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Mid-Atlantic Rivers Canals and Trails

in the Hudson Delaware and Susquehanna Valleys

The Hudson Valley extends 150 miles above the tip of Manhattan. Designated as a National Heritage Area, the valley is steeped in history, natural beauty, culture, food and farmers’ markets. The first Dutch settlement was established at Fort Nassau, a trading post south of present-day Albany, in the early 17th century, with the purpose of exchanging European goods for beaver pelts. During the French and Indian War in the 1750s, the northern end of the valley became the bulwark of the British defense against French invasion from Canada via Lake Champlain.The valley also became one of the major regions of conflict during the American Revolution.

Dutchess County is 800 square miles of natural scenic beauty, historic and cultural landmarks, and outdoor recreation. Stroll the Walkway Over the Hudson. Tour and taste along the Dutchess Wine Trail. Explore the homes of FDR and Vanderbilt. Taste new creations at The Culinary Institute of America. Fill the pantry at farm markets. Cruise the Hudson River. 

Rockland County is located just 30 miles north of New York City and is known for its quaint villages, spectacular river views and outdoor recreation with 32,000 acres of parklands dotted with sparkling lakes and streams rushing down to the Hudson. Miles marked trails lead right to the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains. 

Coal Iron Steel and Canals of the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys

The Delaware and Lehigh five county region of Northeastern Pennsylvania developed in the late 18thCentury as a result of the anthracite mines, the iron and steel industries, and the canals that were built to reach Philadelphia and other markets. 

165 miles of nature history preservation recreation and education

From its origins as a means to transport anthracite coal from the mines of Luzerne and Carbon County to the markets in the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia, the D&L Trail is now a multi-use trail originating from the mountains of northeast Pennsylvania through the rivers and communities of the Lehigh Valley and Bucks County. 

Philadelphia the Brandywine Valley and Wilmington Delaware

In Philadelphia, the waterfront is now a walking and biking destination which covers 6 miles. Trail features include streetscape improvements along the entire waterfront trail, a bi-directional bikeway, pedestrian walkway and rain gardens that will collect the first inch of storm water, relieving the city sewer system during major weather events, as well as benches and bike racks, decorative street pavers, and innovative solar trail lighting.

The Christina Riverfront is one of many reasons for exploring the Delaware culture trail; cruise in a water taxi or stroll the landscaped Riverwalk. Wilmington was the last stop to freedom on the Underground Railroad; the Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park is named for Underground Railroad Conductor Harriett Tubman and Stationmaster Thomas Garrett.

Brandywine Creek is a tributary of the Christina River in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware. The 20.4-mile Lower Brandywine is a designated Pennsylvania Scenic River with several tributary streams.

Harrisburg and the Susquehanna River Valley

The Susquehanna River is 464 miles (747 km) long and is the longest river on the US East Coast. With its watershed, it is the 16th-largest river in the United States, and the longest river in the continental United States without commercial boat traffic today. In the Canal Era, navigation improvements were made to enhance the river for barge shipping of bulk goods by water on the Pennsylvania Canal.

Harrisburg, the Capital of Pennsylvania, was inhabited by Native Americans as early as 3000 BC. Known as Peixtin, the area was an important trading post for Native American traders, as trails leading from the Delaware to the Ohio Rivers, and from the Potomac to the Upper Susquehanna intersected there.

An Architectural and Heritage Itinerary

Downtown Lancaster offers a unique experience with historic buildings of different architectural styles and periods and three centuries of civic, commercial, religious, social and architectural history. A leisurely walk can be accomplished in less than an hour. 

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Lafayette Louisiana

history geography local culture and transport services

History the Attakapas Native Americans inhabited this area when French colonists founded the first European settlement, Petit Manchac, a trading post. In the late eighteenth century, numerous Acadian refugees settled here after being expelled from Canada; intermarriage led to the Cajun culture which fostered the French language and the Catholic religion. Vermilionville was renamed in 1884 for General Lafayette, the French aristocrat who aided the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. The city and parish economy continued to be based on agriculture into the early 20th century. In the 1940s, after oil was discovered in the parish, oil and natural gas became dominant.

downtown lafayette, louisianaLafayette lies along the Vermilion River in southwestern Louisiana and is nicknamed The Hub City

Geography Lafayette is located on the Western rim of the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest wetland and swamp in the United States where, during the Quaternary Period, the Mississippi River cut a 325-foot-deep (99 m) valley between what is now Lafayette and Baton Rouge. The southwestern Louisiana Prairie Terrace does not suffer significant flooding, outside of local flash flooding.

hilliard art museumLocal Cultural Organizations include the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and Conservatory of Music, Chorale Acadienne, Lafayette Ballet Theatre and Dance Conservatory, The Lafayette Concert Band, and Performing Arts Society of Acadiana; as well as the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum and the Acadiana Center for the Arts.

Lafayette is the Center of Acadiana Louisiana’s Cajun and Creole Culture

Transport Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT) is located on the southeast side of the city with daily scheduled passenger airline services to Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, and Atlanta. Charter services depart Lafayette Regional as well as helicopter services and cargo jets.

cajun domeAmtrak’s Sunset Limited offers service three days a week from New Orleans and Los Angeles with selected stops in Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Intercity passenger bus service is via Greyhound that operates a Station Downtown and Lafayette Transit System provides bus service within Lafayette City Limits.

The Lafayette MPO Bicycle Subcommittee has developed long-term goals for bicycling and Bike Lafayette, the local bicycle advocacy organization, actively promotes bicycle awareness, safety, and education in Acadiana. TRAIL promotes bicycling, canoeing, and pedestrian activities.

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Morgantown West Virginia

historic neighborhoods industry river shipping and personal rapid transit

Morgantown is located just south of the Mason-Dixon Line, 75 miles (121 km) south of Pittsburgh, 208 mi (335 km) north-northwest of Washington, D.C., 204 mi (328 km) east of Columbus and 156 miles (251 km) northeast of Charleston, WV.

downtown morgantownThe History of Morgantown is closely tied to the Anglo-French struggle for this territory. Until the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the area was greatly contested by white settlers and Native Americans, and by British and French soldiers. Several forts were built during this time, including Fort Morgan in 1772 when Zackquill Morgan established a homestead near present-day Fayette Street and University Avenue.wharf-districtThe city is comprised of several neighborhoods that were once independent towns, including: First Ward, Woodburn, South Park, Jerome Park, South Hills, Second Ward, Greenmont, Suncrest, Evansdale, Wiles Hill, Sunnyside, Sabraton, the Mileground, and North Hills. While some of these are in part or entirely outside the city limits, they are still considered part of Morgantown as trolley cars determined how far people lived outside of the city.

Development of the DuPont Ordnance Works during World War II resulted in prefabricated homes being constructed in Suncrest, the names of some streets reflected the community’s participation in various service organizations, such as Civitan, Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary.

In 2000, the White House Millennium Council designated Suncrest as a Millennium Community

woodburn circle uwvSouth Park is across Deckers Creek from downtown Morgantown. Originally farmland, it was one of the first suburbs of Morgantown. In the early 20th century, South Park experienced a housing boom, with wealthy and influential citizens settling there. The neighborhood is designated a historic district by the National Register of Historic Places.

Following World War II, many new families came to Woodburn, attracted by the parkland, closeness to downtown, community atmosphere, and nearby school. In 1950, Tom and Anna Torch opened the Richwood Avenue Confectionery, a corner store and lunch counter that served beer in large Weiss goblets from the Morgantown Glassworks. When they sold the operation in 1963 to Mario and Rose Spina, the establishment was nicknamed Mario’s Fishbowl in honor of the goblets.

morgantown personal rapid transitTransportation Morgantown relies heavily on the Monongahela River for shipping coal and other products. The river is fully navigable from its mouth at the Ohio River in Pittsburgh, past Morgantown upstream to Fairmont Morgantown Lock and Dam, located in the southern part of the city.

Transit Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit PRT most of Morgantown is accessible by the Mountain Line Transit Authority bus system. The Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit PRT system covers 8.65 miles (13.9 km) and has five stations.

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Jackson Mississippi

southern culture and history soul food and music literature architecture

The region that is now the city of Jackson was historically part of the large territory occupied by the Choctaw Nation and the historic culture of the Muskogean-speaking peoples that inhabited the area for thousands of years.

Pearl River barge transporting Saturn VLocated on the historic Natchez Trace trade route, created by Native Americans and used by European-American settlers, and on the Pearl River, the city’s first European-American settler was trader Louis Le Fleur. In the late 18th century and early 19th century, Jackson was a trading post connected to markets in Tennessee.

The City of Jackson sits on the Pearl River in the greater Jackson Prairie region of Mississippi. Founded in 1821, it is named after General Andrew Jackson. Following the nearby Battle of Vicksburg in 1863 Union forces lay siege and subsequently burned it.

Jackson siegePearl River shipping was only 750 tons in 1827; by 1904 it reached 19,869 tons. Dams, canals, levees and water control structures have had negative effects on wetlands and the ecological services they provide; these artificial structures are being removed to allow natural river activities to resume.

Southern Culture, Jackson is home to world-class painters, sculptors, dancers, actors, architects, photographers, filmmakers, musicians, and artisans. or a small business meeting.

A Culinary Scene with Chefs and Mom and Pop Restaurants

Eudora Welty House MuseumLiterature Eudora Welty was a Jackson native who lived most of her life in the Belhaven section of the city. Her writings presented a picture of the city in the early 20th century. A Pulitzer Prize winner, the main Jackson public library is named in her honor, and her home has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. Richard Wright, a highly acclaimed African-American author, lived in Jackson as an adolescent and young man in the 1910s and 1920s. He described the harsh and largely terror-filled life most African Americans experienced in the South and in Northern ghettos.

Amtrak Jackson, MS StationArchitecture in the early 20th century. Jackson had significant growth which produced dramatic changes in the city’s skyline. Union Station reflected the city’s service by multiple rail lines; as railroads were among the new work opportunities for African Americans, who moved into the city from rural areas for such industrial-type jobs. Nearby, the 18-story Standard Life Building, designed in 1929, was the largest reinforced concrete structure in the world upon its completion.

The City with Soul – Blues Gospel Folk and Jazz Music

Soul foodGold Coast during Mississippi’s extended Prohibition era from the 1920s until the 1960s, illegal drinking and gambling casinos flourished on the east side of the Pearl River, just across from the city of Jackson. Those illegal casinos, bootleg liquor stores, and nightclubs operated for decades; although outside the law, the Gold Coast was a thriving center of nightlife and music, with many local blues musicians appearing regularly in the clubs. The Gold Coast declined after Mississippi’s prohibition laws were repealed in 1966. In addition, integration drew off business from establishments that earlier had catered to African Americans.

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Cape Girardeau Missouri

river trade steamboats trading posts bridges murals and historic sites

Cape Girardeau is named after Jean Baptiste de Girardot, who established a trading post in the area around 1733. As early as 1765, a bend in the Mississippi River, had been referred to as Cape Girardot or Girardeau.  In 1799, American settlers founded the first English school west of the Mississippi at a landmark called Mount Tabor, named by the settlers for the Biblical Mount Tabor.

steamboat 1860The River Trade and Steamboats stimulated the Development of Cape Girardeau

City Landmarks in 1928, a bridge was completed between Missouri and Illinois replacing ferries to cross the Mississippi River. In 2003, the Old Bridge was succeeded by a new four-lane cable-stay bridge named the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge; the two towers of the bridge reach a height of approximately 91 meters The Old Federal Courthouse, located at Broadway and Fountain Streets and built in the late 1940s, The City of Cape Girardeau was recognized in 2008 as a Preserve America Community for its work in surveying and protecting historic buildings.; it is home to 39 historic sites and eight historic districts, including the Downtown Commercial District.

Cape River WallThe Mississippi River Tales is a mural containing 24 panels covering nearly 18,000 square feet (1,700 m2) of the 15-foot (4.6 m)-high downtown floodwall; they illustrate the local history beginning with the Native Americans who inhabited the area between 900 and 1200; each panel tells a story. The paintings are reminiscent of the works by Thomas Hart Benton; they were painted by Chicago artist Thomas Melvin in collaboration with several local artists.

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Alexandria Minnesota and the Legacy of the Lakes Museum

The Village of Alexandria was settled in 1858 and named after brothers Alexander and William Kinkead from Maryland. The form of the name alludes to Alexandria, Egypt, a center of learning and civilization.

W.E. Hicks was pivotal to the early development of the town. He purchased the townsite in 1868 and established a mill, hotel, newspaper, and store. He donated property for a courthouse, jail, and two churches: Methodist and Congregational.

In 2013 Alexandria was picked as a Top 10 Best Small Town

Big_Ole the VikingAlex is a hot spot for tourism, due to its many lakes and resorts. Tourism events include a Grape Stomp hosted by the Carlos Creek Winery every September, an Apple Fest in October, the Douglas County Fair every August, and Art in the Park every July. The city has a museum housing the Kensington Runestone, which is thought by some to indicate that Vikings had visited the area in the 14th century. Outside the museum stands Big Ole, a 25-foot-tall statue of a Viking built for the World’s Fair in New York City.

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Maritime Museums in Historic Towns

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minnesota boat buildersThe Legacy of the Lakes Museum originally known as the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum, it promotes lake traditions and legacies as well as preserve Minnesota history.

The Legacy Gardens project was completed in the Fall of 2012; a second phase added plantings, walkways and structures. The Museum and Gardens play a significant role in completing a community dream of developing the north end of Broadway into a people-friendly destination.

The Boat House, an indoor event center, was added to the campus in 2018. This refurbished building has an indoor event hall, bathrooms, and bridal suite/greenroom. The space is available for rent for weddings, corporate events, family gatherings, and more. It is also a space for the Museum to host educational programs.

Minnesota is home to skilled watercraft builders since Native Americans first fashioned birch bark canoes hundreds of years ago. The museum boasts the most complete collection of Minnesota-made boats from Larson to our own Alexandria Boat Works.

wooden boatsWooden Boats few museums offer as wide a range of rare boats including Chris-Craft, Gar Wood, Century and Hacker Craft, as well as the ultimate collection of made-in-Minnesota craft.

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La Crosse Wisconsin

railroads ridges brews wines and a historic downtown

La Crosse is located at the intersection of the Black, La Crosse and Mississippi rivers in Western Wisconsin in a broad plain between the river bank and the tall bluffs typical of the Driftless area.

The Coulee Region is Characterized by High Ridges Dissected by Narrow Valleys

History French fur traders were among the first Europeans to travel along the Upper Mississippi River in the late 17th century; an American expedition reached what came to be known as Prairie La Crosse in 1805; La Crosse was named from the game with sticks – lacrosse in French – played by local Native Americans. Actively promoted in eastern newspapers, the city was further settled during the middle of the 19th century with completion of the La Crosse & Milwaukee Railroad.

River and Railroad Infrastructure made it possible for La Crosse to become a center for lumber, as logs cut in the interior of the state were rafted down the Black River, as well as the brewery industry. Around the turn of the 20thcentury, the city also became an education center, with three colleges and universities established in the city between 1890 and 1912. It is now a regional technology and medical hub, highly ranked in the areas of wellness, quality of life and education.

The La Crosse Amtrak Station is Served by the Empire Builder Cross Country Passenger Service

Historic Downtown and local culture. La Crosse has one of the largest commercial historic districts in Wisconsin; it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes 110 buildings built between 1866 and 1940. It is home to the Rivoli Theatre, the Weber Center for the Performing Arts and the Pump House Regional Arts Center, at the heart of La Crosse’s arts and culture scene.

La Crosse is a Green Complete Streets City

Local Wine and Brew Traditions date back to the 1858 founding of the G. Heileman Brewing Company; since its closing in 1996, local brewing traditions have been passed onto the City Brewing Company and Pearl Street Brewery, a craft brewery operating out of the historic La Crosse Footwear Building. Lost Island Wine has more than 30 varieties; in addition; several vineyards are in nearby counties and across the river on the Minnesota side of the Mississippi.