The Montezuma Heritage Park consists of over 165 acres of parkland acquired by the Town of Montezuma in the 1960’s to be preserved and protected. It holds many significant natural and historic resource sites along the Seneca River/Erie Canal that tell the story of New York State’s Canal System from 1820 to today. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the 70-acre Seneca River Crossing Canals Historic District on the Seneca River in the towns of Montezuma and Tyre, it illustrates nearly 200 years of canal engineering.
The trail is one of eleven nature trails in Montezuma Heritage Park that also includes several historic canal sites including Clinton’s Ditch Lock 62. The former towpath trail leads to the remains of the second largest aqueduct along the Enlarged Erie Canal. Work began on the “water bridge” in 1849 consisting of building 31 arches spanning 894-1/2 feet long built to replace the hazards of crossing directly through the Seneca River by lifting the canal over it. Van Rensselaer Richmond, American Civil Engineer and politician from Lyons, NY, designed it. It was dismantled in 1917, to make way for the new Barge Canal. Today seven arches remain on the east side of Seneca River and three on the west side. Enjoy walking, biking, cross-country skiing, bird watching, and fishing.
LOCATION: Chapman Rd., Montezuma, NY 13117
LENGTH OF TRAIL: 1/2 mile
DIFFICULTY: easy; well-packed hard ground
PASSPORT MARKER: at the end of the trail, at the aqueduct