This winter represents the second year that a snowmobile trail has followed the Empire State Trail/Champlain Canalway Trail bike path in the towns of Kingsbury and Fort Ann. A significant portion of this Champlain Canalway Trail route has been a snowmobile trail for several decades. The completed trail now has created a complete 6-mile trail connecting two major snowmobile routes in Washington County. Empire State Trail funding resulted in two substantial bridges being built in that area allowing the complete off-ice route.
In order for the two bridges to be protected from winter use, the local snowmobile clubs invested several thousand dollars in plywood to cover the two bridge decks. The Kingsbury Barnstormers owns three large trail groomers, two of which operate on the trail in winter to keep the route groomed flat for snowmobile use. Signage, in compliance with State Parks guidelines, was installed along the six miles.
One section of the new Canalway Trail is paved. When that section was being built there was extra room cleared for a snowmobile trail to run alongside the bike trail rather than on the pavement. This new section of the Champlain Canalway Trail/Empire State Trail was used by many snowmobilers last winter during an abbreviated season. We hope Mother Nature is kinder to snow lovers this season.
Contributed by Dave Perkins, Champlain Canalway Trail Working Group