RAILROAD RUN:

SARATOGA SPA STATE PARK TRAILS:

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NEW YORK

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:     July 18, 2015

Length:                Railroad Run; 1.1 miles.

                              Saratoga Spa SP Inner Loop Trail; 5.2 miles.

                              Saratoga Spa SP Outer Loop Trail; 6.1 miles.

Difficulty:            Railroad Run; Easy. Flat paved rail trail. 

                              Saratoga Spa SP Loop Trails; Easy. Mostly flat paved, stone-dust and gravel trails. Some low traffic on-road sections. Couple of slight hills.

Directions:     

To Start from the YMCA along the Railroad Run; From I-87 take exit 13N to Route 9 north. Pass by the park and turn left on W Fenton St. This brings you to Route 50. Cross over to New St and turn left on the YMCA entrance road. The trail runs from West Ave (other entrance) out alongside the road you just came in on.    

The Railroad Run is a rail trail that utilizes an old segment of the D & H Railway (circa 1832) that ran between Schenectady and Saratoga Spa. Saratoga Spa State Park is listed as a National Historic Landmark and is noted for its diverse cultural, aesthetic and recreational resources. In addition to the nationally-known Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the Spa Little Theater, the National Museum of Dance, the Saratoga Automobile Museum, the Gideon Putnam Resort and Roosevelt Baths and Spa, the park offers a multitude of traditional recreation opportunities. There are many trails throughout the park. I've pieced together two loop trails that traverse the park and included the Railroad Run rail trail. The Outer Loop Trail encircle the park while the Inner Loop Trail is a bit shorter and traverses the park. For more information visit; SARATOGA PLAN or SARATOGA SPA SP .

Railroad Run:

Starting from West Circular Street along the Railroad Run; No official trail parking located here. The Railroad Run starts off with two parallel trails running south from W Circular St. One is paved and the other consists of stone-dust with a tree and flower median between them. Cross New St and continue south along a single paved trail. At 0.7 miles you'll pass by a spur trail to the YMCA parking lot.

Note; A 0.2 mile paved nature trail with informational signboards travels behind the YMCA and out to West Ave.

Continue south through a wooded corridor out to a cross-light over busy Route 50 at 1.1 miles. This is the end of the Railroad Run.

Saratoga Spa SP Loop Trails:

[Re-zeroing mileage] Cross over Route 50 and you'll come to Saratoga Spa State Park. This is the start of both the Saratoga Spa SP Outer & Inner Loop Trails. Head left on the wide paved trail as it travels north between Route 50 and a golf course. The trail turns right into the park just before a sidewalk. Travel through a Pine tree corridor before emerging at Avenue of the Pines at 0.4 miles. The paved trail continues straight, but that is where you'll loop back from, so follow the crosswalk right over Avenue of the Pines. Continue right on the paved trail south alongside the road. Come to a traffic circle where the trail bears left out to Gideon Putnam Rd. The trail continues left, however, you'll cross over Gideon Putnam Rd to another paved trail. Head right (west) crossing Roosevelt Dr where the trail becomes stone-dust past the large grass mall on your left. Continue straight over the next drive where the trail is paved again. Pass by the Saratoga Auto Museum where you'll find a map board. The trail now veers away from the road and comes alongside a parking lot. Continue straight past a dam on Geyser Brook and into some woods. This brings you to a hard packed dirt trail. Turn right and travel between a fence on your left and a steep drop off to your right down to the brook. This brings you to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Travel around the box office to a paved trail next to the SPAC parking lot. Continue south along this paved trail and you quickly come to a small gravel trail on your left at 1.5 miles.

Note; This is where the Inner Loop Trail branches off. See Below.

Continuing south on the Outer Loop Trail along the parking lot the trail soon bears left bringing you out to Geyser Loop Rd. Head right through Coesa Pavilion where you pass through some woods before emerging along the East-West Rd after 2 miles. A parking lot is located to your right just off route 50. Travel left on-road past the entrance gate following East-West Rd east (low traffic/park road). A slight uphill grade. Pass by the Peerless Pool, cross over Geyser Creek and pass by North-South Rd at about 3 miles. Pass by the entrance gate and just before Route 9 you'll pass by a map board. Here you pick up the paved trail at 3.4 miles. The paved trail winds through the woods, out alongside the golf course and heads north paralleling Route 9 (separated by trees and bushes most of the way). Along your left is the tree nursery. You come to Gideon Putnam Rd (Closed to cars) at 4.4 miles.

Note; Here you'll intersect with the Inner Loop Trail coming in from your left.

Both the Inner Loop Trail and Outer Loop Trail continue straight (North) along the paved trail which parallels Route 9. Open fields and marsh along your left. When the trail splits bear right out to the junction of Route 9 & Avenue of the Pines at 4.7 miles where you'll be rewarded with tons of flowers. This is the Main Park Entrance. Now head left on the paved trail back into the park along Avenue of the Pines. When you come to a road crossing for the Warming Hut stop. The paved trail continues straight, but you need to cross over Avenue of the Pines to another paved trail along the entrance to the old Washington Baths. The paved trail continues straight to a parking lot, but you head left across the road and travel around the front of the white building which houses the Park Police. Continue straight past the Lincoln Baths, across a parking lot, to the front of the National Museum of Dance Hall of Fame. Head right out the entrance road to Route 9 and turn left. Follow the sidewalk north to W Fenton St and turn left where you'll pick up a stone-dust trail. Travel through a corridor of Pine trees out to Avenue of the Pines to complete your loop at 5.7 miles. Head right to return to Route 50 and the cross-light over to Railroad Run for a 6.1 mile loop.

 Saratoga Spa SP Inner Loop Trail:

Starting from the SPAC parking lot; The Inner Loop Trail heads down this gravel path to pick up the paved road (No cars allowed). Picnic tables located here. Head left around a short loop to a pavilion overlooking Geyser Brook at Orenda Spring. Continue straight down the road paralleling the brook and you'll come to a parking lot off Geyser Loop Rd at 1.7 miles. 

Note; A short hiking trail starts here next to the Hayes Spring and Island Spouter and loops around the Geyser Brook. Map board and more picnic tables.

Cross Geyser Loop Rd to Picnic Lane, travel past a small shed and turn left along the stone-dust trail as it parallels the brook. Tons of picnic tables and kids wading in the warm spring water. Pass by a bridge over the brook, then the Karista Pavilion on your right before you come to a second bridge. Head left over the brook and left again along the parking lot. The trail then brings you to a crosswalk over Geyser Loop Rd where you pick up a gravel trail heading into the woods. Follow this wide gravel trail uphill through a scenic ravine alongside a small stream. You'll emerge onto the North-South Rd at 2.4 miles. Head left along a stone-dust trail, past the gate house and you'll come to Roosevelt Drive. The trail continues left but you'll cross Roosevelt Drive and continue straight on-road past the Roosevelt Bath Houses and Little Theatre (Center of the park) before coming to a cross-walk. Turn right along the paved path through the open trees. Continue straight at the next intersection and you'll come to the Gideon Putnam Hotel. Travel left around the hotel to a parking lot and out to Gideon Putnam Rd. Cross over to the paved bike lane and head right alongside the golf course. Just past the hotel the road is closed to traffic at 3 miles. Follow the open road out to Route 9 at 3.5 miles.

Note; Here you'll intersect with the Outer Loop Trail coming in from your right.

Both the Inner Loop Trail and Outer Loop Trail travel left (North) along the paved trail which parallels Route 9. Open fields and marsh along your left. When the trail splits bear right out to the junction of Route 9 & Avenue of the Pines at 3.8 miles where you'll be rewarded with tons of flowers. This is the Main Park Entrance. Now head left on the paved trail back into the park along Avenue of the Pines. When you come to a road crossing for the Warming Hut stop. The paved trail continues straight, but you need to cross over Avenue of the Pines to another paved trail along the entrance to the old Washington Baths. The paved trail continues straight to a parking lot, but you head left across the road and travel around the front of the white building which houses the Park Police. Continue straight past the Lincoln Baths, across a parking lot, to the front of the National Museum of Dance Hall of Fame. Head right out the entrance road to Route 9 and turn left. Follow the sidewalk north to W Fenton St and turn left where you'll pick up a stone-dust trail. Travel through a corridor of Pine trees out to Avenue of the Pines to complete your loop at 4.8 miles. Head right to return to Route 50 and the cross-light over to Railroad Run for a 5.2 mile loop.

HH

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