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Audio Tour of Keuka Outlet Trail Now Available


As Yates County celebrates its 200th anniversary, Friends of the Outlet, Inc. (FOTO) has released a new free audio tour honoring the history of the trail that stretches across Yates County from Penn Yan to Dresden. As you hike, jog, ride, or otherwise move across the county on the Keuka Outlet Trail, you can now hear stories about the trail’s history as told by volunteers from Friends of the Outlet’s board of directors.

The 18 audio tour sites are numbered from west to east, and the direction that the Keuka Outlet, historically known as the Minnesetah River flows. Trail visitors can visit the sites and listen in any order.

Keith Prather, FOTO Vice President and leader of the project explains, “We don’t expect the average trail user to listen to the entire tour in a single trip. However people choose to navigate the trail, we wanted to give them a new way to discover the trail and its history.”

The tour will take you from end to end on the seven-mile path with tales of many historic sites, including mills, remnants of the canal and railroad which once traveled the site. There is even a special feature giving tribute to Yates County’s poet laureate, Ralph Seager (1911-2008). Seager composed a poem,”The Outlet Trail,” which is available as a poster from Friends of the Outlet, and can be heard in his own voice as part of the audio tour.

“Deb (Clancy, board member and friend of Seager) brought me a flash drive,” recounts former FOTO president Phil Rahr. “When I opened it and heard Ralph Seager reading ‘The Outlet Trail’, I knew what had to be done. I’m thrilled that I was able to restore the audio and that we can share his voice with the world.”

The balance of the voices that can be heard on the tour are those of board members Phil Rahr, Jason Saner, Deb Clancy, VP Keith Prather, and president Steve Stork. Stork praised the team effort, “Our volunteers continue to impress me. When we started creating the audio tour, we thought we would need to hire a recording company to produce it. As with other projects, once we got started, we realized we had all the talent we needed right in the room.”

Trail visitors can soon look for special “QR” codes that they can scan on their smartphones and have ready access to the tour. Bring your own earbuds! The following link opens the Keuka Outlet Trail Audio Tour in Spotify.

The Keuka Outlet Trail follows the Minnesetah River and is open year-round, dusk to dawn. Depending on the time of year and weather, this glacially formed waterway can be a raging river or a babbling brook as it flows eastward approximately eight miles from Keuka Lake into Seneca Lake. A 270 foot drop in altitude from Penn Yan in the west end to Dresden, New York on the east provides ample white water including two waterfalls, notably Seneca and Cascade Falls. In 1984, a group of local citizens formed Friends of the Outlet, Inc. as a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserve, protect and develop properties along Keuka Outlet creek as an area for outdoor recreation and education, and to serve as responsible stewards for the region’s natural resources.

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