways for transportation with the Erie Canal and for the power to support the Industrial Revolution. The railroad, clothes pin, circular saw, light bulb, iron boats, washing machines, counter sash windows, and mass produced clothing are just some of the concepts developed and created here. The freedom of religion made possible communities composed of many philosophies and tolerance of differences allowed people of many different minds to settle together and share ideas creating an environment of creativity. Liberty to pursue our dreams is the story of the Byway and is the strength and richness or our communities.
The Mohawk Towpath Byway is one of a collection of 184 byways that are America’s Byways® and All American Roads®. We also take pride in being one of the stronger partners of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor of which we serve as the eastern gateway. We are proud to be one of New York State’s Path Through History.