A couple of years ago, I did a photo essay of the “lost” parts of my suburban Latham neighborhood called Hidden in Suburbia. The heart of the piece centered upon a hike I did down a surprisingly dangerous (and all the more beautiful for it) creek bed that runs from Haswell Road down to the City of Watervliet, where it goes underground until draining into the Hudson River. The topo and other maps I consulted never named it, so I dubbed it “The Great Gorge of Goopy” in my essay, and prominently featured a tower-like water drainage feature that I called “Castle Goopy.”
I have received numerous e-mails over the years from folks who either grew up running around those woods, or discovered them as adults, the way I did. I got some answers to some question I’d raised, including discovering the proper name of the gorge, which is actually The Dry River. (See photo of a new sign to the left, courtesy of Bill Mischler). The Castle itself was part of the City of Watervliet’s water supply system. Locals knew it as “The Witch’s Castle,” and once you’ve seen it, it’s easy to understand why they did. It was actually pretty creepy to come upon it unexpectedly deep in the woods the first time I saw it.
I’m glad to know that other people are interested in this sort of stuff. There are several new developments that either have or will encroach significantly upon the Dry River. I’m glad I saw it when I did. Hopefully it’s wild and steep enough to endure the pressures of suburban creep.
To see other Hidden in Suburbia photo essays, click here.