'Celebrate Cascade' on the Keuka Outlet Trail

Friends of the Outlet
Condemned and beyond repair, the buildings of the old Cascade Mill on the Keuka Outlet are to be razed this summer and the site enhanced for its natural beauty.

Multifaceted event  Sept. 26 offers the last glimpse of the old mill

PENN YAN – Friends of the Outlet (FOTO) invite all age groups and people with varying degrees of “outdoorsy-ness” to Celebrate Cascade, an event happening Sunday, Sept. 26 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Cascade Falls, which is approximately 1.5 miles from the Dresden Trail head at the eastern terminus of the seven mile Keuka Outlet Trail.

The Celebration starts with a half marathon or 10K race in the morning, and then continues into the afternoon with a variety of outdoor opportunities. Free live music will be provided by The Soul Section of Geneva; the “Game of Throws” features a corn hole competition; there will be a food and vendor faire; and many different refreshments including a chicken barbecue dinner.

Condemned and beyond repair, the buildings of the old Cascade Mill on the Keuka Outlet are to be razed this summer and the site enhanced for its natural beauty.

Perhaps most significantly, however, Celebrate Cascade will likely offer a final glimpse of the old mill and manufacturing facilities which had been cited for demolition this summer. The project faced a series of delays due to the complicated permitting process, scheduling, and the weather, as well as COVID-19 concerns, and the environmental deferments to accommodate nesting birdlife.  

“Celebrate Cascade was designed to get people out on the Keuka Outlet Trail to enjoy and appreciate the splendor of an early autumn day. This goal remains fully intact! We hope to make this an annual fall celebration taking full advantage of the new public pavilion and open green space at Cascade Falls,” Phillip Rahr, FOTO president said. “This year, visitors will have a final chance to see the last visages of the fall’s industrial past before the area is returned to its breathtaking natural beauty with more open spaces for picnics, photos ops, fishing, and other recreation activities.”

An undated photo from the chemical plant era shows the building that eventually became the Kelly Tire building in the background and a portion of the structure that has been replaced by the new pavilion in the lower right corner. The structures where the large tank is being placed have been removed along with several smaller concrete structures and foundations.

The earliest history of the Cascade Mill dates back to the 1820s. The remnants of the old facilities that once housed grist mills for flour, corn and grain, as well as the manufacturing of paper, chemicals and even the sale of rubber tires gradually became derelict and dangerous. Chain link and orange plastic fencing has long since been installed to restrict access to the industrial ruins that have become an eyesore and a hazard. The history of 40-foot Cascade Falls and the surrounding area is documented in “A Scrapbook of Cascade Mills on the Keuka Outlet Trail” written by Leona Jensen in 2007 and available at the Penn Yan Public Library. Friends of the Outlet are excited about the next chapter in the history of Cascade Falls as a return to its natural glory, known as the Minnesettah River by the Iroquois Nation, the native Americans who inhabited much of upstate New York.

Runners, hikers, bikers, walkers, music lovers, dancers, corn hole players, or anyone who just loves the outdoors and the autumn air are invited to Celebrate Cascade on September 26, 2021, which is sponsored by Bernunzio Uptown Music of Rochester, The Laurentide of Penn Yan, and Lyons National Bank. The event is free and open to the public and will feature the following:

•   Keuka Outlet Trail Half Marathon & 10K Race; 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Advance registration required.  


• Soul Section; free, live music, noon - 3 p.m.

• Chicken Barbecue; provided by Jay Schoff, 11 a.m. until sold out. Online pre-order & prepayment strongly encouraged: $12 advance / $15 day of (while supplies last)


• “Game of Throws” - Corn Hole Tournament: noon – 3 p.m. $10 Entry Fee – Proceeds benefit PYA Varsity Club. Tournament winners receive a prize packet.

• Refreshments provided by Anthony Road Wine Company, Lake Drum Brewery, Laurentide Beer Company, and Seneca Farms.

• Food Market and Vendor Faire: noon – 3 p.m. Including Seneca Farms Creamery, Lavender Crest Farm, the Primitive Garden Shop, Black Oak Wool Company, Keuka by Crissy – The Art Studio, and Spellcraft Woodworks Hand Made Gifts.

• Free Shuttle Service provided by Keuka Taxi - With limited parking available near the Cascade Falls Pavilion, a free shuttle service will be provided from the Elm Street Sports Complex in Penn Yan to the Cascade Falls.

For further information or to purchase and reserve a chicken barbecue dinner go to www.keukaoutlettrail.org/celebrate

Keuka Outlet Trail

The Keuka Outlet Trail

The Keuka Outlet Trail is open year-round as the waters of Keuka Lake flow approximately eight miles east, dropping 270 feet in altitude from Penn Yan on the west end to Dresden, New York on the east. 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.

New volunteers are always welcome, and those who would like to assist with Celebrate Cascade or seek further information about the Friends of the Outlet go to: https://www.keukaoutlettrail.org/about

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/keukaoutlettrail/

Or contact Phillip Rahr, President of Friends of the Outlet, Inc. by emailing  prahr@keukaoutlettrail.org.