John Burroughs walked this path many times over his lifetime. Located on the side of “Old Clump” mountain in the rural Catskills town of Roxbury, the path leads to a large stone landmark. “Boyhood Rock” as he later referred to it, was Burroughs private sanctuary where he could escape from farm chores and sit quietly studying his natural surroundings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08B_J4lf_B4
Burroughs would later write of his observations, and through his essays, poetry and lectures, gained fame as one of America’s leading literary naturalists. He traveled widely throughout his life, but frequently returned to his beloved boyhood home in the Catskills.
In the town of Roxbury, located high on a hill in the Catskills, is a rustic cabin known as Woodchuck Lodge, summer home of John Burroughs, one of America’s leading literary naturalists. Just over the hill stands the farmhouse where Burroughs grew up. Here Burroughs explored and studied his world, and developed his deep appreciation for nature that shaped the rest of his life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woyEuXBMBo0
Burroughs published his first book in 1871, and went on to write 25 volumes of essays, quickly establishing himself as the most popular writer of nature essays of his time. Over his lifetime, Burroughs became close friends with Walt Whitman and John Muir.
Beginning in the late 1890’s, and for the next 40 years, Kirkside Park was part of the estate of one of Roxbury’s most famous residents, philanthropist Helen Gould Shepherd. The 11-acre park encompasses both banks of the East Branch of the Delaware River, includes Adirondack style bridges, gazebos, a waterfall and stone terraces. Unfortunately, following Mrs. Shepherd’s death in 1938, the park fell into disrepair. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5qg-73zPYs
In 1999, the Town of Roxbury launched a park revitalization project, and today, Kirkside Park, with its rustic bridges, riverside paths, flower gardens and ball fields has been restored to its former grandeur. Once again Kirkside Park stands as a center of activity and natural beauty on New York’s Path Through History.
In 1914, Theodore Wharton and his brother Leopold opened Wharton Inc., a silent film studio in Ithaca, NY. Between 1914 and 1919, the studio produced over a 100 different short and feature length movies. The majority of the films were action-adventure and comedy serials, featuring stars such as Pearl White, Oliver Hardy, Irene Castle, and Lionel Barrymore. The Wharton Brothers also utilized Ithaca storefronts and the majestic gorges and waterfalls of Tompkins County as the backdrops to many of their films. Sadly, the studio fell into tough financial straits and had to close its doors in 1919. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UNVwpXAxEU
Today, the Ithaca Motion Picture Project has plans to convert the former Wharton studio building, which still stands in Stewart Park, into a museum.
Robert H. Treman State Park, with its cascading waterfalls, winding trails, and magnificent views contains some of the most magnificent natural wonders found in Ithaca. In 1920, Robert H. Treman, an Ithaca banker and Cornell Trustee, and his wife Laura, donated the land to establish the Enfield Glen Reservation state park. The park was later renamed in memory of Treman in 1938. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rc9HrVu-fmw
Today, the park extends over 1,000 acres and includes nine miles of hiking trails, 12 waterfalls, including the spectacular 115-foot Lucifer Falls, a swimming area, cabins, and camping sites. In addition, visitors can find a 170-year-old gristmill within the park grounds, and spot numerous fossils in the shale rock lining the creek bed and gorge walls.
“Look, touch, listen and discover…” that’s what a visit to the Sciencenter in Ithaca is all about. Founded in 1983, the Sciencenter strives to inspire through its hands-on exhibits and programs, each designed to educate and engaged visitors in the wonders of science. With a variety of educational programs and over 250 exhibits, including a tide pool touch tank, an outdoor science park, and an astronomical exhibition, the museum can be appreciated by guests of all ages. One of the popular attractions is The Sagan Planet Walk exhibit, which was created in memory of former Ithaca resident and Cornell University professor Carl Sagan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei2Hx60221k
The Sagan Planet Walk is just one of the many things to LOOK AT, TOUCH, LISTEN TO, and DISCOVER while travelling New York’s Path Through History.
Overlooking Cayuga Lake, Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, takes visitors on a journey through time that spans over four billion years — from the earth’s origin to the present day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUdDRz5iCMw
Established in 2003 by the Paleontological Research Institute, Museum of the Earth provides a unique opportunity for visitors of all ages to learn about the history of life on earth in fun and exciting ways. In addition to the “Journey Through Time” exhibition, permanent features include a glacier exhibit, reconstructed Mastodon and Right Whale skeletons, a coral reef aquaria, and interactive discovery labs. Temporary exhibits include natural history displays, interactive science features, and art exhibitions. With each visit to Museum of the Earth there is more to be learned, making this not just an essential, but also a frequent stop on New York’s Path Through History.
Located near the site of a former Native American settlement, Stony Brook State Park in Steuben County offers visitors a variety of ways to enjoy the great outdoors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAD-alqoNuk
At the start of the 19th century, the first pioneers to the area found the rapid waters of Stony Brook Creek ripe for early mill operations. Eventually, local residents developed a private park around the creek and its series of waterfalls. The arrival of the railroad in the 1880s turned the surrounding community into a popular summer destination and the remnants of former train trestles as still visible in the park. However, as tourism declined the park fell into disrepair, and the state purchased it in 1928.
The beautiful vistas of the Canisteo River Valley are on full display at Pinnacle State Park near Addison in Steuben County. Here visitors can enjoy a unique blend tranquil relaxation and sportsmanship as this picturesque upstate destination. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCuYAPiTHh8
A member of New York’s robust state park system, Pinnacle offers park goers both breathtaking views and number of recreational activities. Golfers will enjoy a round on the challenging nine-hole golf course, while hikers can tackle the eleven miles of trails that transverse the park. And in the winter the park is open to cross-county skiers.
In the heart of Schuyler County, nestled just south of Seneca Lake, is Catharine Valley Trail. Here both lovers of nature and history can come together to enjoy the serene beauty of the upstate area. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4wXhyUdwIE
Visitors can trek the nine-mile long trail, which follows abandoned rail lines and former Chemung Canal towpaths, as they traverse through several wildlife habitats in the beautiful outdoors. The trail accommodates both pedestrians and bicyclers, and in the winter months the path is open to cross-county skiers and snowshoers. In the near future the trail will be extended in length and visitors will be able to walk from Watkins Glen to Horseheads.
In the heart of the Finger Lakes region lays a magnificent series of gorges and waterfalls that highlight the beauty and power of nature to the visitors of the Watkins Glen State Park in Schuyler County. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N75jau2mQWI
Opened in 1863, the park was first operated as a privately run tourist resort. In 1906, the park was purchased by the State of New York and has evolved into one of the States most popular public attractions. Park visitors can follow a two-mile trail as it snakes its way through a four hundred foot change in elevation, and witness the beauty of nineteen different waterfalls like the Cavern Cascade with its beautiful vistas. The Glen’s camping grounds, Olympic size pool and other amenities help make the stay memorable, but the opportunity to watch thunderous waters as they power their way toward the bottom of the glen cutting through rock and stone make the visit unforgettable.
On Sunday evening, July 7, 1935, the skies north of the Southern Tier of New York State opened up, dumping more than 11 inches of rain in some areas, and inundating the rivers, lakes, and streams throughout the valley. The terrible chain of events that followed would devastate small towns and cities alike, destroying hundreds of home and properties, and claim more than 50 lives. It would become the worst natural disaster in the history of the Southern Tier. Winner of two New York State Emmy Awards, The Flood of ’35 utilizes rare film footage, hundreds of photographs and first-person accounts to tell the story of that horrible night and the days that followed, days that changed lives and the Southern Tier forever. Buy the DVD