The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Hudson River Valley Greenway announced that two projects were completed to improve a total of 4.2 miles of the Empire State Trail in the Capital District, to assure the trails remain accessible to bicyclists, walkers, and runners of all ages and abilities.
In Waterford, the state Hudson River Valley Greenway partnered with Saratoga County to rehabilitate a 1.2-mile section of the Empire State Trail. The project, which is part of the Champlain Canalway Trail, improved a 20-year-old trail section that runs north from Main Street (Route 32) in the village and town of Waterford. Saratoga County constructed the improvements.
A new stonedust surface, safety fencing, and improved trail entrances were installed to facilitate public use. The Hudson River Valley Greenway provided a $275,000 grant to Saratoga County to fund the project, which began in September.
The Waterford trail is built on the towpath of the original Champlain Canal, which operated from 1823 to 1918, until the modern canal was relocated to the Hudson River.
“Improvements to these historic trail corridors provide a great new place for cycling, running, walking and cross-country skiing in Albany and Saratoga counties,” State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. “New York xtate continues to lead the way in enhancing our parks and trails and connecting more people to outdoor recreation.”
Town of Moreau Supervisor and Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Chairman Theodore T. Kusnierz, Jr. said, “Saratoga County takes great pride in its vast trail system and many recreational opportunities from Waterford north along the Hudson River and all points in between. These improvements to the trail along the historic Hudson River will be enjoyed by our residents and visitors alike for years to come. I am extremely proud of the Saratoga County design and construction team for their work on this project and thank Hudson River Valley Greenway and State officials for their investment in our great county.”
Town of Waterford Supervisor John Lawler said, “Here in Waterford, we proudly welcome visitors from around the world who travel through the waterways of the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers and the Erie and Champlain Canals. These improvements to the Empire State Trail along the Champlain Canal corridor will attract visitors and residents alike who will enjoy a scenic trip through historic Waterford. I thank the State of New York and County of Saratoga for their work in refurbishing this trail.”
The Waterford and Cohoes paths are part of the Empire State Trail, a 750-mile bicycling, walking, and hiking route that runs from Buffalo to Albany along the Erie Canalway Trail, and from New York City through the Hudson and Champlain Valleys to Canada.