Here is a fun day trip that you can find in Madison County (Central NY region), which is essentially the middle of New York State. The amazing scenery and quaint feeling of this area makes it a very relaxing place to discover. In this neck of the woods there are two distinctly different Haunted History Trail of New York State locations only 11 miles apart…with an ultra cool (and high) waterfalls residing in-between.
Moving North to South, the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum is a good starting point. Built in the 1850s, Chittenango Landing was an important stop on the Erie Canal. The landing’s dry dock made it a location where canal boats were built and repaired. At Chittenango Landing there was also a general store and other businesses that supported the canal traffic. Of course, with the Erie Canal comes the darker side of the historic waterway – where violence, accidents, and the boozing-life were common occurrences.
Today the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum does a great job in telling the relevance of their location in relationship to the busy canal. From the remnants of the canal and some reconstructed buildings, you really do get a sense of what it must have looked like back in the day. Members of the staff will also tell you the violent past of the property, which is why the place is open for ghost hunts. There are some gruesome stories about murder and some chap who got his head blown off in a boiler explosion…kinda typical stuff for the Erie Canal. A visit here is like reading a chapter in New York State history.
From Chittenango go south on Rt. 13 where you’ll drive right through Chittenango Falls State Park. Make sure to stop and see the star attraction – a 167 foot waterfall. It is a seriously cool cataract, with different levels and crags. There is a nice pathway and stairs that takes you to the bottom of the falls where you will discover some good photographic vantage points.
After embracing mother nature, make your way to further south through the rolling hills to the picturesque lakeside community of Cazenovia. Budget Traveler magazine voted it one of “America’s Coolest Small Towns” because of the alluring beauty of Cazenovia Lake, a vibrant downtown district, well-appointed houses, collegiate atmosphere, arts scene and much more.
Centrally located in Cazenovia is Brae Loch Inn, a restaurant and inn that is so Scottish, you’ll think you’re across the Atlantic Ocean. This is a good place to end your day trip with either dinner or an overnight stay. The 12-room inn recently celebrated their 70th anniversary and has been an institution in these parts for years. There is a neat restaurant and pub located in the basement. Maybe it’s the decor, or the friendliness of the staff that makes it a warm and inviting place to visit. If you want to stay overnight in a haunted inn, maybe you’ll see a well-reported ghost walk out of a closet and across the room. Light orbs and an older gentleman standing over a bed have also been seen. The ownership says the ghosts are friendly at Brae Loch Inn, as they never had a guest so scared they left in the middle of the night.
To request a visitors guide from Madison County, visit here.
Photos by AmityPhotos.com