OLD CHAMPLAIN CANAL TRAIL; FORT EDWARD-HUDSON FALLS

FORT EDWARD-HUDSON FALLS, NEW YORK

FEEDER CANAL TRAIL:

HUDSON FALLS-GLEN FALLS, NEW YORK

SOUTH GLENS FALLS BIKE TRAIL:

SOUTH GLENS FALLS, NEW YORK

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Planted:               June 29, 2004

Length:                Old Champlain Canal Trail; 2 miles total.    

                              Feeder Canal Trail (including on-road detour); 7 miles

                              South Glens Falls Bike Trail; 1 mile. On-road detour from the Feeder Canal Trail; 0.4 miles

Difficulty:            Easy. Flat, stone dust trail. One on-road detour (sidewalks).

Directions:

To start from Fort Edward; Take a right on East St, then a left up Wing St. Go around Mullen Park to McIntyre St and head left. You'll come to 2 parking lots on either side of the park. The trail heads northeast past a pond.

To start from the Feeder Dam in Glens Falls; Take exit 18 off of I-87 to Corinth Rd and head east. Turn right down Richardson St and take to its end at the Feeder Dam parking lot.

To start from Feeder Canal Park (Five Combines); Take Route 4 through Fort Edwards and into Hudson Falls. Take a right down John St, then a left onto Burgoyne Ave (Route 37). The park and parking lot will be on your right where the Feeder Canal crosses.

Construction of the Old Champlain Canal began in 1817 and open to boat traffic in 1822. It provided access from Lake Champlain in Whitehall to Fort Edward, on the Hudson River, completing an inland route from the Saint Lawrence River to New York City. The first Feeder Canal was dug in 1822 in Fort Edward to direct water from the Hudson River to the Champlain Canal. A flood destroyed part of the dam across the Hudson, so in 1824, a new dam was built in Glens Falls and a new Feeder Canal was begun. In 1832, the Feeder Canal was improved and 13 Locks were constructed. The present-day Champlain Barge Canal replaced the old canal in the early 1900's and runs for 60 miles between Waterford and Whitehall. For more information visit; FEEDER CANAL .

Four trails roughly intersect in this region, this page describes three. Starting from Fort Edwards you can follow the Old Champlain Canal Trail to the Feeder Canal Trail. From the Feeder Canal Trail you can access the Warren County Bikeway, as well as, the South Glens Falls Bike trail. The Warren County Bikeway travels north to Lake George. See; Warren County Bikeway . You can ride other sections of the Old Champlain Canal in the towns of Waterford, Halfmoon, Stillwater & Saratoga. See; Old Champlain Canal Trail; Waterford-Halfmoon , Old Champlain Canal Trail; Stillwater & Old Champlain Canal Trail; Saratoga  .

Starting from Fort Edward; The Old Champlain Canal Towpath heads northeast past a stone monument for the park, following alongside the old canal out to Towpath Lane.

Note; Heading southwest through the built up part of the park a paved path brings you out to Wing St. The canal is buried through the park, but supposedly continues right past an open field where they are supposed to be remnants of Old Champlain Canal Lock 15, which was built around 1862 as part of the Enlarged Champlain Canal. After the Canal was abandoned in 1918, this section was preserved some years to provide access to the Glens Falls feeder Canal nearby. Also on this site is a large dry-dock right next to the lock (once part of the original 1822 canal), and next to that is the mouth of the Old Fort Edward Feeder Canal. The site is heavily wooded and completely overgrown. I have not checked out this site.

Cross the road where the narrow trail travel between Towpath lane and the canal to your left. This part of the canal is very overgrown and the trail a bit rough. After miles a short on-road section along Towpath Lane takes you less then a mile to a nice wide, smooth, stone dust trail where you enter the woods.

You come to the start of the Feeder Canal Trail after 1 miles.

Note; The Old Champlain Canal Towpath continues north and is more distinct with the added water from the Feeder Canal. You'll pass by an old stone bridge abutment just past 2 miles and encounter a change in the trail surface to hard packed dirt close to 2 miles. The trail ends after 2 miles next to an old footbridge across the canal spillway. If you take a short side trip down a path next to a field, it will bring you to an active rail line. Here the tracks cross over the canal and if you look due east you can see where the canal meets up with the new Champlain Canal.

Back at the start of the Feeder Canal Trail, you travel northwest over the bridge to Lock 1. A picnic table is located here. You then pass by the overgrown Locks 2 & 3. Between Lock 3 and the next Lock 4, at a mile, look to your right for a long log next to the trail. In the middle of the log is a two-trunked tree. This is 9 paces (2 steps = 1 pace) back from a wooden mile marker sign with a 7 on it. Go to the backside of the log, next to the tree and under some bark (There was a rock on top at one point, if you find one please place it on top) is the Feeder Canal Trail Letterbox. Continuing along the trail you pass by Lock 4 and come to a reclaimed landfill on your right near the unseen Lock 5. This begins the only hill climb on the trail. You pass by the descending Locks that form the Five Combines, Locks 6-10. At the top you reach the Feeder Canal Park in Hudson Falls and a parking lot at 0.6 miles. Historical signs here. Cross the road to Lock 11 where the sluiceway begins. This brings extra water down along the canal via its own channel. Pass by Lock 12, then Lock 13 at 1.1 mile. Cross over Maple St for a short paved section that doubles as a road for driveway access. The trail returns to stone dust at 1 miles. You then cross over Martindale Ave where the trail continues on the opposite side of the canal next to a linear park and parking lot. At 2 miles, the canals sides become concrete. You come to a busy road crossing across Route 254 at 3 miles. No cross light. You pass under the first of 3 bridges at 3 miles. The second bridge is a railway bridge and the third is a footpath over the canal. The Glens Falls Portland Cement plant will be to your left. The trail ends at 4 miles in Glen Falls. At one time there were 83 lime kilns along the canal and if you look left you can see some of the stone work ruins.

Note; From here you can access the western end of the Feeder Canal Trail via an on-road detour, as well the Warren County Bikeway. Turn right and head up Shermantown Rd. Turn left on Warren St.

Note; Across the street after mile will be Platt St. That will take you to the Warren County Bikeway.

Continuing straight down Warren St you pass an historic armory, now used by the National Guard. You'll come to Glen St (Route 9) after a mile, turn left here. You cross over the canal at 1 miles. The Feeder Canal Trail picks up again across the street.

Note; From here you can also get to the South Glens Falls Bike Trail less then a mile away. To do this cross over the Glens Falls Bridge into South Glens Falls. Notice at the bottom of the falls in the Hudson River the rock formation known as Cooper's Cave, a site made famous in James Cooper's novel "The Last of the Mohicans". Cross the road and look for a sign that reads South Glens Falls Historical Park. Turn right down this road. This brings you to the park and a gazebo. The South Glens Falls Bike Trail starts at the top of the parking lot. The trail runs alongside the Hudson River and brings you to South Glens Falls Beach after a mile. Very scenic and includes a viewing platform on the rivers bank.

Heading west along the remainder of the Feeder Canal Trail you start out next to the Hudson River and Glens Falls. You'll pass by an old stone bridge abutment at 0.9 miles and come to the Bush St Bridge just shy of 1 miles. This road takes you to the Haviland's Cove Park, along the banks of the Hudson River. You come alongside the river again and the trail finally ends at the Feeder Dam and Lock 14 after 1.9 miles. Cross over the footbridge to the Feeder Canal Park parking lot.

HH

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