As you start a drive west out of Schenectady along the Mohawk River Valley, you begin to feel a little something different in the air. I don't know what it is exactly, but I feel it.

The land flattens out to a valley floor with the Mohawk River and the foothills of the Adirondacks as your companion west. Small towns dot the landscape, some with only a few hundred residents. Erie Canal locks and historic footprints pop up all along your journey. You can sense the aura of history in this region. From the Revolutionary War times through the booming years of the Industrial Revolution, this was a place where history lived.

The small cities and towns, now a shadow of their former selves, have a great DNA. Here was where one could find the "Carpet Capital of the World," and even the "Glove Making Capital of the World,"  Yes, these were economic engines of the past that employed thousands over the years. Heck, the Mohawk Valley was even the place where the famous Cabbage Patch Dolls were made!

We love the larger cities in the valley, like Rome and Utica, but this list is about the other, smaller towns and villages.

We encourage our readers to stop, even if for a few minutes and look around. You are sure to find some history here in the beautiful Mohawk Valley of Upstate New York.

10 Reasons Why We Love the Mohawk Valley

Upstate New York's Mohawk Valley covers about 6,000 square miles. It is a beautiful region of the Empire State with an incredible amount of history to it. The fall is a perfect time to visit this relatively small section of New York State.

13 Famous Upstate NY Homes You've Probably Never Heard Of

Here is an eclectic collection of 13 homes that have wonderful back stories to them. Several are grand mansions, several are museums, one is basically a cabin, and one is attached to a lighthouse. Take a look at these "unknown homes of Upstate New York." And the best thing is that...they are all open to the public for tours!