Friday, May 8, 2009

The Beaver Kill Ravine - Part One

At the northwest corner of Lincoln Park - on the corner of Delaware and Park Avenues opposite the Hackett Middle School - there's a wooded gully that has intrigued me for years.

As a child, I never thought of venturing into the trees. The ravine beyond them seemed so dark and deep...and I was warned not to by a justifiably over-protective aunt. I always wondered what was down there, but the sense of mystery and all those warnings made the place very spooky. My young mind conjured up all sorts of scary notions of treacherous terrain littered with dead bodies.

A couple of years ago, I was looking through an album full of old family photos. I found one picture from the summer of 1936 that showed a little girl posing in front of an unfamiliar rocky outcropping. A penciled description on the back identified the location as Lincoln Park, but I couldn't quite place it. The rock wall didn't match up with any of the Park's very familiar hills (see the previous post about Dead Man's Hill) and I began to wonder if the picture was mislabeled.

Some months later, I was running some errands in the area around the Lincoln Park gully. Curiosity got the better of me and I walked along the southern edge of the ravine, peering through the trees to see just what was really down there. I was in for three surprises.

First, the ravine - which is approximately one city block in length - wasn't nearly as deep, dark or scary as I'd imagined. In fact, it wasn't nearly as rugged as some of the ravines I used to explore in the wonderful old Albany Rural Cemetery. And not scary at all.

Second, near the midpoint of the ravine, I spotted a series of rock formations and immediately recognized the outcroppings from the old photo. So, it was Lincoln Park after all!

And, finally, I was certain I could hear the sound of rushing water. But there were no visible streams.

A few weeks later, I decided to venture into the gully...

To be continued.

This was the first of a series of posts about the old Beaver Kill ravine...

Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Winter In The Beaver Kill


  1. That might turn out to be a real dream-come-true.

  2. What an interesting blog! I've enjoyed visiting :) Nice photos, and I appreciate your sense of history.