Pixley Falls State Park to Boonville
This section of the North Country Trail begins just south of Pixley Falls State Park off NY 46. There is a large parking area off NY 46. The trail follows the old Black River Canal towpath and all its history.
The 77-mile long Black River Canal was an engineering marvel of the 19th century. Built between 1837 and 1855, the Black River Canal ran uphill, connecting the waters of the Erie Canal with those of Black River. The southern section of the overland canal linked Rome and Boonville, a distance of 25 miles. Following the rugged Lansing Kill Gorge, this section of the canal rose 693 feet and required 70 locks.
The northern section of the overland canal connected Boonville and Lyons Falls, a distance of 10 miles. This section of the canal descended 386 feet and required 39 locks. All together, the Black River Canal had 109 locks--still a world record.
Between Lyons Falls and Carthage, a distance of 42 miles, the Black River itself was canalized for slack-water navigation. By giving the North Country access to eastern and midwestern markets, the Black River Canal was instrumental in the region's growth and prosperity.
You will see remnants of many of the old locks as you hike this section of trail. After a little over a mile you'll cross the park road for Pixley Falls State Park. For nearly the next 3 miles the trail runs parallel to NY 46 as well as to the old canal before crossing NY 46.
Now the trail is open as it continues to follow the towpath. Soon there is a trail on the right and left. The trail on the left leads into Jackson Hill State Forest and it's numerous hiking trails. The trail on the right is the Domser Road Trail and leads to the corner of NY 46/Domser Rd.
The trail crosses NY 46 for the last time then winds its way toward Boonville. There is a side trail on your right that leads to a large parking area off NY 12. Then the trail reaches a gas station/convenience store and the end of this section. This 7.4 mile section of the trail is fairly easy with a slight elevation change of over 400 feet.