TRENTON — Saturday and Sunday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. are you’re only chances this spring to hike the trails at Trenton Falls. No pets are allowed. The trails are only open a few specific weekends each year.
The Stittville United Methodist Church will have food available for purchase both days and people can bring their own picnic items — but no alcohol. There are picnic tables.
There is also a handicapped-accessible overlook with a table and benches. Those wanting to make use of that site need to tell parking attendants and fill out a form.
"They seem to really enjoy it," said Betsy Mack about those who use the handicapped accessible overlook.
Brookfield Renewable Power and the Town of Trenton developed the Trenton Falls Scenic Trail "to offer the public an opportunity to experience local history while enjoying splendors of nature that are rare in beauty and power," the town explains on its website, http://town.trenton.ny.us/content/Parks/View/4
There is a dam for the 28 megawatt hydroelectric plant and several waterfalls. The website has additional historic and ecological information, such as the 1863 meeting when U.S.Secretary of State William H. Seward hosted diplomats at the Trenton Falls Hotel to emphasize the agricultural and industrial strength of the North, and to discourage support for the South during the Civil War.
Mack said the trails have been open certain days since 2004, and people keep coming back. Generally there are 900 to 1,000 people a day when it’s sunny.
The primary stone dust trail takes visitors from the parking area nearly to the Trenton Falls Hydro Dam overlook. It’s about three-quartres of a mile long with the last section off limits due to the danger of falling rocks. Secondary wood mulch trails lead to scenic vistas along the gorge.
There is also a trail out through the woods, passing a small cemetery of the family which used to run a hotel on the site, and possibly allowing a glimpse of a small waterfall.
Officials said visitors should allow at least an hour to an hour and a half for their visit.
Visitors will find scenic overlooks, wildlife observation, informational panels and views of the hydroelectric operation and facilities, picnic areas, and points of historic interest.
To get there from the Rome area: Take State Route 365 through Holland Patent, about a mile past Holland Patent, take a right onto Mapledale Road. Follow Mapledale road to State Route 12. Turn left (north) onto State Route 12 North. Go 0.1 mile and turn right (east) onto State Route 28. At the first left turn, on a curve, turn onto Trenton Falls Road and go to the end where you will park.
Officials are still looking for some more volunteers for four-hour shifts to be stationed at various falls, keep people on the trails and not climbing on things. They are provided radios to keep in contact and, if needed, alert the EMT on the site. Volunteers can call 896-2664 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
On the net: town.trenton.ny.us/content/Parks/View/4