Thursday, July 5, 2018

Hiking Sissy Danforth Rivergate Trail

Hiking The Sissy Danforth Rivergate Trail

#1000islands #ThousandIslands

Last summer was the first we heard about the Thousand Island Land Trust's Sissy Danforth Rivergate Trail.  Since the entire trail is over 25 miles long, for us it ended up being several trails and several entirely different hikes for us.  But to adequately explain the trail system, let's start with a bit of history which goes all the way back to 1873.  That was the year the Black River-Utica Railroad extended its tracks to the North Country towns of Philadelphia, Theresa, Lafargeville and Clayton.  The last train traveled this route in 1972.  In 1993, TILT began acquiring pieces of the old New York Central/Penn Central Railroad bed in Clayton, Orleans, Theresa, Redwood and Philadelphia.  The rails-to-trails project is named for former director, Louise "Sissy" Danforth, who was the inspired energy behind its development. It is a multi-use trail in several sections that can be accessed from several points.

Last summer, Bob and I made it our goal to access and walk a couple miles of the trail from as many points as possible.  We started with the trailhead on Black Creek Road in Clayton (see TILT's website for directions).  
On other day we found an access point in Redwood (an especially lovely section of the trail).  
We later drove to Philadelphia where we hiked over a tall trestle, and then to Rivergate where we saw where the trail spits east and west.   
Each section of the trail has its own beauty and unique terrain.  While we've really only walked a few miles of each area, the trail is very popular for bikers, ATVs and snowmobilers. 
And as fun as all of that is, there are plans for even more!  TILT's long term goal is to link the Sissy Danforth Rivergate Trail with the River Walk on the Clayton waterfront. And we will blog about it when they do. 

Hiking the Sissy Danforth  Rivergate Trail, Update 9/14/2019

Last summer we mentioned at the end of our Sissy Danforth blog that TILT’s long range plan was to have the historic railroad trestle located in the S. Gerald Ingerson Preserve restored and the trail ultimately connected to the Clayton Riverwalk.  We are excited to announce that some of the work has begun. While work has not yet begun on the trestle itself, the trail up to the trestle has been opened up and there is a new parking lot on Route 3 for those curious for a glimpse of this important piece of Clayton’s history.  On 9/14/19 TILT hosted a Fall Stewardship work day at the new trailhead.  An extra special shout out to Cub Scout Troop 26 from Fort Drum who came to help with the work (and work they did)!

TILT, led by Education and Outreach Coordinator Alaina Young, then took us all on a short hike to view the trestle and discussed the future renovations and extension of this beautiful trail. Plans are for work to start on the trestle renovations next summer. 

We’ll keep you posted.

Thank you Thousand Islands Land Trust for your very generous statement on your Facebook page:

Be sure to see...
Hiking the Thousand Islands...Introduction

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Abbé Picquet Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Carnegie Bay Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Cerow Recreation Park Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chaumont Barrens Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chippewa Bay Preserve Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Coyote Flats State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Downybrook Nature Reserve 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Foster Blake Woods Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...French Creek WMA 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grand Lake Reserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grass Point State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Jacques Cartier State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Kanik Nature Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Keewaydin State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Lonesome Bay State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Macsherry Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Maple City Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morgan Island

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morristown Red Barn Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Otter Creek

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Pulpit Rock State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Red Lake Indian River Trail 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Redwood Hill Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Rock Ridge Trail 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Sissy Danforth Rivergate Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Wellesley Island State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Zenda Farms Preserve