Grasse River Heritage

Grasse River Heritage is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring the Grasse River to a central place in the life of the community of Canton, NY. The islands adjacent to the village, once the industrial heart of Canton, lay for decades neglected and largely abandoned. Then a group of committed citizens came together to create Heritage Park, a unique facility that opened to the public in 2008.

Today Coakley Island is beautifully landscaped and features a covered picnic pavilion and other amenities. From here most visitors cross a restored historic footbridge to the more wooded 4 ½ -acre Falls Island, where interpretive signage explains the natural and cultural history of the site. A shaded trail around the island overlooks the churning cascades and channels of the Grasse as it flows north to the St. Lawrence.

Grasse River Heritage also built and now manages two other parks nearby. Dwight Church Park, at the village entrance, overlooks the Grasse and celebrates the life and contributions of a legendary figure in the history of the community. The Willow Island Sculpture Garden offers a rotating series of outdoor works of art by sculptors of international renown. Read more