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Moss Island in Little Falls, New York is an igneous intrusion of Syenite in the Mohawk Valley with the Little Falls at one end. It became an island when locks were built so boats could avoid the 40 ft falls. It is known for its extremely large (40-50 ft) potholes as well as being popular with local rock climbers. It was declared a National Natural Landmark in May 1976. There are ongoing efforts by the local community to turn Moss Island into a New York State Park.
Moss Island is 1500 feet long and 625 feet wide.  It is bordered by the Mohawk River on the north and the NYS Barge Canal to the south. It is covered in dwarf oak trees. Glacial striation, also known as glacial scrapes, are visible in some places.
The potholes were created by huge volumes of water falling over a prehistoric cataract once located here, much like modern day Niagara Falls. At that time, perhaps 20,000-80,000 years ago, the Great Lakes drained through the Mohawk Valley / Hudson River because the St. Lawrence River was blocked by glaciers.
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The first locks around the waterfall were created in 1793. A dry 19th century Eire Canal lock (Enlarged Erie Canal Lock #36) is located next to the southeastern service road. The current Lock 17 is one of the tallest locks of its type in the world and the largest in the NYS Barge Canal system. The lock uses a guillotine gate on its eastern side.
In 1974, the New York State Thruway was planning to build a bridge over Moss Island, but after negative publicity, it was rerouted around the island.
Moss Island is locally known for its rock climbing. It also provides access to disabled fishermen. The lock operation can be viewed up close. A walkway next to the guillotine gate is available to cross the canal. Admission to parking, the lock and Moss Island is free.
Moss Island has long been rumored to be a center point for occult ceremonies, rituals and sacrifice in the Mohawk Valley. Evidenced by markings of the Brotherhood of the Snake logo on several rock fissures.
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