While going through the photos from this day of exploring upstate New York towns, I realized there was no way I could include everything in one post. Picking up from our last stop in Essex, the next town up I had really looked forward to as the one with 'the most' history that we could take in from outside.
Willsboro was first settled in 1765 by Willsboro Gilliland, an Irish emigre who came to the colonies in 1754. Like many veterans of the French & Indian War, Gilliland used his new wife's dowry to purchase land along the Boquet River — modern day Willsboro. The Revolutionary War left the settlement more of a ghost town as most inhabitants retreated to Crown Point for safety. Gilliland was actually held as a prisoner at Fort Albany during the war, but on his release he and his brother-in-law resettled the small village, which gradually attracted new residents.
I had hoped that our following stop in Willsboro would offer a self-guided, history-rich walking tour. Unfortunately, apart from a few history panels on display by the river that detail the town's history, the historical buildings and walking path weren't easy to find. (And, I'm assuming due to the pandemic, the museum was closed)
The town itself though was quite picturesque with the fall colors.
Then, it was on to Ausable Chasm which has a truly incredible set of waterfalls!
Ausable Chasm also has several miles of walking trails which can be accessed for an entry fee. With the clouds threatening to storm, we decided to save the hike for another day, but what you can see from paths right behind the visitors center is enough to tempt you to go back for more.
Another reason to go back when life has returned to our 'new normal' — a visit to the Underground Railroad Museum.
I knew I'd like Ausable as soon as we stood in line and met their host.
Their protocols also made me feel really safe — you're given a table stand to reserve one of the spaced out tables (cleaned by staff the moment you leave), and then you stand in line to order. Easy, clean and safe!
Ledge Hill was a bit quieter, but the same idea. Find your table, order your drinks and food, and enjoy.
Before it gets too cold — plan out an afternoon of outdoor fun. It's exactly what we all need after being cooped up for so long!