On August 20, 43 bicyclists left Hudson Crossing Park near Schuylerville under sunny skies as part of the 6th annual Champlain Canalway Trail (CCT) Bicycle Tour organized by the Champlain Canalway Trail Working Group. Their goal: explore historic sites and other attractions along the CCT and Glens Falls Feeder Canal corridors north to Hudson Falls.
Several “firsts” highlighted this year’s tour. The riders started off by crossing the historic Dix Bridge into Washington County for the first time since the bridge was renovated to carry the CCT across the Hudson River. From there, the group rode north along the designated CCT route, with a stop in Fort Edward at a recently-rediscovered mule barn dating back to the original canal built in the early 1800s. Riders were met there by the current owners with water and snacks plus background on the structure.
Just days before the tour, the Feeder Canal Trail from near Fort Edward to the Five Combination Locks was closed due to the appearance of a rabid coyote. Tour organizers rose to the challenge with an alternative on-road route to the trail northwest of the closure. From there, participants continued to Murray Park in Hudson Falls for lunch, provided by Forged restaurant. For extra energy, some riders visited Jack & Jill’s Ice Cream next door!
After learning about the nearby old coal silos on the Feeder Canal, the riders returned to Lock 7 at Fort Edward, where about half the group boarded Mohawk Maiden Cruises’ paddle-wheeler for the return to the starting point. The others biked back.
The tour’s success is due to the support of many, including The Inside Edge (support vehicle and staff), the Hudson Falls Police Department, Glens Falls Hospital Health Promotion Center, the Feeder Canal Alliance, Parks & Trails New York, Hudson Crossing Park, Adirondack Ultra Cycling, Lakes to Locks Passage, and numerous volunteers.