Late summer and fall brought two important steps forward for the Champlain Canalway Trail in its southern portion. In early summer, the Town of Halfmoon officially unveiled a new segment of the trail that extends the previously existing trail southward to the Waterford town line. This half-mile addition follows the towpath of the historic Champlain Canal and leaves just a little more than a mile in northern Halfmoon, linking it to Mechanicville, yet to be built.
Town Supervisor Kevin Tollison helps cut the ribbon on the new trail section in Halfmoon
Then in October, CHA Consulting presented to the public its recommendations for the last remaining segment of the CCT in Waterford that will connect the new trail section described above southward to Waterford’s existing trail. Just under a mile in length, this portion will be a combination of off-road and on-road trail and will pass over a now-closed landfill behind the Momentive plant on Rt. 4. Once CHA’s report is finalized, this trail will be “shovel-ready” and the search for construction funds will begin to complete the CCT in Waterford. Funding for this design work came from the Federal Scenic Byways Program via a grant obtained by Lakes to Locks Passage.
News from the Champlain Canalway Trail
A long-planned visitor center immediately adjacent to the Champlain Canalway Trail (CCT) in Schuylerville may soon come into being. Located close to the mid-point of the CCT, the Champlain Canal Region Gateway Visitor Center, will be built on Route 29/Ferry Street close to Fort Hardy Park and the Field of Grounded Arms, where General Burgoyne’s troops surrendered their weapons following defeat at the Battles of Saratoga. The center also will be within sight of an intact section of the historic Champlain Canal.
A collaborative effort between Lakes-to-Locks Passage, the Historic Hudson – Hoosic Rivers Partnership, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, Saratoga National Historical Park, the Town of Saratoga, Saratoga County and others, the center will provide information about communities and historic, natural, cultural and recreational experiences along the Lakes to Locks Passage Scenic Byway and the CCT.
Funding for the project came from a number of New York and Federal grants, as well as a generous donation of timber from Saratoga County. The recently-passed New York State budget included an additional $250,000 to support the construction. Currently, construction is expected to begin this summer and be completed by summer of 2017. During this same timeframe, a short segment of the CCT in Schuylerville is expected to be completed. With that gap closed, the visitor center will be connected directly by trail to the General Philip Schuyler House to the south and to Hudson Crossing Park and Washington County via the Dix Bridge to the north.