New England Trip 2012 – Day 3 – Champlain Canal & Buskirk’s Covered Bridge
After visiting the Saratoga National Historic Park, we continued our southward travels through the rolling hills of the region. The rain continued to fall as did the colorful leaves. Occasionally, a gust of wind would unleash a blizzard-like effect as hundreds of colorful leaves would float across our path and land on the windshield of our car. Very interesting effect and very colorful!
A portion of today’s travels more or less followed the Champlain Canal System and which linked Lake Champlain to the upper reaches of the Hudson River. We were able to take a short side-trip to Lock #4 on the Champlain Canal System and, although there were no boats passing through, it was interesting to see the lock system nonetheless and to talk to the lockmaster about the volume and type of vessels that now pass through this canal.
The Champlain Canal and the Oswego, Cayuga and Seneca Canals in combination which the much longer Erie Canal are still operated as the Erie Canal National Historic Corridor. Although there has been some realignment over the past 200 years, the current canal system follows much the same path at it did when originally conceived.
Click on the canal images below to enlarge them for a closer look.
The Champlain Canal was once an important waterway for transporting raw materials, commercial goods and passengers back and forth between Lake Champlain and New York City and points in between. Its commercial importance decreased over the years with the arrival of the railway and the improvement of the road and highway systems but it continues to be an important route for recreational watercraft. I hadn’t thought about it much before but on this visit I learned that each Fall there is a significant migration of sorts as the owners of larger sailboats and watercraft head south from Canada and northern New York to the Caribbean via the Champlain and Erie Canal systems.
With the rain still falling, we decided to head east to Bennington, Vermont rather than visit Albany, NY on this trip so Bennington became our destination. However, I always stop for covered bridges so, seeing a sign pointing to Buskirk’s Covered Bridge over the Hoosick River, was enough to cause another slight detour on our route. (Note: Some references refer to this bridge as the Buskirk Bridge – the original bridge of 1804 was not a covered bridge)
With rain still falling and the passing hours and heavy overcast providing me with a limited amount of light, we decided that it would be best to keep the wheels a’rollin’ along and not stop for any more photographic distractions between this bridge stop and Bennington, VT.