Forbidden Path; Indigenous History Right Under Our Feet

Forbidden Path; Indigenous History Right Under Our FeetPictured is the recently erected sign on Forbidden Path. Provided photo.

Autumn. What an extraordinarily beautiful time of year here in the Valley. As your eyes take in the breathtaking forest colors and river views, do you ever imagine what it looked like 100 years ago? Five hundred years ago?

Back then the land would have had Native American villages right here on the land beneath our feet, our homes and highways. Their “highways” were delineated paths known by the indigenous people throughout the region.

One well-known path began right here in Athens. It was called the Forbidden Path. It began at Tioga Point and ran west through Elmira and Corning to Olean.  It was thus named as white people were forbidden to travel the path.

Although historians do not agree on the exact location of the Forbidden Path, the Carantouan Greenway sought to honor the nation’s indigenous people by referring to this historic route while naming the hiking trail that begins in Waverly. A hike along the Forbidden Path will lead you to the Carantouan Spring, a spring fed pool that provided drinking water for the Anadaste.

As the Native Americans respected nature, the Greenway recently erected signs to remind visitors to respect the trail for themselves and others. The Forbidden Path’s trailhead can be found on the west side of the intersection of Rt. 220 and 17C in Waverly, N.Y.

They encourage you to take a trip outdoors to appreciate both nature and history.

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