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Old 05-30-2013, 08:29 PM   #1
CannonsvilleRider OP
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Traversing the Catskills, then and now. (has tracks)

The Catskill Turnpike .... and The Anti-turnpike
In 1801 a private company constructed one of the first roads west, from Catskill on the Hudson River to Wattles Ferry on the Susquehanna River. From Wattles Ferry (known now as Unadilla), emigrants could continue via land to Ithaca and beyond or float down the Susquehanna to portage to the headwaters of the Allegheny River, the most northeastern tributary of the Mississippi watershed. Once afloat on the Allegheny River, they could literally float to New Orleans.

Since the Catskill turnpike was traversed by muscle power, the grades chosen were gentle. To simplify construction, the swamps and wetter lands of the valleys were avoided by routing the turnpike over the hills. Since modern roads were constructed with different goals, much of the Catskill turnpike is today's road less traveled. There are segments in Delaware County that are still dirt, with matching stone walls the prescribed 20 rods apart. In a quiet moment, it's easy to imagine a horse drawn coach passing by a drover taking a herd to market.

Map Color Key
Black blacktop connecting road
Red Dirt
Blue paved but twisty, scenic or otherwise interesting.
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CannonsvilleRider screwed with this post 08-12-2013 at 06:22 AM Reason: Updated Title
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:01 PM   #2
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Catskill Turnpike westward itinerary

I have retraced the route as best I could,

The trip starts at Dutchmand's landing, a riverfront park in Catskill. We head west paralleling Rt 23, then pick up Rt 145.

In Durham, we take CR 20, make an optional stop on Allen Teator Rd to share the best pasture view in NY with the local herefords.

We continue on CR 3, then SR 990V, then peer over the water to imagine where the original turnpike might have gone under the Schoharie Reservoir. As we cross the dam outflow, there is small rest area with some seemingly unremarkable rocks. The rocks are actually fossils, 370 million years old, possibly the oldest known petrified forest. If you can't find them near the bridge, they may have been moved to the nearby Gilboa Museum, a quarter mile down the road.

From the reservoir, the trail follows County Rt 14 to Stamford, with an optional detour and stop for the vista on Mt. Utsayantha. From Stamford, we go west on SR 23, pickup CR 33. In East Merideth and Meridale, we encounter the segments most unchanged from the original road. In Treadwell, we pickup SR 357 and follow it through Franklin to the original terminus at the Susquehanna River.
Attached Files
File Type: gpx CatskillTurnpikeW.gpx (696.6 KB, 95 views)

CannonsvilleRider screwed with this post 05-30-2013 at 09:04 PM Reason: added gpx
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:07 PM   #3
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Catskill Turnpike eastware gpg

I have attached GPX files in both directions, just in case your gps device doesn't reverse routes very well (like mine) and you want to follow it the opposite direction.
Attached Files
File Type: gpx CatskillTurnpikeE.gpx (696.7 KB, 58 views)
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:20 PM   #4
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Catskill Anti-Turnpike Eastward itinerary

Since this is a motorcycle forum and it is 213 years after the construction of the Catskill Turnpike, one might wonder if there is an alternative route from Unadilla to Catskill that might be optimized for some purpose other than muscular efficiency. I would like to present the alternative, the Catskill Anti-Turnpike. The Anti-Turnpike is collection of my favorite roads strung together. These are the roads less traveled, the mountain roads, the state forest roads, the seasonal roads and the scenic roads. This is the blue trail in the map attached above, the roads are too many to enumerate, so I will just list the stops and attach the gpx files.

Country Creme at the intersection of Rt 8 and Shear road, an old school ice cream stand that makes soft ice cream the traditional way, by mashing up hard ice cream in the "Penguin" machine.
The Rainbow lodge on Chase Brook road, a very rural restaurant where you can feed the rainbow trout, see eagles, and meet one of the local black bears scrounging at the dumpster.
The East Branch Country Store, at the intersection of Rt 30 and Rt 17, they have gas and rest rooms.
The Horton Country Store, on Old 17, they have gas and rest rooms, the next stop is 68 miles away.
The Belle Ayre Plaza on Rt 28, they have gas and rest rooms., the next stop is 74 miles away
There is gas in Shoken on Rt 28
There is a small hike to see the vista overlooking the Hudson Valley from the former site of the Catskill Mountain House at the North-South lake state campground.
The anti-turnpike ends in the Dutchmans landing park in Catskill
Attached Files
File Type: gpx AntiTurnpikeE.gpx (134.2 KB, 68 views)

CannonsvilleRider screwed with this post 06-02-2013 at 03:54 PM Reason: Confirmed Belle Ayre plaze has a rest room
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:41 PM   #5
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This is the same route going westward

Attached to simplify riding the other directions.

If you aren't familiar with gpx files, I would recommend Google earth.

1. download it http://www.google.com/earth/index.html

2. Goto the File Open menu,

3. In the bottom right corner, change the file type from "Google Earth" to "GPS" to make the gpx files visible, then just pick one and open it.
Attached Files
File Type: gpx AntiTurnpikeW.gpx (134.2 KB, 59 views)

CannonsvilleRider screwed with this post 05-31-2013 at 09:08 AM Reason: fixed typo
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Old 06-05-2013, 05:42 AM   #6
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The Anti-Turnpike's Elevation Profile

These are the roads that make me grin!
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CannonsvilleRider screwed with this post 06-05-2013 at 05:43 AM Reason: fixed graphic size
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:28 AM   #7
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Gonna give this a try tomorrow, from Palenville to Fishes Eddy. Then on to the Trans PA trail.
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:03 AM   #8
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very cool! Would love to see pics and a RR from the old route.
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:20 AM   #9
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Doing the Anti - Turnpike. Not sure if I'll take time for pics, I'm aiming to get to western PA by the end of Sunday. Really looking forward to the ride though.
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:47 PM   #10
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thanks

I just wanted to say thanks. I am originally from the Hudson Valley currently living in Northeastern PA. I am new to a Garmin this year and I look forward to exploring the Catskill region since the PA dirt roads (at least around here) are hard to find and usually dead end at a private camp even though the map says otherwise. Your maps are great and descriptions are full of detail. Thanks again!
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:13 PM   #11
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Diddo, used to live in a very small town of glenford right off 28, I will be up there end of March from Florida for 2 weeks of riding
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