Biking the Keuka Lake Outlet Trail

June 18, 2010 at 4:49 pm Leave a comment

Kueka Outlet Trail

Stopping to see the falls along the trail

The Keuka Lake Outlet connects Seneca and Keuka Lakes, and was formed 10,000 years ago (Who do you suppose recorded that?). People settled in the area in 1788 building mills of every type including gristmills, sawmills, fulling and carding mills.

The canal was completed in 1833 and was used to transport farm products to eastern markets. It took about six hours for canal boats to make the journey to Seneca Lake, a mere 6 miles away due to the twenty-eight wooden locks that brought the boats down 274 feet to the level of Seneca Lake.

Keuka Outlet Trail sights

This looks like the remnants of an old mill

In 1844 the Penn Yan and New York Railway, affectionately known as the “Corkscrew Railway”, opened on the former canal towpath. It got its name because of the many twists and turns along the route.

Beautiful stone wall from a previous age

The Keuka Lake Outlet Trail of today is a well-marked, fairly level, easy to ride on 8-mile trail that follows the stream and the abandoned Fall Brook Railroad bed. As we rode we could see many remnants of the earlier age — mills, distilleries, stone locks, dams, a blacksmith shop and an abandoned bridge, as well as beavers, several varieties of birds, as well as an Amish horse and buggy.

Located along the trail, we enjoyed the visitor center with restrooms, picnic tables and information. Picnic tables and benches can also be found at the picnic pavilion at Seneca Mills Falls.

Kueka Outlet Trail

Keuka Outlet Trail sights

Before heading back, we stopped for breakfast in the quaint village of Penn Yan — which is interestingly named because it had an equal number of people from Pennsylvania and Yankees from New England.

Directions: Exit 42 off I-90 (NY Thruway). South on Rt.14 (19 miles).

Dresden: Turn left (east) at Rt.54, heading toward Main St. (Citgo gas Station and Crossroads Ice Cream Shop at the corner) At ice cream shop take immediate right onto Seneca St. Parking on right just before the railroad tracks.

Penn Yan: Turn west on Rt.54 (5 miles), southwest on Rt.54A (.1 mile), South onto Rt.14A, right onto Keuka St. Park at trailhead (Little League Baseball Park)

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Entry filed under: Activities, Keuka Lake, Seneca Lake. Tags: , , , , .

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