Directions to the Preserve: Clayton access point: (Black Creek Road, Clayton, NY) From Clayton, take State Rt. 12 south out of Clayton. From the stop light, travel one-half mile to East Line Road (The Victorian Gas & Convenience Store is on the corner). Turn left onto East Line Road and travel 2.1 miles to Black Creek Road. Turn right onto Black Creek Road and travel approximately 1.3 miles – Black Creek Road takes a hard left – to the stone marker for the trail. The trail extends in a south-easterly direction from the road.
LaFargeville access point: Off State Route 411 (Theresa Street), opposite LaFargeville Agway.
This is a multi-use trail on the old New York Central/Penn Central Railroad bed in Clayton, Orleans, Theresa, Redwood and Philadelphia. The rails-to-trails project, now 25 miles long, is named for former director, Louise “Sissy” Danforth, who was the inspired energy behind its development. The trail crosses through several municipalities, each of whom upkeep their specific sections. The trail is mostly straight with a few bends and hills and has a very high bridge which overlooks in the Indian River Gorge and one underpass. Tell-tale signs of a former railroad bed with scenic views of farmland, woods, ponds and rivers where you may see birds of prey, ducks, beaver or deer. Trail is open from dawn to 12:30am.
Directions to the Park: From Watertown take Rte. 3 West past Henderson Harbor and look for flashing light on Military Road. Take a right on Military Road (Rte. 178). Go 4 miles and bear right at the Y that splits to the Lighthouse road on the left and look for the Wehle State Park Sigh on the gravel road – stay on Military Road until you see the State Park sign.
The State Park sign reads: ‘This 1,043-acre state park, formerly the estate of Robert G. Wehle, opened to the public in 2004 through the generosity and partnership of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Wehle family. The park’s network of carriage paths and foot-trails pass through a diverse mixture of wetlands, woodlands, meadows, and pasture lands. Three miles of dramatic limestone cliffs, some reaching 80 feet high, provide breathtaking scenic overlook before dropping down to Lake Ontario’s shoreline.’
There are over 25 miles of trails, and more seem to be added all the time! Watch out in hunting season as some of the trails are off-limits due to hunters in the area. Look in the Stony Point region as there are more trails and don’t forget to see the lighthouse as well. It is probably best to bring a hybrid or mountain bike on some of these trails.
Black River Trail, on the east edge of Watertown off Rte. 3, is a wide, paved trail accessible for everyone. This trail is well-used from dawn ‘til dusk. The trail is 3.3 miles from end to end and is well-marked with mileage posts from each direction. The Black River end of the trail features a picnic area and access to wide rocks at the edge of the Black River. The river edge is not fenced off and the current is often swift. A close eye should be kept on children and pets. The parking area is near the junction of Ridge Rd and Woodard Rd.Old Mill Town Loop (32 Miles, rated 3).
Note: A new section of trail is currently in the planning stages. A $950,000 project consists of constructing a section of trail from Ridge Road under the Eastern Boulevard bridge. Some 800 feet of trail will pass by the city’s water treatment plant, where it will then head to Huntington Street to connect with Waterworks Park. The city’s Planning Department worked with the state Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation to obtain the funding that will culminate with a more than five-mile stretch of uninterrupted trails along the Black River.
Maple City Trail offers a short, but scenic route through Ogdensburg in northern New York. It begins at the city’s visitor center on the south bank of the St. Lawrence River, which separates the state from Canada. From there, the paved trail heads south, hugging the Oswegatchie River on one side and a row of beautiful mature trees on the other. Parking is available at the Ogdensburg Visitors Center (100 Riverside Avenue).
Note: A new section of the trail is currently underway. In Ogdensburg the trail will convert an old iron railroad trestle into a pedestrian and bicyclist extension of the Maple City Trail. City officials have over the years looked at various scenarios for incorporating the old iron trestle into the municipality’s existing trail system along the Oswegatchie and St. Lawrence rivers. The conversion and use of the abandoned railroad bridge and corridor for pedestrian, bicyclist and other non-motorized transportation users will add 2,400 feet to the existing trail and create a loop with state Route 812. The rail bridge will connect the existing trail to the highway through a series of easements through privately held property adjacent to the bridge.