Category Archives: Black Bridge

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.).

++++++

 

Leave a comment

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

Leave a comment

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

1 Comment

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

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What’s comin’ outta those pipes?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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 …

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Future Plans?

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A peaceful ride back to Waterford…

1 Comment

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

The Black Bridge Isn’t

Here is a nice day ride from Albany to Sunny Waterford. From Albany Bicycle Coalition HQ in Pine Hills, it’s 4.4 miles to the Boat Launch/Row Center at the Corning Riverfront Park via the Conventional Bicycle Lanes on Clinton Ave., Broadway, and Erie St. (Can’t wait for the new entry to the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail at Colonie and Quay Sts. so one can avoid the crazy exit ramp from I-787.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Row Center

Starting from this nice view of the Hudson, you have 4.5 miles from the Row Center to the car park/fishing spot in Watervaliet where the tunnel leads under a roaring I-787 to the pretty calm streets of the city.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Under I-787

Take a right onto Broadway. A recommended detour of a couple blocks (take the first left you can) will result in the best glazed doughnuts in the area from the Schuyler Bakery (637 3rd Ave. – open Tue – Sat) (Coffee is a Stewart’s – four or five doors south of the bakery.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yummy!

You can take your coffee and goodies down Broadway to the memorial park behind McDonald’s or save them for Green Island – see below.

Pay attention, as there are several challenging intersections and sometimes-heavy traffic on Broadway. As you get near the north end of Watervaliet at 23rd St., follow the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail straight ahead and not to the right onto NY Bike Route 9. Caution advised. Simply follow the MHBHT signs until you enter the Sovereign and Independent Nation of Green Island (which is green but not an island) for a rest stop at the Heatly School or the GIG (“Green Island Gazebo”) Park (with views of N. Troy and the Federal lock [it’s federal because its tidal]) (3.3 miles and 7.7 miles from the Row Center).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Green Island Gazebo & N. Troy

Now, here’s the well-kept secret – just past the school and park on Hudson Ave., the route turns left onto Tibbits Ave. and passes the large Paine Street Park on your left. Take the first right turn after the park and leave the MHBHT to go on Cannon St. Ignore the road closed signs as you pass between the gigantic concrete barriers and you’ll be on gravel but only for 1/10 mile, so don’t despair. Travel on and you are at the non-black Black Bridge (1.2 miles from the Green Island School and 8.7 miles from the Row Center).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The “Black” Bridge

The bridge takes you across the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson – stop and lean on the rail to enjoy the sight (on both sides) before you enter Van Schaick Island, Cohoes. (Cannon St. now becomes Railroad Dr. and later Delaware Ave. and finally Second St.)

You are now on a paved “multi use” path which will take you to Peebles Island and then again over the Mohawk to Broad St. in Waterford. While on the path, be mindful of the several intersections especially the intersection with Van Schaick Ave. that has no advance warning or stop signs and that of Ontario St., Rt. 470 where people in cars will show no mercy and there is a busy Cumberland Farms “quick stop.” (Be sure to contrast the Van Schaick House on your left with the monstrous development on the right.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Van Schaick House

Be courteous to the walkers and joggers and verbally announce your presence when you overtake and with a “thank you” especially if they step aside to let you pass.

As you cross from Peebles Island into Waterford, see our remaining Dutch replica ship, the “Onrust,” to the right and the Canal Harbor. At Broad St., you’re about 12 miles and 1.5 hours from the Corning Riverfront Park.

You can spend days in Waterford exploring the old and new locks and other structures of the Erie, Champlain, and NYS Barge canals. The Waterford Historical Museum is located in the 1830 Hugh White Homestead just east of Saratoga St. Rt. 32 as it heads south to Cohoes. However, all this is another adventure.

Turning left/west onto Broad St., from Second St. and passing four streets on your right, you’ll come to the old Champlain Canal.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Champlain Canal Trail at Waterford

If you’re on 700X25 tires, lock up and take a walk up the canal towpath. If you are on wider tires, take the towpath past old Lock #5 about 1.5 miles to the landfill and Momentive Performance Materials industrial complex. The northerly path then continues on to Mechanicville … but more on that later…

Heading back south to Waterford, continue directly across Broad St. to join up with the bicycle/walking paths for some easy touring along the canal with a visit to the Harbor Visitor Center (scene of the annual tugboat rally). Again, you can spend days exploring.

1 Comment

Filed under Black Bridge, Local Bike Rides, Rides