Biking

This blog highlights some of my adventures with the focus on railroad history. Originally intended as a blog of my rail trail rides, it now also includes hikes, railroad trips and even stop-and-go car trips if they are railroad history related...

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Retracing the Kaydeross Railroad (Part Three)


Part Three - 

A Few More Mills, the Powerhouse, Boice Park Trails and the Bridge

After leaving the Axe Mill site we continued northward.

County Farm Crossing

Our first stop was the County Farm Crossing. There used to be a road bridge here but it has been removed for quite a while. A short jaunt down the hill took us to the ROW.

ROW looking south
ROW looking north

National Mill

The National Mill remnants were located on private property so a thorough hiking exploration wasn't "in the cards". But there were a few mill remnants easily visible--even using Bing aerials.


Sadly, we didn't get a chance to sniff out what appears to be the former dam across the creek.
Bing Aerial

The Powerhouse

Next was a visit to what was once the Trolley's system's powerhouse, now restored as a lovely apartment building. Gino pointed out the bracket that held the trolley wires (it's a nice touch even tho' the tracks actually ran on the other side of the building...)


Historical Photo: Powerhouse (on the left) and Car barn (on right)
From the Gino DiCarlo Collection

Eagle Mill

At the intersection of Rock City Falls Road and Sherman Road--at a designated Angler's spot--you can see the Eagle Mill remnants.

What's perplexing about this spot is that it appears the creek has been rerouted to the east side of the mill subsequent to the mill's abandonment. The Valuation Map showed the main flow of the creek on the west side of the mill!


Valuation Map courtesy of Gino DiCarlo
and the Saratoga Springs Public Library History Room.
Eagle Mill - Craneville, NY
Remnants of the dam are visible a little further downstream
Panorama shows where the old path of the creek probably went
There was a mysterious ruin lurking in the woods across the creek as well.

Driveway

Following the Trolley ROW on old maps or Bing or Google aerials indicates the ROW veered from the road at this driveway.

Pioneer Mill

The Pioneer Mill in West Milton was a spooky spot for me. The weather was darkening with a sky full of nasty gray clouds and it appeared (although we weren't sure) that someone lived on the grounds. I hastily took a few shots as Gino scoffed at my paranoia.

Valuation Map courtesy of Gino DiCarlo
and the Saratoga Springs Public Library History Room.

Railroad spurs
Looking south from the road  - this was spur #1
Spur #2
This is a Google Street View of the Spillway

Boice Park

Right up the road about 50 ft or so from the Pioneer Mill remnants was the mainline ROW. This has been designated as the Blue Trail (Trail Map >).  I plan on returning in the summer months to mountain bike it.

A bit further up the road, a housing development has been started and the trail (ROW) runs through it.


Looking south
From the development, we hiked in going northward as far as we could...

But eventually the overgrowth was too much to navigate through...
Looking back at the ROW
It would be nice (depending on property ownership of course) if the trail could be developed and continue on to the bridge...
Enhanced aerial showing the ROW

The Bridge

It was getting late in the day and increasingly darker so the last spot we explored was the trolley bridge on Heisler Road.

The ROW going northeasterly from Heisler Road

Trolley Stop

The Rock City Falls mills and whatever can found up at Middlegrove will have to wait for another trek but Gino directed me briefly to the trolley stop.

Other Photos:

It was a great trek and whetted our appetite for future explorations...


Retracing the Kaydeross Railroad (Part Two)


Part Two - Mill Ruins

After a somewhat disappointing dead end on the ROW detailed in Part One, we were soon amply rewarded at our next stop.

We located both the Planing Mill and the Union Bag and Paper Mill complex.

Valuation Map courtesy of Gino DiCarlo
and the Saratoga Springs Public Library History Room.

Planing Mill

The remnants of the Planing Mill were at the top of the hill.

Valuation Map courtesy of Gino DiCarlo
and the Saratoga Springs Public Library History Room.
The descent down the hill was amazing because, as you got near to the bottom, the full array of the Union Bag and Paper Mill complex was revealed. It felt like we had just discovered King Tut's tomb! :-)

Glen Sulphite Pulp Mill

The valuation map helped decipher some of what we found.

Valuation Map courtesy of Gino DiCarlo
and the Saratoga Springs Public Library History Room.
This massive millstone was the coolest discovery!


Once again after exploring the ruins, we tried to continue north on the old RR ROW but were unable, so a jaunt a bit further northward in the car brought us to the next spot.

Axe Mill (Ballston Pulp & Paper)

Isaah Blood had built quite an extensive complex that straddled both sides of the river.

This location had a tragic fire-plagued history - the last incarnation was Ballston Pulp & Paper. Details in the link "Bloodville - Ballston Pulp & Paper" in the Further Info section below.
Valuation Map courtesy of Gino DiCarlo
and the Saratoga Springs Public Library History Room


Close up (from the photo above)
There were quite a few of these circular stones built into the stone walls.
Decorative or functional?

Across the creek was what appeared to be remnants of a sluiceway... (Bing Aerial >)
Sluiceway?
Sluiceway? Bing Aerial
The ROW going south
Gino on the ROW going north
The ROW dead ended going northward so "back to the car!"

continue to PART THREE >