A Sense of Place

A Sense of Place is a list proposed in response to President Stephen Ainlay’s initiative to encourage Union College students, faculty and staff to visit and to learn from the many attractive and educational places in our region.

These regional sites cover numerous academic disciplines: art, biology, engineering, geography, geology, history, literature, music, natural history, politics, theater and more. This list is dedicated to all students, staff, faculty and friends of Union College and hopefully it will serve to encourage fruitful relations between the College and its New York neighbors north, south, east and west. Although important and delightful, golf courses, ski centers, restaurants, automobile race tracks, movie houses, state and county fairs, amusement parks, and libraries are not listed.

Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site

Posted by on Jan 10, 2020 in A Sense of Place | Comments Off on Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site

Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site


Putnam Porch Music Program at the

Putnam Canal Store at Yankee Hill Lock

Managed by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the era that made New York the Empire State. Visitors to the site may learn more about the history of the Erie Canal through guided and self-guided tours and exhibits at the Museum/Visitors Center. The Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site is the only place where the three phases of the Erie Canal can be seen in one location. It includes many notable structures including the Guard Lock from the original 1825 Erie Canal, the Empire, Yankee Hill and Putnam Locks from the expanded 1835 canal, the Schoharie Aqueduct, Lower Castle Mohawk Village, and 18th century Forth Hunter. Three miles of the 1919 current Erie Canal adjoin the park grounds and Lock 12 with the attached movable bridge dam. The site also offers opportunities for biking, hiking, and cross-country skiing along with a boat launch for paddle and motor boats that is located at the junction of the Schoharie and Mohawk Rivers. Visitors may also shop at the Putnam Canal Store.



Empire Lock

Historic Lock Location from the Enlarged Erie Canal Era

Schoharie Creek Aqueduct Remains

Constructed 1839-1841

Engineered by John B. Jervis and Built by Otis Eddy

On the list of National Registered Landmarks



Photographs by Halldor Sigurdsson used with permission of

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.




Schoharie Crossing State Historical Site

Schoharie Crossing Official Facebook Profile

Friends of Schoharie Crossing Blog

On Instagram: @FriendsSXSHS

Saratoga Battlefield National Historic Monument

Posted by on Mar 12, 2015 in A Sense of Place | Comments Off on Saratoga Battlefield National Historic Monument

Saratoga Battlefield National Historical Park | Stillwater

Part of the National Park Service since 1938, this park features a memorial to the great battles of the American Revolution, especially those of 1777 which renewed hope for the patriots in the fight for independence. This 10-mile long site has an access road for cars that passes through vast grasslands with scenic views of Hudson River.

Image Source: Saratoga Springs Visitor Center

To learn more about the park, please click here. Operating hours and seasons can be found here.

Distance: 25 miles, 45 minutes from Union College

Schuyler-houseImage Source: Village of Schuylerville

General Schuyler’s home, which was built in 29 days in 1777, is eight miles north of the battlefield on route 4 in nearby Schuylerville.

Distance: 35 miles, 55 minutes from Union College

Vischer’s Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve

Posted by on Mar 10, 2015 in A Sense of Place | Comments Off on Vischer’s Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve


Vischer’s Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve | Clifton Park, Riverview Road

The preserve, owned by the New York State Canal Corporation, is approximately 740 acres featuring exceptional wetlands rich in plants and birds and sections of the 1825 (40 foot) canal and tow path. It is also the site of the 1862 Whipple Truss Bridge built by Squire Whipple, an 1830 Union College graduate and the “Father of American iron bridge construction.” The bridge at this preserve was reconstructed by Professor Francis Griggs, Professor Phil Snow and their students at Union College. Another rebuilt Whipple truss bridge spans Hans Grootz Kill on the Union College Campus. Hundreds of Whipple’s bridges once spanned the Erie Canal, but all but one have now been razed or relocated.

Distance: 12 miles, 25 minutes from Union College

Whipple Bridge sign

Image Source: Curious by Nature

Vroman’s Nose

Posted by on Mar 10, 2015 in A Sense of Place | Comments Off on Vroman’s Nose


Vroman’s Nose | Fulton, near Middleburgh

It is a 1.5 mile roundtrip hike ascending to an elevation of 1,240 feet and to one of the grandest views of the Schoharie Valley. A shorter, steeper trail is also available and is best for descent. Once owned by the Vroman family, this was also a sacred site for native peoples. Nearby Schoharie Creek received much attention during late August and early September of 2011 when the region was struck by tropical storm Irene and hurricane Sandy.

Distance: 35 miles, 50 minutes from Union College

To learn more, please click here.

Image Source: CNY Hiking

Christman Sanctuary

Posted by on Mar 10, 2015 in A Sense of Place | Comments Off on Christman Sanctuary


Christman Sanctuary | Delanson

This 120-acre nature sanctuary is owned by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) with a base area of 97 acres that was acquired from the Christman family in 1970. Its beautiful two mile roundtrip trail into the Bozen Kill features a 30-foot waterfall splashing into a lovely rock amphitheater. Many Union College members were active in diverting the route of I-88 so as not to damage the Bozen Kill Ravine and to protect this National Historic Landmark.

read-more Christman Sanctuary

Beaver House

Posted by on Mar 10, 2015 in A Sense of Place | Comments Off on Beaver House

Image Source: Adirondack Almanac

Beaver House | Bakers Mills, Johnsburg

This is the one time cabin hide-a-way of Howard Zahniser  (b. Feb. 25, 1906, d. May 5, 1964), the prime author of “The Wilderness Act of 1964” and the Executive Secretary of The Wilderness Society from 1945 to 1964. The cabin was later the property of conservationist Paul Schaefer, author of Adirondack Cabin Country (Syracuse University Press, 1993). Currently, Beaver House is owned by David Gibson and others.

Distance: 80 miles, 1 hour 40 minutes from Union College

Paul Schaefer at Beaver House a week before he passed away. Photo by Ken Rimany

Paul Schaefer at Beaver House a week before he passed away. Photo by: Ken Rimany

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