Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Keuka Outlet Trail

Whew... it's been awhile!  My "day job" seems to have taken over my existence this summer.  But I do hope to get back to more regular postings here.

A couple of posts ago I talked about a genre I've affectionately come to know as "old stuff in the woods", and for those who have a taste for both hiking and local history, spiced with the opportunity to nab some shots of crumbling ruins, overgrown stone walls, etc., something to look into is the Keuka Outlet Trail.  This is a 7.5 mile walk (or bike) on a smooth, fairly flat path following the outlet of Keuka Lake down about 270 feet in elevation, to Seneca Lake.  This small stream served as the hydro power for many old mills and factories from 1789 to 1968.  The trail passes right by several interesting ruins, a good-sized waterfall, and remnants of a canal with locks, and bits of an old railroad.  This starts as a somewhat urban and industrial walk through part of Penn Yan, along old railroad bridges and past warehouses, but quickly turns into a peaceful, heavily wooded walk, with occasional reminders of the area's past.

Note - do not assume that the visitor center in the old Kelly Tire buildings at about the halfway point is open!  Bring enough water for your whole adventure.  Also, bear in mind that the bulk of the old industrial sites are closer to the Penn Yan end.  I'm told that this is also a fantastic bike ride, but as I don't ride I wouldn't know!

Below are a few tidbits from our day walking through history.  And I promise I won't write about old rusty stuff for awhile after this!
Part of an old paper mill

Giant old flywheel in some brush

Some overgrown machinery near the paper mill

Much of the trail is quite idyllic.

This is a one-shot tone-map done with Photomatix Pro

Another one-shot tone-map.  This is behind the paper mill.  And yes, I was on very solid ground taking this shot!  If one is not exercising common sense, there are ample opportunities to get hurt on this trail. Signs do warn against entering the buildings.

Another one-shot tone-map. This is part of the Kelly Tire complex, a group of semi-intact buildings near the visitor's center.

For more info about the Keuka Outlet Trail and the history of the area, visit this link.  Also the Friends of the Keuka Outlet Trail have a site here.

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