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Montville Falls / Decker Creek Falls - Cayuga County

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Re: Montville Falls / Decker Creek Falls - Cayuga County

Postby OakTimber » Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:18 am

If you walk up Decker Creek a good ways past the other pictures in this posting you are in for a real treat
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Re: Montville Falls / Decker Creek Falls - Cayuga County

Postby hobkyl » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:51 am

Wow! Nice :up: welcome to the community OakTimber!
“There’s an inconsequentiality to our lives that living in the wilderness shows up. Mountain are real, they set their limits, they set ours. They expose us, make us vulnerable and strong at the same time. “
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Re: Montville Falls / Decker Creek Falls - Cayuga County

Postby hobkyl » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:32 pm

I have permission to access these falls from the property owner; hope to make it this year. :joy:
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Re: Montville Falls / Decker Creek Falls - Cayuga County

Postby champy1013 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:15 am

Let me know when you go, I'll join you, it's only about a 15-20 min drive from my place
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Re: Montville Falls / Decker Creek Falls - Cayuga County

Postby hobkyl » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:48 am

Will do. Probably looking at a June timeframe, unless my work schedule changes.
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Re: Montville Falls / Decker Creek Falls - Cayuga County

Postby nostalgic » Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:03 pm

I grew up as a nerdy tomboy in Moravia in the 60's and 70's and spent a lot of time playing and exploring in the woods and both of these creeks. I was in the hometown last weekend for a family funeral for the first time in over 15 years. I had no time or foot gear for hiking, but, was hoping for a chance to see a bit of my old haunts.

Used to be, we could walk or ride bikes on the gravel road, past the old bean mill, all the way back to where there was a wide pool. You would then bear left to follow upstream to where the two creeks came together. I was just hoping to go down that gravel road a bit.

I was sooo disappointed to see the No Trespassing sign. The house that is there now, I don't even remember. If a structure was originally there back then, it was old and gray, and has certainly been entirely rebuilt into a house, because where the lawn is now is exactly where the gravel road used to go.

I loved reading the descriptions of the above posters, even without the pictures I could envision all those spots. I also used to access Decker from the left hand side of the creek. That entailed a hike down the ravine from the edge of a cornfield. The ravine was threaded with many deer trails that lead me to some great spots.

I know property owners have rights, but I too question the owner "owning" the creek so much that you could not walk up the creek bed. (Not something you could do in early spring, but later spring and summer would be doable). I actually think the state owns public fishing rights along that stretch.

I don't know if I'll ever be back, but if I do come back, I would take a chance at parking along one of the quiet side streets and then accessing the creek by the bridge. I don't think I would try coming down from the cemetery. I remember looking up the ravine on that side of the creek, I never was tempted to explore that side.
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Re: Montville Falls / Decker Creek Falls - Cayuga County

Postby nostalgic » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:59 pm

Hi, I am back, having spent some time researching about my favorite creeks in my old home town.

Looks like Mr. Cranky at 65 East Cayuga St may have some basis for denying access to those of us who would like to walk up the creek bed past his home. The first 2 web sites explain public access laws in NY state.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/44869.html
http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7746.html

This next website gives a map where the state has purchased easements along this watershed. They exist on Dresserville Creek above the junction with Decker. Below the junction, the stream is identified as Mill Creek, and no public access is shown near the area where Mill Creek goes under Rt. 38:

http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/fish_marine_ ... scrpfr.pdf

I have some more interesting factoids that I will post separately. Hope someone appreciates these!
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Re: Montville Falls / Decker Creek Falls - Cayuga County

Postby nostalgic » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:26 am

Ok, now I deal with, what happened to change the access from E. Cayuga Street? Like I said in my earlier post, what I remember from high school years is being able to ride my bike past the bean plant, along the creek, all the way back to where there was a big pool (depending on the time of the year) and where the stream took a crook to the left (north? North east?)

When I saw the dwelling whose lawn blocked the gravel path we had enjoyed walking or riding along, this was so totally different from my memory, it was an unpleasant and unsettling thing. Specially with that no trespassing sign so prominent. I had to find out what had changed, had my memory been playing tricks on me?

So I looked to find old pictures of the mill. This one is really old, before my time, but, it definitely portrays that the site was anything but residential for years and years:

http://www.nonesuchfolks.com/images/Mor ... l_191x.jpg

How much of those buildings were actually still there when I was enjoying the creeks, I can’t say. But, I can tell you that two of my four brothers were employed in that mill for summer jobs while I was growing up, so it was still a working mill at that time.

This website and others describe that the mill had become structurally unsound, so that most of the buildings were torn down in 2004.
Public records show that the property was last sold for $10,000 in 2008.

http://www.realtor.com/property-detail/ ... source=web

If you look at the aerial view on this site, there are remnants of the mill close to the street. Back further and closer to the creek is what is the residential structure. Based on what I saw in person, and what I can glean from various photos, the new owner reconstructed a remaining structure into a residential dwelling. Kudos to him. The property is not for sale currently, but here’s a website that is ascribing a healthy property value:

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/65-E- ... 4664_zpid/

and so goes public access to a wonderful bit of wilderness…..
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Re: Montville Falls / Decker Creek Falls - Cayuga County

Postby Matt » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:46 am

Very interesting information. :up:
Thanks!
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Re: Montville Falls / Decker Creek Falls - Cayuga County

Postby nostalgic » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:14 pm

Thanks, Matt.

Check these out:

http://www.nonesuchfolks.com/Montville_SylvanLake.htm

I did a little studying on the history of Moravia - I found bits and pieces here and there and tried to envision from what I remember along the creeks. This one reference is really long and it wouldn't let me copy and paste.

http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/ ... 500456.pdf

Unless you want to read the whole thing, skip ahead to the bottom of page 5 (of 25!).
They talk about Goodrich and Pierce creeks, here, these have to be earlier names for Decker and Dresserville. (I stumbled on other references and older maps using these names as well). Not only is this area rich because of its natural beauty, it is also steeped in history.

Over time several dams were built on Dresserville, Decker, and Mill creeks. The dam on Mill Creek, described on page 6, created a manmade lake (Sylvan Lake) The pictures of Sylvan Lake would have been taken from the area at the end of the gravel road behind the mill, the same road I used to ride my bike down.
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