Athletic animals and hound-dog history buffs alike should enjoy a stroll on the Chenango Canal Towpath Trail! This five-mile out-and-back route links the village of Hamilton, NY with the village of Bouckville, NY. You’ll find parking available at the Hamilton end on Montgomery Street, and in Bouckville by the Canal Museum on Route 20. This trail truly is a little-known gem -- go at the right time and there’s a good chance that you and your pooch will have this pawesome path all to yourselves!
Your pooch won’t be able to enter the museum itself, of course, but you two can still access the smartphone audio tour and take in the history of Central New York’s bygone barge-ways. The audio tour describes a full seventeen historic sites along the route, including the remains of an aqueduct hand-carved by immigrant Irish stonemasons over 160 years ago, as well as one of the only stone-cut canal locks left in the state. The scenery isn’t bad, either -- much of the path is lined by stately, mature trees, and avid bird-watchers will be glad to know that the canal banks and surrounding areas are home to herons, kingfishers, and other feathered friends.
The Chenango Canal Towpath Trail is relatively wide, paved, and mostly level, so a walk here is suitable for all ages and abilities, from the fittest furry friends to older four-pawed pals who can’t quite move like they used to. Restrooms for humans are available at both trailheads, but remember to bring waste bags and water for your buddy! One thing to consider is that the route passes through a golf course -- be sure to stay on the path, and keep a tight leash on your little tearaway. If you and your pup find yourselves in the area, you’d be barking mad not to go!