Montgomery County & Scenic Tour Q
Montgomery County has so much to offer from our natural beauty to our abundant agriculture to our deep-rooted history. We are a county of rich history - from Native American culture to Revolutionary War times to the rise of the Erie Canal – all highlighted at our historic and heritage sites and museums.
Montgomery County, located in New York’s Mohawk Valley, was home to many Native Americans including Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American Saint in the United States and Canada. Colonial times and our Revolutionary War heritage are important eras in our County’s history as well as our nation’s. Many of our attractions focus on these time periods including Fort Klock, Fort Plain Museum, Old Fort Johnson, Walter Elwood Museum, the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs, and the National Kateri Tekakwitha Shrine.
Montgomery County is home to the Mohawk River and on its banks riverside parks in a number of communities. Many host summer concert series with a variety of local, regional, and national musicians performing music in every genre, of every generation.
Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site features the history of the Erie Canal and its impact on the growth of New York State. The railroad, built along the same river plain as the canal, superseded the waterway. In the mid-twentieth century, the New York State Thruway was constructed parallel to the former eastwest routes of the canal and the railroad. While rail commerce and Amtrak still run through Montgomery County, some former rail beds are now a part of the famed Erie Canalway Trail, a multi-use trail popular with residents and visitors alike. Today the Mohawk River sees many recreational boats use its lock system in Spring, Summer and Fall.
Visit our peaceful countryside and our friendly communities to experience our abundance of agricultural businesses. Farm stands, farmers markets, agricultural tours and farm-to-table dining can all be found in Montgomery County. U-pick orchards, seasonal fruits and vegetables, specialty meats and goods, and so much more fresh fare are available. Hummingbird Hills Winery in Fultonville hosts special events and tastings in the serene rolling hills of Montgomery County.
While Route 20 does not run directly through Montgomery County, we are considered a “Corridor Community” due to our close proximity to the Scenic Byway Corridor. Montgomery County communities such as Amsterdam, Canajoharie, Fonda, Fort Plain, and St. Johnsville are all within a 10 to 20 mile ride from Route 20. A short trip that will be well worth the ride.
Montgomery County – Made of Something Stronger. For more information call 1.800.743.7337 and logon to VisitMontgomeryCountyNY.com
Route 20 Scenic Tour Q - The Otsquago Trail - Montgomery County
From Route 20 in Springfield Center (between Richfield Springs and Cherry Valley) turn north on Route 80 and follow the ancient Otsquago Trail along the creek of the same name. It descends 1,100 feet over 17 miles to the Village of Fort Plain, NY on the Mohawk River. The Indian trail bridges the divide from the Susquehanna River Country to the Mohawk River system. It later became a road for Colonel Lewis Dubois’s 5th Continental Regiment which was protecting General Clinton’s right flank on the way to Otsego Lake in June of 1779 during the Revolutionary War.
The Indians referred to the creek as having “no father”, probably because the source of the creek is an underground stream which makes it seemingly appear from nowhere. The creek follows a meandering path through Van Hornsville where Owen D. Young, founder of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) was a lifelong resident, past farms, mill sites, country stores and antique shops. Continuing north the creek terminates at the Village of Fort Plain where the Revolutionary War fort by the same name was located. The fort served as the headquarters of Marinus Willett from 1781-83 and was visited by General Washington on his inspection tour of the valley in July and August of 1783.
Beginning around 1825, produce, grain and lumber was shipped along this route to warehouses in Fort Plain where it could be moved to markets along the Erie Canal. The Otsquago Creek is annually stocked with trout by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and has many hidden picturesque fishing spots. In Fort Plain follow Route 5S east for more sites (see Scenic Tour “G” – Herkimer County)