Traversing the Catskills, then and now.

Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - Northeast, Southeast & Florida' started by CannonsvilleRider, May 30, 2013.

  1. CannonsvilleRider

    CannonsvilleRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    623
    Location:
    North of Cannonsville, NY
    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.

    All of my tracks are now color coded and packed into a MapViewer at this URL

    http://www.advCatskills.org/CatskillRides.jar

    You will need Java, the viewer is a signed jar file that is executable. It supports zoom via the slider or a mouse scroll wheel, dragging with a mouse, and selection of tracks via buttons on the bottom pane.

    They are also here in a Google Maps page that should work in most browsers.
    http://www.advcatskills.org/Maps/?CatskillTurnpike&AntiTurnpike

    All of the gpx files are available here. http://www.advcatskills.org/Maps/Tracks/

    Attached Files:

    #1
  2. CannonsvilleRider

    CannonsvilleRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    623
    Location:
    North of Cannonsville, NY
    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:

    #2
  3. CannonsvilleRider

    CannonsvilleRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    623
    Location:
    North of Cannonsville, NY
    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:

    #3
  4. CannonsvilleRider

    CannonsvilleRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    623
    Location:
    North of Cannonsville, NY
    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:

    #4
  5. CannonsvilleRider

    CannonsvilleRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    623
    Location:
    North of Cannonsville, NY
    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:

    #5
  6. CannonsvilleRider

    CannonsvilleRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    623
    Location:
    North of Cannonsville, NY
    These are the roads that make me grin!

    Attached Files:

    #6
  7. katoomryder

    katoomryder Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Cambridge, NY
    Gonna give this a try tomorrow, from Palenville to Fishes Eddy. Then on to the Trans PA trail.
    #7
  8. Ridge

    Ridge Jitenshado

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,226
    Location:
    Open to suggestions
    very cool! Would love to see pics and a RR from the old route.:deal
    #8
  9. katoomryder

    katoomryder Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Cambridge, NY
    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.
    #9
  10. hudson6161

    hudson6161 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    NE PA
    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!
    #10
  11. Honkey Cat

    Honkey Cat Tailights Fade!

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,338
    Location:
    SW Florida
    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
    #11
  12. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,959
    Location:
    Binghamton, NY
    Heading out to the Catskills tomorrow morning. Will try to load the tracks into my GPS (no luck doing that yet but I'll work on it tonight, new to this GPS stuff). Found some free camping out near Phoenicia and plan on getting lost in the dirt for a few days. Hopefully I can use your tracks. Thanks for posting them up.
    #12
  13. CannonsvilleRider

    CannonsvilleRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    623
    Location:
    North of Cannonsville, NY
    PM me an email address and I will send you a program I am working on to show all of my tracks with the dirt roads color coded.
    #13
  14. alskee750

    alskee750 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    535
    Location:
    NYC
    Can I also get that program? I'm planning on a long weekend solo trip up there. Thanks.. PM on the way.
    #14
  15. CannonsvilleRider

    CannonsvilleRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    623
    Location:
    North of Cannonsville, NY
    It's on its way, it is very much a work in progress. Let me know if it works for you.
    #15
  16. AnyDay

    AnyDay Wants more time off

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    269
    Location:
    New Paltz, NY
    Hi Cannonsville,

    Looking to ride the AntiTurnpike (either direction) sometime over the next few weeks, sounds great.

    When I click on the attached file, it says it's a 'php' type file, not a GPX. Can you send the gpx file or re-post?

    Thanks,
    Dawn
    #16
  17. ADVRKD

    ADVRKD Dharma Bum

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    423
    Location:
    the empire state
    Try this one Dawn. It is the original file with a "Trails End" alternate. I can "convert" the rest if you like.

    For those unfamiliar with Trails End Road/Spencer Road it is a 5 mile stretch of gravel and unmaintained road, definitely worth a visit.

    [​IMG]

    Attached Files:

    #17
  18. CannonsvilleRider

    CannonsvilleRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    623
    Location:
    North of Cannonsville, NY
    I think highly of the Trails end alternative too!

    The gpx file was attached with the standard tool on advrider. Maybe trying a different browser to download might help?

    If not, message me an email address. In fact, you should send me an email address anyway. I have new toy I can send you, a map viewer that will show all 30 or so of my tracks with the dirt and primitive sections color coded.
    #18
  19. CannonsvilleRider

    CannonsvilleRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    623
    Location:
    North of Cannonsville, NY
    All of my tracks are now color coded and packed into a MapViewer at this URL


    http://www.advcatskills.org/CatskillRides.jar

    http://www.advcatskills.org/Maps

    You will need Java, the viewer is a signed jar file that is executable. It supports zoom via the slider or a mouse scroll wheel, dragging with a mouse, and selection of tracks via buttons on the bottom pane. The tracks are color coded red=dirt, blue=scenic, green=two track, black = blacktop


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. AnyDay

    AnyDay Wants more time off

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    269
    Location:
    New Paltz, NY
    Wow! You are THE resource for the Catskills.
    #20