Category Archives: Black Bridge

Champlain Canal Trail and the Empire State Trail Going North from Waterford

Champlain Canal Trailand the Empire State Trail Going North from Waterford

MAP Champlain Canal Trail Upper Newtown Rd. 7-15-20

One of the nicest rides in the area – from Corning Riverfront Park to Upper Newtown Rd. – just got better. Work is in progress on the trail and towpath from Upper Newtown Rd. to Mechanicville. Formerly, people on bicycles could follow the original Champlain Canal Trail from Broad St. in Waterford, past the Weighlock, and on to “Landfill Mountain” by Momentive Performance Materials. Then, following a narrow paved road onto Bells Ln. (that changes into School House Ln.), you come to the Half Moon Trail skirting the old Champlain Canal on your left. This undeveloped area is about as close as you get to ride along the original canal through its surroundings. You can almost hear the clop-clop-clop of the mules’ hoofs. At 5.3 miles from Waterford, you arrive at a trailhead with parking for 4-5 cars at Upper Newtown Rd. Just across the road is evidence of construction of the new trail – formerly just grass, weeds, and brush.

Champlain Canal Trail Upper Newtown Rd. 7-15-20

This will be part of the Empire State Trail north connecting New York City to Canada. Go here for more detail on the currently rideable portions of the Champlain Canal Trail at Waterford.

 

View From “Before” July 2016

Trailhead Looking South Toward Waterford July 2016
Waterford Lock No 5
Waterford Weigh Lock from the Tow Path/Trail
Waterford Weigh Lock Looking North

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Filed under Black Bridge, Capital Trails-New York, Champlain Canal Trail, Empire State Trail, Erie Canal Trail, Trail Network

Wheels to Waterford History Ride – Sun, 8/5/18, 9:30 AM, Albany Riverfront Park Boat Launch, $20 Fee

Wheels to Waterford History RideSun, 8/5/18, 9:30 AM, Albany Riverfront Park Boat Launch, $20 Fee

Join with the Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center, the Albany Bicycle Coalition, and the http://www.bikebarncycles.com/ ). for a sponsored ride from Albany to Waterford and return. The ride will feature an exclusive tour of the Waterford Museum, stops at some key canal and local features along the way, and a light lunch on the museum grounds.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The escorted ride will be on the very flat Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike and the Black Bridge trails to Waterford and is mostly “off road” with some quiet on-street sections in Watervliet, Green Island, and Waterford. In Waterford, we will follow the Old Champlain Canal towpath to Lock #4 and the Museum grounds.

The rider fee covers lunch, museum admission, and a donation for Albany Bicycle Coalition’s programs. We will have a monitored bicycle lock-up area at the museum. The “rain-or-shine” ride totals about 23 miles. We will depart promptly at 10:00 AM after sign in and will be back in Albany by around 2:30 PM.

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How to Register? – Send an email to lorenzworden@gmail.com. Use “Waterford” as the first word in your subject line. State the number of riders you are registering and choose a vegetarian or non-vegetarian lunch option for each. A parent or guardian over the age of 18 must accompany children under age 18 who are capable of this ride. Since this ride involves a considerable outlay by the sponsors, please register only if you are committed to attend. Please register by Tuesday, July 31. If you register and are unable to attend, please notify us before that date.

What to Bring? – Helmet, lock, water, $20, and appropriate riding gear. Please check your bicycle over before the ride (air, lube, etc.).

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Filed under Black Bridge, Empire State Trail, Erie Canal Trail, Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail, Rides, Shop Local

The Black Bridge – On the Ground

Barton & Loguidice are the project engineers for the unpaved section of the Black Bridge trail on the Green Island side of the Mohawk River. A recent report by these engineers OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAstimulated a visit to see the work accomplished to date. For more on this project, see “Black Bridge Revisited – A New Beginning.”

For background and information on this riding opportunity, see also –

The Black Bridge Isn’thttps://albanybicyclecoalition.com/2016/08/04/the-black-bridge-isnt/

The Black Bridge and Beyondhttps://albanybicyclecoalition.com/2016/08/09/the-black-bridge-and-beyond/

The following views tell the whole story of progress to date:

  1. Entrance to the trail that was previously unpaved with trail view north toward Cohoes and Waterford/Railroad Ave. – Delaware Ave.
  2. Trail view south toward Green Island/Cannon St. with Silhouette Optical visible through the trees to the right
  3. Parking area with rest stop #1 that will have with a shelter and info kiosk and Rest stop #2 that will have with a shelter
  4. Rest stop #3
  5. Retractable pylon and new lighting fixtureThe Black Bridge is a connecting route on the New York State Canal Corp trail system/Empire State Trail. It goes between the Mohawk Hudson Bike-Hike Trail and the Champlain Canalway Trail. A cyclist can now leave the Albany Riverfront Park and travel to Peebles Island, Waterford, and the Champlain Canalway north without having to cross I-787

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The Black Bridge is a connecting route on the New York State Canal Corp trail system/Empire State Trail. It goes between the Mohawk Hudson Bike-Hike Trail and the Champlain Canalway Trail. A cyclist can now leave the Albany Riverfront Park and travel to Peebles Island, Waterford, and the Champlain Canalway north without having to cross I-787.

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Filed under Black Bridge, Empire State Trail, Erie Canal Trail, Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail

Black Bridge Revisited – A New Beginning

At the recent Capital District Transportation Committee Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting, Barton & Loguidice – the project engineers for the “Black Bridge Project” – briefed the group on plans for its completion. Those who have taken the bridge as part of a wonderful ride from Albany, Watervaliet, Green Island, or Cohoes to Waterford and beyond can attest to for the final changes on this project.

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For background and information on this riding opportunity, see also –

Here is a summary of what is done and planned to complete of the original $499,000 project by April 2018:

  • Pave the stone portion of the trail south of and leading up to the bridge
  • Install a half-way-point shelter/rest stop
  • Add a Cannon St. trailhead in Green Island with a shelter, motor vehicle parking, and info kiosk
  • Install security cameras linked to local police
  • Modernize and enhance the existing lighting
  • Open up views of the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers at the northbound approach to the bridge (ED: why removing the trees was needed, is a mystery. There never was a problem finding either river)

If you want to plan a nice ride with major off-road portions, check the referenced links  so you can include the Black Bridge in your 2018 riding plans.

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The Black Bridge and Beyond

If you’ve taken the Black Bridge (or some other) route to Waterford (see earlier post), you’re in for a pleasant (but unusual) treat if you use it as your starting point to explore the Champlain Canal Trail north toward Mechanicville.

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Hee Haw

After riding from the Black Bridge along the bikeway and after crossing from Peebles Island into Waterford, turn left/west of 2nd St. onto Broad St. (10.9 miles from the Row Center at the Corning Riverfront Park). Pass four streets on your right and come to the old Champlain Canal (11.1 miles from the Row Center). If you’re on 700X25 tires, lock up and take a nice walk up the canal towpath. If you are on wider tires, take the towpath (you’ll cross Division St., the only intersection in this area) past the foundations of the Weigh Lock and then those of Lock #5 and dry dock about 1.5 miles to the landfill and Momentive Performance Materials industrial complex (12.7 miles from the Row Center). The northerly path then continues on to Mechanicville.

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What’s comin’ outta those pipes?

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Momentive Monolith

But where is that path?

As you cruise over the landfill (with its ominous ventilators spewing forth God knows what) toward the fencing, you think that you’re in Gitmo with no way out. (The landfill covers the Old Champlain Canal – so guess where the leakage goes?) But as you get to the end where it appears that you are completely fenced in, you’ll spot a narrow, deeply rutted path leading down to the right (easterly) through the tall weeds and grass. After a tick check at the bottom, remount and head on a winding, unmarked  narrow paved road (Google says cross Clute St. onto Bells Lane North which changes into School House Lane). Notice up and to your left the original towpath that is inaccessible at present. Lo and behold, where the unmarked Schoolhouse Lane bears left at 13.4 miles from the Row Center and 2.3 miles from Waterford, you’ll come to the Half Moon Trail skirting the old Champlain Canal on your left.

The Half Moon Trail is a nice ride on hard-packed stone dust. At “high noon,” there is no shade, so choose your ride time accordingly if it’s hot hot hot. A curious feature of the trail is frequent “Hazard – 100 Feet Ahead,” “Hazard – Keep Left,” or just plain “Hazard” signs. After expecting an alligator or two to rise from the canal, it seems that these signs are to alert trail users to the utility poles along the side if the trail. Those lawyers in Hal Moon must be looking for something to do…

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The North End Trail Head

Along the trial, watch for historical markers and remnants of the 200-year-old canal and later railroad structures. Cross Brookwood Rd., Lower Newton Rd., and an unmarked gravel pit road.  At 16.4 miles from the Row Center and 5.3 miles from Waterford, you’ll arrive at a trail head with parking for 4-5 cars, no hint of where you are, and stick-on letters on a utility pole saying “1 Mechan School” (20 Upper Newton Rd. according to the Town website). Just across the road is a barricade across the trail, which at this point is just grass, weeds, and brush leading on to Lock #8 and Mechanicville – clearly unrideable. There must be a plan here …

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Future Plans?

Time to turn around and enjoy the peaceful, quite trail back to Waterford to continue learning about “Canal Days.”

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A peaceful ride back to Waterford…

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Filed under Black Bridge, Erie Canal Trail, Rail Trail, Rides