Helper gets biscuits in payment!

Our project to upgrade the new Oxbow Park is coming along well.  We’ve cleared the reed Grass from the Willow tree copse, and removed numerous Locust sucker saplings to expose the shoreline more. willow

Here’s Eric giving the trail a final mowing to make it look really cool!


Along the culvert, we’ve cut steps and cleared more brush so you can now get around the washed out bridge over the stream.

We had a lot of help from one group member, who insisted he was paid with biscuits.


Here’s more of his handiwork!

I guess he earned his biscuit, and an Adopt a Trail T shirt!



The ECNA cleans up!

Today was was major push for The Erie Canal Neighbors Association and the Oxbow Park is well on the way to becoming a beautiful spot to relax, go kayaking and fishing.   Thankfully, the weather was cool, there were no wasps and no one got hurt!

Most of the shoreline has now been cleared of Honeysuckle, Ragweed, Locust and Bittersweet vine.

I was astonished to see we’d found a new nest of old tires in the shoreline ragweed.


The Gavelis family pulled out an entire wire fence and a tarpaulin and these electrical outlet boxes, remnants from the cottages.IMG_0128

Doug Kucmerowski and George Kimmich cleaned up the stand of willows near the bridge. They were overgrown with reed grass and ragweed.

The willows cleaned up.                                Here’s Doug talking to Eagle Scout Ever Gavelis

More shoreline exposed!  The views are phenomenal!

Sarah Sennet cleaned out one section near my boat docking spot, and Bill Forster worked incredibly hard to chop up a fallen tree and take down a ton of Bittersweet vine.IMG_0118

Nate Ruder and his family were very busy along the shoreline pulling Ragweed and junk from the banks.

Our first new kayaker!IMG_0135

Joe Kiel visits with his fishing Kayak. We told him about the project and he’s signing up as a volunteer.  Thanks Joe!

We’re about two thirds done along the shoreline, and we’ll organise another get together shortly to finish that task.

If anyone wants to help besides volunteering.  We are going to rent a mulcher for the day, and dispose of all the brush etc. And buy, borrow or beg some gravel to help fill the potholes in the trail.

Chip in a few bucks into our kitty please.  here —


What a difference a day makes!

The Erie Canal Neighbors Association team have been hard at work starting The Oxbow Project. With a permit from the  Parks and Trail Department of the Canal Corporation, work has begun  on The Big Cleanup.

You’ll see many members of the ECNA working from time to time down The Oxbow. They’ll often be wearing their PTNY T shirts.

The entire area has been ‘brush-hogged’ to remove all the ragweed, which had grown to over eight feet high in many places.

Then shoreline areas were cleared to allow fishermen to gain access, something that had been impossible for over a year.

Today, numerous people were using the shore to fish. One boy caught a good sized bass within minutes.

Another area was opened up today, near the power lines., exposing this lovely log seat with a view.Iog2


Just the spot to sit quietly in the shade, and watch the wildlife, read a book,  or cast a line for a fish.

More shoreline will be opened up in the next few days, so please bring a a rod and get fishing!

For more information contact admin(@)



Erie Canalway Neighbors Association Adopts Historic Oxbow Trail

Erie Canalway Neighbors Association Adopts Historic Oxbow Trail

Great article! Sums us up nicely. Thanks

Canalway Trail Times

A unique section of trail along the Historic Erie Canal is being given extra attention this summer thanks to the efforts of the Erie Canalway Neighbors Association (ECNA). The Oxbow Trail, along the banks of the original Erie Canal, is the newest trail recipient of Adopt-a-Trail program love.  The ECNA was originally started by Fairport resident Mike Caswell as a way to clean up the Oxbow Trail. The group now looks forward to ensuring that this local treasure can be enjoyed by all for years to come.

The Oxbow Trail has a unique history. The trail started life as the towpath for the original Erie Canal. However, as the canal was improved and enlarged over the years, the route through that section of Fairport changed, creating what was in effect a small lake. Along the banks of what had been the old canal, boat houses and cottages began to spring…

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Beware – Wasps on the warpath!

Last week, I got stung over a hundred times after I was weed whacking a clearing along the Oxbow shoreline to enable fishermen to access the water. These wasps which I believe are some sort of Yellow-jacket, are very aggressive, and were all over me until I jumped into the canal and hid behind my boat.  I almost passed out from the pain and an ambulance was called to check me out.

Today, The New York Power Authority engaged a licensed pest control company to eradicate them, thank fully..   I was taking my dogs for a walk when I happened upon the gentleman who was dressing up to tackle these  horrible insects.  (I’m still itching from the stings a week later)

On my return from the walk into Hart’s Woods, the exterminator was taking off his protective gear and I asked him how he got on.   He’d dug the nest out and applied some chemicals which he said would take 4-7 days to completely take effect. As he took off his foot gear several wasps fell out, his legs were ok but they got through his gear and stung him on his arms a couple of times.

If you are thinking of going down the Oxbow Trail in the next few days, I’d suggest you postpone it for at least a week, for safety’s sake.  These guys are MEAN!


Why was I weed whacking?    See here


It’s Official! A new trail for Fairport!

After over a year of the Boy Scout project stagnating, the Canal Corporation has come up with a great plan to get the Oxbow trail maintenance running again.

The problem was that after all the great work done by The Boy Scouts, their permit (and energy) ran out, and no one was able to take on the responsibility because of Workers Comp Insurance being so costly for individuals.

So now the Oxbow has been taken under the wing of the Canal Corporation Adopt-a-Trail program and all volunteers are covered by Workers Comp Insurance.

You can see it on this map if you scroll into the Oxbow.   Parks and Trail Map

The permits are issued to Michael Caswell and the Erie Canal Neighbors Association (ECNA). So far seven families have registered to volunteer to help transform the area into a delightful place to stroll, to view the waterfront, watch the wildlife, fish and kayak.

The work has already commenced this week with a brush hog machine removing the very overgrown ragweed, Swallow-wort, Japanese Knotweed and some Amur Honeysuckle.


Volunteer mowing the weeds!

The project will involve maintaining the trail itself, filling in the very muddy Erie Crescent potholes,  and keeping it clear of weeds. The surrounding areas will be mowed occasionally, to keep the ragweed down and promote grass.  Areas will be designated for the promotion of stands of Milkweed (for the Monarch butterflies) and mainly indigenous perennials flowers like Spiderwort, Lupins, and Coneflowers, with the main purpose of promoting  butterfly and bee habitats.  Family groups are volunteering to take up sections of the trail to care for these specific areas.

Other groups will be making bat and butterfly houses, to  be hung on the old telegraph poles.

If you are interested in volunteering as a family group or individually, please contact admin(@)

Unfortunately, for most of this summer, our local lads have not been able to access much of the shoreline thanks to eight foot high Knotweed and Ragweed. Hopefully it won’t be too late for our young fishermen to get in some good fishing over the next few months.

One rather large ground wasp nest was found recently along the shoreline, but the Canal Corp is sending out an exterminator shortly to eradicate it. This nest is extremely aggressive and dangerous.

Another tank was found buried in the woods. It is a septic tank holding about 600 gallons of sewage, a remnant of the last cottages that had no mains connection. The tank tops are concrete but easily removed by children and dangerous. The NYPA has their removal on their list.

After the mowing yesterday, many more lengths of wire fencing were discovered tangled in the undergrowth. Their removal is imminent.

We’re hoping that this small trail will become a popular walk for the local folks in Old Orcharde and Old Post Road areas.

Unfortunately, the bridge is still washed out, and the path is closed which is probably a good thing because of all the weed trimmers working from time to time. The NYPA has this repair on it’s very long list of jobs to bring the canal system to a safe situation.

You can see the actual washout happening during the storm here!

If you don’t want to help with the upkeep, perhaps you’d like to chip in a small sum to help pay for mowing costs and other incidentals like flower seeds, fuel, protective gear for the workers etc. please go to our gofundme page




Harebells! Lots of them this year!

IMG_3713I’m not sure I’ve identified this flower correctly, so if anyone knows better, please tell me. This plant looks like a Harebell, according to my Audubon Field Guide to Wildflowers.

I spotted one or two last year, but they must have seeded well, because they are quite prolific in one area along the trail.

The Swamp Milkweed is doing well too, and I noticed my first Monarch butterfly visiting today.

I learned that these butterflies go through four generations in one year, the last one  emerging in September and then migrating to Mexico.   You can read about that here.

Hopefully, later in the year we’ll spot some Monarch caterpillars grazing on the milkweed.