Author: Erynne Ansel-McCabe, Travel Trade Manager
Let’s face it, motivation is difficult to find when students need to buckle down and follow on-line lessons. With a road trip to Schoharie County, there are opportunities to turn those lessons into hands-on experiences with plenty of “treats” or rewards at the end of the day. Below, you'll find suggestions in the following educational categories: geology, hydro-electric energy, Native Americans, Revolutionary War, honey and maple sugar production, rock formations – cave systems, farming/food, and plenty of open land to explore. (And for the grownups – craft production of cider, beer, and wine.) When the day is over, everyone loves a treat to celebrate the hard work of staying motivated.
Reservations may be required – always check before arrival.
Gilboa Museum and Juried History Center - tour with Kristen Wyckoff, Museum Director, and collector of ancient riverbed rocks from the nearby Schoharie Creek. Also included is a fascinating look at the NYC Watershed and how the Town of Gilboa was destroyed when the Schoharie Dam was built in 1917.
Cave House Museum of Mining and Geology - This restored historic 1865 hotel is now a museum on the past, present, and future of our geologic resources. The exquisite study of Earth Sciences and the beauty of the history of the Schoharie County Cave System can be found in this very interesting and grand old building.
New York Power Authority - Learn how the water is drawn up through huge tunnels during the night and dropped into a gigantic reservoir during the day to create electricity for hundreds of homes and cities. Visit the on-site education center and see the reservoir firsthand. While there, history comes alive in a gorgeous fully-restored 1850’s house called Lansing Manor. Check out that kitchen!
Iroquois Indian Museum – Did you know the Iroquois people are really Six Nations – Mohawk, Seneca, Oneida, Cayuga, Tuscarora, and Onondaga? This gorgeous Museum will teach about how the Six Nations peoples are still a huge creative force in Upstate New York and the world and how, over the ions, their message of kindness, ecology, women’s rights and sharing are lessons for all of us - now more than ever. Mohawk Educators, such as Mike Tarbel, are often on site and ready to teach these valuable lessons.
Revolutionary War/Early Settlers
Old Stone Fort Museum Complex - The Old Stone Fort Museum Complex presents three centuries of rural New York history in and among seven historic and exhibit buildings on 25 acres in scenic Schoharie Valley.
1743 Palatine House - This is the oldest building in Schoharie county and today is a living museum that showcases everyday life of its inhabitants in the 18th century.
Schoharie Valley Railroad Museum - The Museum features the brick 1875 Station House and railway artifacts, together with six other original railroad buildings.
Quilt Barn Trail - The Schoharie County Quilt Barn Trail is a wonderful and powerful look at our beautiful corner of Central New York. The Trail takes drivers to the farthest parts of the County to see huge quilt blocks done by artists and featured on a wide variety of buildings.
Studio for Art and Craft - Paint pottery, work with clay, use pottery wheels, fuse glass jewelry and more!
Honeybees and Maple Sugar Classes
Mickle Hollow Classes - Check with them for possible classes with bees!
SUNY Cobleskill - The University was founded in 1916 as the Schoharie School of Agriculture. Today, the College offers one of the most diverse agricultural programs in the United States, including Agricultural Business Management to Animal Science, Landscape Contracting to Turfgrass Management, Fisheries and Aquaculture to Environmental Studies, Culinary Arts, and more. So many wonderful classes and campus to explore!
Rock Formations/Cave Systems
Howe Caverns - Scientists believe nature began to slowly craft Howe Caverns some six million years ago; long before even the ancient, extinct animal known as the woolly mammoth appeared on Earth. Age and beauty are not the only qualities that make our caverns unique. They also happen to be one of a very small number of mineral caves (living limestone cave) in the world. Long ago, the eastern part of New York State was covered by an arm of the Atlantic Ocean. Corals, sponges and many creatures similar to oysters, clams and snails were abundant in these waters. Many of these creatures built their shells from calcium carbonate, which they gathered from their watery home. As this sea life died, their empty shells and fine particles of dirt covered hundreds of feet of the ocean floor. At first, these deposits were very soft. As layers of new deposits fell to the bottom the pressure built up. The lower layers were pressed into a type of rock called limestone. As millions of years passed, the continent of North America rose slowly out of the ocean. This was during the Cretaceous period of Earth’s early history some 65-136 million years ago.
Cornell Cooperative Extension - For bright ideas on how to connect to farms and farmers in Schoharie County!
For more ideas, check out our Schoharie County Food and Farm Blog
Open Lands to Explore
Landis Arboretum - Locally known as Schoharie County’s tree museum, there are acres and acres to explore!
Vroman’s Nose - Take a glorious hike with fantastic views of the rich Schoharie Valley down below. Not to be missed!
For more ideas, chcek out our Outdoor Activities Blog
Schoharie County Beverage Trail – Treat yourself - you deserve them all!
Gobbler’s Knob Family Fun Park - Miniature golf, buckets of balls, fast food and food truck – all good for celebrating a long day of learning!
Muscle Motor Speedway - Located on the same campus as Gobbler’s Knob – fast and fun treat!
Broome Animal Sanctuary - A certified wildlife habitat for at-risk farm animals. Stop by and feel the love!
Schoharie Valley Kayak Rentals – Kayak rentals for groups and families along the gorgeous Schoharie Creek. Paddles with guided tours and shuttle service provided. Come and enjoy!
Games A Plunder - Large selection of games – new, used and vintage. Fun to shop those memories!