18 November 2009

catching up: moss island

There are not many exciting places to go or things to do in central New York, where I grew up, but one of the most reliably fun and interesting activities in the area is to spend some time on Moss Island. Moss Island is an island in the middle of the Erie Canal in Little Falls, NY, and it's got some really unusual geological formations, which make it a popular spot for hiking and rock climbing.

We've been to Moss Island a few times before, but this summer was the first time I have remembered to bring the camera there. I didn't get to explore the rocks as much as I might have liked, since we had four kids with us (my boys, my niece and my nephew), so the photos are a little limited in terms of the scope and variation of the features of the island, but it was still a nice afternoon, and cute kids make up for the lack of really stunning photos, right?

The island is formed by a lock in the Erie Canal. To get there, you pass by (or through) a historic lock:

Here's a glimpse of the modern lock. Moss Island is under all of those trees to the right. To access the island you have to walk across the lock, which is pretty cool. No photos, though, sorry.

Once you're on the island, there are trails through the woods, and lots of places to hike and climb around on the rocks:

James, with Greg's help, did a little more advanced climbing:

Here's an example of some of the cool geological features you can find on the island. If memory serves, everything was carved by glaciers.

Poor toddling baby Will couldn't keep up with the big kids, who were all eager to explore, and even take a break for a photo op once in a while:

Because there's so much variation on the island, it's the kind of place you can visit again and again and still have fun and see new things. We're looking forward to returning as our kids get older, when we'll be able to do some more adventurous climbing. Until then, it's a nice place to walk and play.

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