Whetstone Gulf State Park
Lowville, NY

One of the many places of Prayer in Upstate NY.

It is easy to get swayed by the majestic and panoramic views along its canyon rims. Its unique geological make-up, flora and cascading waterfalls, give it a primal feel as though time had passed it by and nothing has changed in the last few thousand years. Then there is a sense that this gulf has been revered and used by many people long before European settlers came here. The numerous sacred sites located along the canyon rim testify to it. No doubt Whetstone Gulf State Park located on Rte 26 in Lowville is a special place, but donít let yourself be too swayed by your physical senses or you will miss out.

Glacial Retreat

Whetstone Gulf was created by the retreating glaciers that once covered much of New York State. Along the Tug Hill Plateau there are many gulfs, which some call canyons or chasms that stand as a testimony to the power of Mother Nature. The other noteworthy gulf is Inman Gulf located in the Tug Hill State Forest.

The Tug Hill plateau is noted for its abundant snowfall that comes from Lake Ontario and other great Lakes to the west (called Lake Effect Snow). Because of all the snow homes often have a secondary entrance on the second floor since cumulative snowfall can reach well over 10 feet.

Whetstone Gulf is also part of the ďLesser WildernessĒ, the Adirondacks being the Greater Wilderness, for its remote and primitive nature. Today snowmobiles in the winter time and ATVís in the summer time run rough shod over the uninhabited terrain.

Whetstone Gulf Rim Trail

At its basin entrance on Route 26, there are numerous campsites, a picnic area, a manmade swimming area and a creek. The north and south rim trails both begin from the basin and connect at the far end of the park making a 5 to 6 mile trail.

The rim trail affords spectacular views of the gulf below. At times you will be walking precariously close to the canyon of several hundred feet. While the trail is well worn, you will find roots, wet areas, streams to cross that can add to the suspense. Caution is urged. Trees will block your view at times and you will be right at the edge.

North Rimís Sacred Site

At the far or western end of the north rim there is large stand of pine trees. You can walk there but I suggest taking Corrigan Hill Road (dirt road) out of Martinsburg just south of Lowville. A few miles in you will find a field of large windmills on your right hand side Look for the pine woods on your left. Because they were planted by the DEC, they are symmetrically placed, are of the same height and size, and have almost no brush below them. You will see a trail going in with signs warning ATVís to enteróthey donít listen. Donít worry, this part of the Lesser Wilderness is not an ATV haven.

You are less than a 100 yards from the rim. You will be walking south. To the right there are several fields of consciousness close to the rim. To the right (west) of the trail, about 30-40 feet in, you will find a circle of stones that I made tracing out the energy lines of a sacred circle created by the Spirit Keepers. (Prayer can attract and create energy lines, like the human body raises kundalini energy). There are two more sacred sites going further west and north of the rim that I have covered with stones, creating two mini mounds. These would all be good places to meditate or pray.

Experiencing Whetstone

There are several places near the rim in the stand of woods one can meditate. The views are spectacular. While your eyes will be closed, you will have the sense of the spectacular associated with mountain mystics or western Native American traditions. If so, I suggest you perform spiritual practices to take advantage of that.

The geographic samskaras were all positive in the stand of pines and for most of the northern rim going west until it intersects with the southern rim. While it had both strongly negative and positive components, the overall positive reading is a confirmation of the good.

Older, well used and lived by sites carry the thoughts and actions of many civilizations that have come before. Sadly, I say very sadly, we, humanity, have not always lived up to Godís expectations and well- lived places most often represent this. To have a positive reading, albeit a large negative component, speaks volumes of the spiritual character and possibility of the place. The prayers and good thoughts that took place there on the fields of consciousness still resonate and the beauty and selection of planting of the trees are all a testament to this. Excellent.

Because this is an old site, we urge caution when walking or visiting or parts of the park or trail. While we did not walk or visit many other places, we did find negative samskaras. Do not let this disturb you; just realize I am not recommending going to other places for a soulful connection.

Getting There

Whetstone Gulf Park is located on 6065 West Road in Lowville NY. Actually it is south of Lowville in Corrigan Hill Road (dirt road).

I have only been to Whetstone Gulf a few times. We had planned a fall hike and found sacred sites. Like so many places we have decided to work to improve Whetstone gulf, expand the area beyond the stand of pine woods, through meditation, ceremony and smudging. We ask that you join us in this effort. Give some love and take in some spectacular views.

Madis Senner

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