I had been blazing a trail along the Route 30 corridor on a daily basis for three years, from Sullivan to Schenectady County, before I really came to know Schoharie County. I’ve memorized every crack, dip, and bend in the road. As I passed through Schoharie County, this non-native was filled with curiosity about the people and places I drove past each day.
What is – why travel to – why explore – Schoharie County? Is it for the farm stands laden with freshly grown produce? Is it the ability to witness with awe landscapes transformed by the shadows of clouds and the power of wind? Is it the enormous farm tractors riding along the road’s edge – the kind that make you feel like a character in the movie Transformers? Then again, is it simply the sense that time stops here, that this is a place where past and present merge?
Why traverse a trail here? There is a great deal to be seen, to be experienced, and to be learned. The area is abundantly rich in assets. For me, my travels through Schoharie have been an unfolding adventure. One that ultimately led me to Schoharie Area Long Term (SALT), and the team responsible for the Trails to Tales project.
In March of 2016, instead of driving by the Village of Schoharie, I stopped at the SALT offices and joyfully became a member of the SALT team and the director of the Trails to Tales of Schoharie County website project, once referred to as “Geo to Go”. As Project Director, I found myself working with a creative team composed of some of the area’s finest: Dr. Lillian Spina-Caza, Dr. Ellen McHale, Linda Quinn and Manny Santos. I also discovered three of the many fascinating elements that make up Schoharie County: the art in the form of large quilt blocks on the walls of barns, businesses, and homes; the entrepreneurial spirit of local farmers who put the word “culture” in agriculture; and the innovation of beverage producers who are part of the “buy local” movement.
There is no single answer to the question “Why visit Schoharie County?” This is a rural farming area settled by the early Dutch and German Palatine immigrants. A region with some of the most breathtaking landscapes in all of New York State. A region driven by the innovation of residents who not only survived a flood, but who are coming back stronger than ever. It is the home of Vroman’s Nose, a must-be-climbed mountain with a stellar view. It is a place with a rich historical past. A place where apple cider donuts are best eaten warm and where mead is a beverage to be sipped and savored. It is where you will find colorful quilt blocks and stories about the makers and meaning of the blocks waiting to be shared. These and more await those who travel the virtual and physical trails we are blazing in Schoharie County.
It has been an honor to work on the Trails to Tales interactive website project. While I had been traveling through the county for several years, it wasn’t until I joined the team at SALT that I truly began my journey, wanting to know more about this incredible hidden treasure. I am excited to navigate the trails, and I hope you are, too. I am living proof that stopping off Route 30 to explore its treasures can net some very rewarding results – and maybe even surprises!
Enjoy your journey through the website and on the physical trails, where you will experience firsthand what makes this region so special.