Category Archives: Albany County Rail Trail

A Century of Riding Bliss

A Century of Riding Bliss

 As another step toward exploring all the bicycle paths in New York State, cyclist Ed set out over the 2016 Labor Day Weekend to complete the following Century.charlton_pumpkin-comp

Summary – Home in the New Scotland Ave. area of Albany – to Slingerlands, Albany, Mechanicville, Ballston Spa, Amsterdam, Niskayuna, and back to home. Total per Google maps – 107.6 miles and with various diversions – 115.0 miles.

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  • 2.2 miles Home to Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail
  • 7.0 miles Albany County Rail Trail to Corning Riverfront Park/Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail
  • 5.0 miles to Watervliet
  • 5.8 miles through Watervliet/Green Island to Black Bridge and the Delaware Ave. Trail through Van Schaick Island and Peebles Island, Cohoes, to Waterford.
  • 9.0 miles Rt. 4 from Waterford to Brookwood Rd. to Old Champlain Canal Trail (gravel) Upper Newton Rd. to Rt. 4 to Mechanicville/Main St.
  • 4.1 miles South St. /Pruyn Hill Rd. climbs to Johnson Rd., right onto Staniak Rd., to Coons Crossing Rd., to Zim Smith Mid-County Trail
  • 9.1 miles Zim Smith Mid-County Trail to Ballston Spa
  • 0.8 miles left E. High St. right Low St. to Ballston Spa Front Street Park
  • 3.6 miles Rt. 67/Rt. 50 South from Ballston Spa to left Outlet Rd.
  • 4.0 miles outlet Rd., right on Ballston Bicycle Path to Ballston Lake, right on 146A
  • Few yards north on 146A, left on Lake Hill Rd.
  • 15.2 miles Lake Hill Rd. becoming Stage Rd. in Charlton, jog left to Maple Ave. Left on Packer Rd. to EaSt.ern Ave. becoming WeSt.ern Ave. in West Charlton. Right Westline Rd. Left Waite Rd. to Rt. 67 north of Amsterdam
  • 4.8 miles Left Rt. 67 to Amsterdam to roof of Riverfront Center parking lot (this included about 2 extra miles looping around downtown Amsterdam looking for the route to cross to the Riverfront Park/Gateway Overlook Bridge.
  • 0.5 mile bridge/elevator from roof of Riverfront to “Riverlink Park.” Over the new (August 2016) Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook Bridge to Erie Canalway Trail just past Erie St. amsterdam_finding_way_to_new_bridge-comp

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  • 29.0 miles Canalway Trail/5S thru Pattersonville, Rotterdam Junction, Schenectady over to Scotia – on a (nasty, nameless) trail at end of Collins Park to Freemans Bridge
  • Back to Schenectady/Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail to Lions Park, Niskayuna
  • 3.2 miles Left Old River Rd., Right Rosendale Rd., Left Rt. 7, right British American Blvd (bike lanes) to Cornell Rd., to Shaker Trail (paved), and to left on Airline Dr
  • 2.3 miles Airline Dr that becomes S. Family Drive to left on Sand Creek. Sand Creek to right Morello Drive – left on Central 1 block, to Lincoln Ave.
  • 3.2 miles Lincoln to the City Dump and Six Mile Waterworks Trail, Rt. on Multi-Use Trail along Fuller to Circle by UAlbany, Tricentennial Dr.
  • 4.6 miles UALBANY Bike Path to WeSt.ern Ave., left on WeSt.ern to HomeSt.ead, left on Hazlehurst which becomes Berkshire to Right on Ormond becomes Friebel Rd. / left on Krumkill to New Scotland, Right on New Scotland, and back home.

This is a good ride to gain an appreciation of the touring opportunities in the area.  The ride could be broken up into two or three segments for those wanting to commit to a “century” ride. [Ed.]

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Filed under Albany County Rail Trail, Local Bike Rides, Rail Trail, Rides

D&H Rail Trails are Not Just in Albany!

If you’re cruising north through Vermont and end up in Poultney, you’ll be pleased to find one segment of another D&H rail trail. If you also have your Brompton in the trunk, you can enjoy an arrow-straight ride starting in Poultney and running south to the NY border or north to Castleton, VT. There’s also a second (unconnected) segment running between West Rupert and West Pawlet. The section south of Poultney has a surface more suited to walking/jogging and mountain/fat tire biking. Thin-tire people will not be amused. In any case, the ride is pleasant and the scenery great.

History buffs will recall the D&H billed itself as the “bridge route” to connect northern Pennsylvania and Eastern NY to Canada and had its start hauling the “tank bombs” of yesteryear from the anthracite coalfields around Honesdale, PA.

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NY Bound

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That’s a Lotta Slate!

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Just a short time ago …

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Along the Trail

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Filed under Albany County Rail Trail, City Review, Comings and Goings

Finally ! Ribbon Cutting for Rail Trail

Ribbon Cutting for the Albany County Rail Trail from Albany to Delmar – Mon, 5/23, 10:30 AM

  • Monday
  • May 23
  • 10:30 am
  • Where? – On the trail at Stewart’s, 309 Delaware Ave. Delmar.

Albany County will hold a ribbon cutting and celebration of the completion of the latest phase of the Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail. County Executive McCoy, Bethlehem Town Supervisor Clarkson, and Executive Director of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy King will mark the opening of the three-mile trail between Delmar and South Pearl St.

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Bliss!

What’s Next?

  • There is a cooperative effort to pave the four miles of trail from Adams St. to Firefighters’ Park in Slingerlands to be completed this year. The Delmar-Voorheesville portion is scheduled for 2017.
  •  At the other end of the trail in Albany, under city contract, Alta Planning + Design are conducting a feasibility/design study of this critical 1.3-mile connection between the S. Pearl trailhead and the Corning Riverfront Park/Albany waterfront. See the preferred route here.
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$5,000,000 Project at the Waterfront

 

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Filed under Albany County Rail Trail, City Review, Support the Cause

Celebrating Trails in the Area – Not Once But Twice in the Same Issue of the Times Union!

South End Bikeway LinkCelebrating Trails in the Area – Not Once But Twice in the Same Issue of the Times Union!

Letters in the Albany Times Union – 4/17/16

#1 – Erin Walsh wrote about the Uncle Sam 3.1-mile paved rail-trail that runs through North Troy and Lansingburgh. She reported renewed interest in the trail, highlighting its value to the immediate community and the greater Capital Region. She noted that Capital Roots, Transport Troy, the National Park Service, Troy Bike Rescue, and Troy city have all taken an interest in the trail’s renewal.

You’ll have a chance to –

  • do trail cleanup on 4/23
  • join a community bike ride on 5/22
  • take a historical and nature walk on 6/4
  • join a community bike ride on 9/24 – the famous “Collar City Ramble”

Erin is an enthusiastic supporter of complete streets and other pro-pedestrian/cyclist initiatives in Troy and the Capital Region. Contact

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#2 – For those who choose not to read the paper paper, you’ll miss the wonderful map of the South End Bikeway Link created by local artist and bon vivant, Frank Smith. I hope that you’ll soon be seeing this map elsewhere in the City of Albany.

In any case, the illustrative map highlights better than words the essence of this second letter – a call for immediate completion of a safe and protected connecting link between the Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail trailhead on S. Pearl St. and the \southern terminus of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail at the Slater/Dutch Apple moorings.

Under city contract, Alta Planning + Design is conducting a feasibility/design study of this critical 1.3-mile link. Stay alert for meetings hosted by the city and Alta.

Just think – Voorheesville to Buffalo on an (almost) continuous trail!

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Filed under Activism, Albany County Rail Trail, Erie Canal Trail, protected bicycle lanes, South End Bike Link

What’s Goin’ On? Albany County Public Meeting on the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail

lbany County Public Meeting on the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail –  1/12/16

Albany County hosted an informational meeting for the public on the status of the new Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail. The speakers were representatives from the Albany County Executive’s office. Albany Bicycle Coalition members compiled the following notes.

Phase III – Veterans Park, Delmar to S. Pearl St., Albany is nearing completion and will ave a ribbon cutting ceremony in the spring of 2016. Paving is now complete.

Things that held up the opening were shoring up of the creek issues that cost an extra $350,000 and the Delaware Ave. Bridge that took longer than anticipated (see photo).

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A Hard, Ditty, Long Job at Delaware Ave Bridge

Minor things still to be completed – Fencing along trail, “gateway entrances” with kiosks, signage, etc. at Booth Rd. and other places. Mileage markers will be installed every half mile.

Cost of phase I, $3.2 million, 80% federal, 20% county

Parking in Delmar is limited at present (pointed out by members of the public). The county responded that it did not anticipate how many people would drive to the trail; they assumed that in Delmar, users would be walking or biking to the trail. The county will have to look into it.

At S. Pearl St., work is in progress on pedestrian crossing signals.

No garbage cans planned at present, due to extra expense required to cart trash away.

No good Rockefeller Rd. access at this time. They are “looking” at it. Possibly, there could be a winding path from the road down to the path. No new bridge will be built to replace the demolished bridge, as it is too expensive.

Phase II – Slingerlands Fire Department to Veterans Park, Delmar) – 9,000 foot long. Have money for paving a 3,000 foot section in 2016. The town and county are negotiating on the remaining 6,000 ft. It should be completed in the fall of 2016.

A parking lot is planned near the Slingerlands firehouse trailhead. A trailhead will also be at Adams St., Delmar. Both sites will have kiosks and signage.

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Rough Paving Done

Phase I – Voorheesville to Upper Font Grove Rd.) (Upper Font Grove Rd. to Slingerlands Fire Dept) – Apparently there is some kind of funding to have the section between Voorheesville and Upper Font Grove Rd. paved by 2017. The section between Upper Font Grove Rd. and the fire dept is still up in the air for two reasons: the bridge over New Scotland Ave. and a homeowner that has property on the trail near the bridge. The bridge is a significant problem. It is in poor shape, and the area has poor drainage. Unfortunately, the bridge cannot just be eliminated in the unlikely event that the route ever reverted to the railroad; the bridge must be left intact.

Common complaints heard included the following: landowner complaining that people are coming on to his land; conditions on the trail itself (e.g., water flooding onto the trail between Rockefeller Rd. and the bridge over the Normanskill); unleashed dogs on the trail; lack of dedicated parking near trail; and one instance where someone saw a motor vehicle on the trail at night in Voorheesville.

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Clear Cutting for Cars

Other things mentioned were that there will be an archeological dig on the south side of the trail on the Albany side (Native American site?). There may be a celebration on July 16, more news to follow. One person asked about any plans for the much-needed South End Bikeway Link to the Corning Preserve/Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail. The response was that there isn’t any plan. Note – While the county isn’t taking it on, the City of Albany has Capital District Transportation Committee funding for a feasibility study which is in process according to the City of Albany at the 1/12/16 Capital District Transportation Committee Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting. One of the county people mentioned that the first meeting is at the end of this month, January.

Did you know there is no law that prohibits motor vehicles from accessing the trail? It has to be enacted at the local level and it hasn’t yet (can’t make this stuff up).

There are no further phases in the pipeline. The railroad still owns the rest of the route going north to Altamont.

Policing – The County said that it is difficult to police the trail. It simply recommended calling 911 to report issues. A Town of Bethlehem representative said that they do conduct some patrols.

Publicity – A county representative said he didn’t think a special publicity campaign is necessary. One person disagreed stating that there are paved bike paths near Albany that he discovered only by accident or via Google Maps.

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Filed under Albany County Rail Trail, South End Bike Link