Good news for Washington County: significant progress is being made in the Town of Kingsbury on the Champlain Canalway Trail. This brings New York one step closer to closing the gaps in the Empire State Trail network.For many years, the hamlet Dunham’s Basin posed a likely insurmountable obstacle to the completion of any trail along the Champlain in that area, as well as dangerous for users. Efforts by the local government was stymied due to unsafe crossing conditions at State Route 196 and Bond Creek running into the canal, formerly the Feeder Canal. With adequate funding for Empire State Trail construction, these issues have been resolved. In the space of a quarter mile, two bridges are being built to cross the old Champlain Canal and Bond Creek. The highway was recently closed for two weeks to install concrete sections to make a tunnel under the road. A pedestrian tunnel has been installed under State Route 196 to create safer traveling conditions for users. This tunnel will connect the bridges with Towpath Road. Once these sections are completed, we can look forward to there being a continuous trail from the Schuyler House in Schuylerville to the village of Fort Ann, a distance of about 25 miles.
The exceptionally scenic Champlain Canal corridor provides access to public boat docks, parks, and charming, local attractions. Construction for the Empire State Trail is expected to be completed by the end of 2020, closing critical gaps, making it easier and safer for New Yorkers and visitors to bicycling infrastructure.