Champlain Battle at Nicholls Pond  LbNA # 11014 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateSep 19 2004
LocationCanastota, NY
Found By T-N-T
Last Found Apr 26 2010
Hike Distance?

************Box has been put back into place 4/8/05*********

This Lb is located in a charming and historic county park, and yields a hand-carved stamp, with a hike (about 3/4 mile- in & out) through a lovely wooded path of easy to moderate difficulty. Bring bug spray during blackfly and mosquito season.

Madison County is the centuries-old home of the Oneida Indians, and even to this day there is certain tension between their descendants and the 'non-native' landowners in the area. But almost 400 years ago, the first white man to visit the area, (noneother than the famous French explorer, Samuel de Champlain), brought a peaceful Oneida village at this quiet pond their first experience with guns and gunfire! In a days-long battle Champlain and his men, acting as allies of the Iroquois' fiercest enemies-the Huron Indians of Canada-provided covering fire for the Huron raid. Champlain was apparently trying to curry favor with the Canadian tribesmen with whom he traded, but the only lasting result of this battle was the undying enmity he (and all subsequent French settlers) earned from the powerful Iroquois Confederation. The Iroquois remained staunch allies of the English settlers who were to follow the French, and remained so right into the American Revolution.

Your route begins as you leave the NYS Thruway at the Canastota exit. Turn left and travel South all the way through the village of Canastota. Just south of 'town' Rte. 13 (which you've been on up to now) joins Rte. 5 at a 4-way stop light. The road you're on as you face the light becomes Oxbow Road as you continue south. Travel further on it for 4.1 miles, and turn Right onto Alene Corners Road (a green & white sign also tells you this is the way to Nicholls Pond Park). After only about 3/10 mile, turn Left onto Nicholls Pond Road, where another little sign will tell you you're still on track. At about 6/10 mile down N-P Rd. an entrance to the park will be found on your right. Turn in and park anywhere in the gravel lot.

After reading the blue state historic sign at the edge of the parking lot, focus your attention on the paved path leading through a gate opening in the low fence and approach the covered sign & map of the park just a few yards inside of that gate. Be especially mindful of the Orange Trail marked on the map. It is along this "Deep Woods Nature Trail" that you will find what you are seeking! As you face the sign, a compass heading of 345 degrees will show you where the trailhead enters the woods at the field's edge. Procede to the trailhead and cross a small wooden bridge and begin following the orange blazes into the woods. You'll be on this trail for @ 3/8 mile. As you hike along you will pass the pond's edge on the left.....feel free to enjoy the view and the wildlife here! As you hike on bear left as a blue-blazed trail runs off to the right, taking visitors to the Indian Grain Pits across the road. (You may have noticed these as you approached the park entrance.... you can take a side-trip to see them, but keep in mind the distance is not estimated, and you'll have to turn right upon rejoining the orange path to journey on.) Somewhat down the orange trail, you will come to a fork where the 'loop' you should have noticed on the park map begins and ends. A double orange blaze on a good-sized pine on the right hand of the trail lets you know that you're at the right place. Take the fork to the right, which rises away from the pond now behind you, and hike on a bit more. About halfway along the loop, you will see that a significant trail joins you on the right, and travels also parallel to the orange trail. Stop here and study this area with your eyes. Standing on the orange trail, you will note an ancient stone wall running along between the new path on the right and the Deep Woods trail you're on. Look down the orange path and you will see a fallen log about 30 paces further on, with its 'head' sticking into the edge of the trail from the right. Walk down to where this log sticks into the trail. Standing at the log look back toward the wall. You should see where a Y-forked tree has fallen with its crotch right against a scaly barked tree near the wall. (You're really close now!) Follow the trunk of this fallen tree to where it lies on top of a large, mossy rock that is a part of the ancient wall. In a hollow formed under the left end of this rock is where you'll find your treasure. As you stamp-in, please be careful of this ancient wall as some of its stones are a bit tippy. The land on the other side of the wall has been re-claimed by the Oneidas, and they view the park and its neighborhood as a sacred precinct. BE RESPECTFUL, please, and be careful to hide the box exactly as you found it with a nice flat rock on top to conceal it.

At the time we placed this box, heavy rains, storms, and trail-making activity have made the exact route of the loop hard to figure beyond this point, so we advise you to return by retracing your steps back to the field. (You may become lost if you continue on, so please be advised!)

Thank you for visitng our site. You can make it a 'two-fer' by turning right on N-P Rd. as you exit the park, turning Right again at the nearby intersection of Mile Strip Road. (At the top of the hill ahead you can find our "Fenner Wind Farm" Lb -specific directions can be found under that heading at the site.) If you've got some time after that, our Lb. "Outstanding in Our Field" can be found further South on Oxbow if you retrace Mile Strip to Oxbow and turn right! More Madison County boxes are planned in the near future. Please contact us at if the box is damaged or missing.