Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Seeing the Village from the Water

Wednesday August 3, 2016                                                                             Most Recent Posts:
Cayuga Lake State Park                                                                        ♬ 15 Miles on the Erie Canal ♬

Seneca Falls, New York                                                   From Audubon, to the Hall of Fame, to the Sculpture Trail




Those who know David know he’s not what you’d call an early bird.  He passes on being out on the water at dawn today so I drive Ruby through the center ofSeneca Falls and launch into the Seneca River at the Village dock by the Fire Department.

Directly across the river  from the launch is the Sculpture Trail bathed in the golden light.



Tootsie and I head back toward town. You can see the Bridge Street Bridge and Seneca Mills just beyond the mid river welcome sign.




As I go under the bridge, the sun comes up over the canal side buildings.  I’ll be paddling into the sun for a while now.  This is the Seneca River but it is also the Cayuga/Seneca Canal at least from the Locks through and out of town.





I pass by Seneca Mills and there are two lifts David calls cherry pickers and two workers are out already this morning.  If you didn’t see the plans for this building take a look at the blog with the purple link at the top of this post.   It’s been here since 1844 and will become the home of The National Women’s Hall of Fame in January of 2017.








From a distance the shadows of the town are dark but as I move closer I can see more clearly the canal boats parked along the bank..







I paddle on beyond downtown and under the bridge which brings Route 20 into town.  Private apartments have docks on the water.  It’s beginning to look like fall.



And then I come to the church.  Hard to photograph with the sun straight on but those who read the Women’s Rights National Park post saw it from our walk over to Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s home. 




Because I’m paddling directly into the sun, I can barely make out Lock #2 as I pass the church and move into the lake.  You can see from this map I photoraphed where I started at the town boat dock with the solid red star on the far left end of the map by the river.  The other pointers on the map are for business and museums.  In addition to the solid red star I added the the green 6 sided figure for the church near where the canal comes into the lake.  The locks are at the top of the lake.

Van Cleef “lake” is really not much bigger than a pond.  The completion of Locks 2 and 3, with their raise of about 49 feet, in summer 1915 created this artificial body of water.  Apparently there was a real to do about naming the lake.  The New York State Board of Geographic Names was on record as not favoring the adoption of the term “lake” for any of the new backwater or artificial water bodies created in the course of construction operations for the barge canal.  They term “pool” or possibly “pond” to such bodies.  But obviously they lost and now days the word lake is used for natural and artifical bodies although in my opinion this lake should be called pond given its size.

The river is a river as we know it coming up to the locks and again once it leaves the town but through town it has the straight sides and depth of a canal and is controlled by the locks.  My photo of them into the sun isn’t great but I don’t plan to stay in the lake long enough for the sun to move to a better angle.  So this will have to do.



When I get into Van Cleef Lake I can look back with the sun behind me for a better view of the church.  The bridge I’ve just come under is off to the left in the picture.



Paddling on around the lake I come to the Laura Hoskins Hubble House built in 1855 after the 1848 Women’s Rights meeting in Seneca Falls.  On the map, it’s the solid blue star just beyond the church.



It’s now the Hubble House Bed and Breakfast and it’s for sale if you are looking for an interesting possibility right on the water in a very sweet town near lots of things to do.



It comes with its own pedal boat for use on the lake or in the canal or river if you want to pedal that far.



Can’t resist other pictures of the Trinity Episcopol Church as I head out of the lake and back into the canal.  The sun is up, the skies are blue the clouds are pink.  What a great morning.



Headed for the bridge I have a magnificent view.



Paddling under the bridge I get a unique look at the waterside restaurants.






I pass by the boats docked behind the Visitor Center.  One of them, the Slow Roll, is from Key West.  I wonder how he got here.  Up the Inland Waterway I suppose but then how did he get into the Erie Canal to get here.  I obviously need to study my east coast waterways.






The light is much better as I pass by the Seneca Mills going this direction.  The only ripple on the water is from my paddle.




You can clearly see the two cherry pickers from this straight on.  The one on the right is the close up I showed in my trip up the canal.  The worker on the left is behind the dark screened net.  Wonder what that’s for?  Looks like he might be cleaning the lettering.





Sure wish I was going to be here to go inside and see it when it opens in January of 2017.




I’m back to the sculpture trail and paddle by the 6 panel mural showing the town’s history on my left and Ruby in the parking lot by the boat ramp on my right..





Most of the sculptures are visible from the water, especially these canal workers standing in the water.



These two aren’t sculptures but I love her bright orange feet tucked up.


I think the Seneca Falls area should declare the Green Heron its Village bird.  Between yesterday and today I’ve seen more than in any two days in my life I think.




This street in Seneca Falls runs right down to the water.  I wonder if anyone has ever been flying along and ended up in the canal.




I’m nearing the end of town when I pass by the eagle and the heron sculptures on my left.









Look at those feathers.  For more views of all the sculptures on the trail see the link above in Purple.




I’m back to what I consider the Seneca River with its wandering shoreline rather than the canal with its manmade banks.




This reminds me of the elementary school traffic patrols where someone had a flag and put it out for kids to cross the road.  It’s red, I guess I should stop.



I get a couple of nice close ups of the ones standing in silhoutte in the back ground.  Mallards are so common we rarely look closely at how beautiful they are.






This is quite a flock.  They just keep coming.



Further on where the river seems to fork I see another red triangle and a small cannon pointed at those of us leaving town.

I guess they don’t really want us to leave.  Perhaps they want to eliminate us so we can’t tell tales.



Or is it pointed the other way?  I don’t know much about cannons.  Opps, this isn’t a cannon.  What is it?  And why is it in the middle of the river??




I could just paddle forever it is so calm and lovely.  The only thing maring the perfection is that Route 20 is just up the bank to my right and the traffic noise is quite noticeable.  It’s hard to find any peace and quiet these days unless you backpack into the wilderness or perhaps in the middle of the desert.  I miss quiet.  I think I’ve said that many times before but it’s true.  I notice its absence.




For those of you who are Elks and use their parking lots you might be interested in this one that I find right on the river.



I think you might even be able to launch a kayak from just beyond the edge of this picture on the right.  They have a nice big sign so you can’t miss them from either the water or the road.



When I run into yet another flock of mallards or perhaps the same one who either paddle or flew down here, I see by my watch that I’d better turn around if I want to catch the farmer’s market in Seneca Falls this morning.






It’s a lovely paddle the other way too and an easy ramp.  Very nice Seneca Falls.  Thanks!



I get my kayak out of the water and up on the car and then walk over to the farmer’s market which is only a couple of blocks.  It’s small but in full swing when I get there.



Lots of veggies including beautiful home grown tomatoes.  It’s SO nice to have a tomato with some taste for a change.  Who in the world invented the bland Better Boy?  Mr. Burpee?? 



I don’t think I’ve ever seen purple peppers before.  I thought they were odd shaped eggplants but I pick up a box to show David and see if they taste like peppers.



Baked goods and hand made rugs.



Not only are the wild berries all around but there are cherries and berries here as well.  They make my mouth water.





These two guys moved from Manhatten to be farmers and their produce is fantastic.






It’s a very nice little farmer’s market with enough vendors and music in the gazebo in the rear center of this picture.  It’s held on a Wednesday morning of all times from 9 to 1 so if you are in Seneca Falls, check it out.



Can you figure this one out?


  1. The reflection pictures on the early morning calm water are just spectacular. I love farmers' markets too but one thing I dislike is the crappy music they often have. I try to get there early and out before the folk singer wannabes tune up their guitars. I like folk music, but when I'm doing my shopping I find that music is a distraction and irritating to me - whether it's folk at a market or rock at a supermarket.

  2. Long comment! Poof! Maybe for the best as I tend to get long winded. I've only kayaked once and was hooked, then broke my arm and wrist. I'm hoping by next spring to be able to get one and knock it off my bucket list. Seeing your pictures and reading your narrative makes me more determined. How few people have seen the town from your perspective. This is one of my favorites, if not the favorite, of all your posts, Sherri. You are an inspiration. Thank you.

  3. I'm glad you like mornings so I can see this gorgeous golden light and the mirror reflections, but I'm with David and find it difficult to do early mornings most of the time. Yet it is a special time of day when you might find some quiet. I go bonkers without it. How I wish for a farmers market and fresh food, especially berries and cherries, and on a Wednesday, my day off. You funny duck.

  4. the mirror reflections in the water are quite remarkable. . .the one of the church, the second shot I believe, is magnificent. . .frame worthy even. . .well done!

  5. When we took the Erie Canal cruise, we were told that you could go all the way to Key West in the inland waterways except for 35 miles of the Atlantic.

  6. That is one weirdly posing mallard. I'm surprised you mention the noise of the road- these shots along the river are so peaceful.

  7. Wonderful early morning pictures, but I guess I am like David-not an early bird:)

  8. Now that was a gorgeous paddle! Those reflections are wonderful!

    I too wish for more quiet. Next house I own will be free of road noise!

  9. An early bird not only gets the worms, she also gets the best reflection shots in the morning. They are all gorgeous !

  10. Sherry, the reflections photos were magnificent! Wow! What a great morning to be out on the water. Just so pretty:) You looked like you were part of a painting:)

    The two guys from Manhattan had some beautiful rainbow chard! Love the berry selection...yum:)

  11. Wow, what a church! You got lucky with the Farmer's market. What bounties of goodness there.

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  13. What a beautiful morning you had the pictures are wonderful. I miss the farmers markets up the mountain every summer, here in Tucson it is way to hot and even in the cooler months they are not so great.

  14. A lovely morning paddle, loved your reflection pictures, you certainly have an eye for stunning shots...and delicious tomatoes! ;c)

  15. A lovely paddle!It'a very quiet here where I live 99% of the time.

  16. Great Paddle...favorite photo is of the church reflected in the water!! Purple Peppers...who knew???


  17. I recognize the early morning sun cast of gold in your 1st picture. Glad to see it even if not first hand. Great shots of the very pretty church building by the lake. The lead duck surely has her ducks in line, always fun to see. I think the duck at the end of you post must be doing yoga. ;)

  18. Beautiful paddle. The church looks majestic! Beautiful ducks too. Love the end picture. Thouse cheeries and other berries look delicious. Yum!!

  19. Interesting to see what you have seen on land from the perspective of the water. That big church is majestic. It would be a very nice place to be if you were any kind of bird or duck. I think that the little green herons are adorable. Nice farmers market but Wednesday? No one working could go to it. The last duck picture looks like a sculpture. xxxooo


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